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Associated Press
In this photo provided by Harpo Studios Inc., host Oprah Winfrey interviews Lance Armstrong on Monday in Austin, Texas. Winfrey’s two-part interview will air Thursday and Friday.

Officials want Armstrong to testify

Say TV confession isn’t enough; seek to get him under oath

A televised confession by Lance Armstrong isn’t enough.

Anti-doping officials want the disgraced cyclist to admit his guilt under oath before considering whether to lift a lifetime ban clouding his future as a competitive athlete. That was seconded by at least one former teammate whom Armstrong pushed aside on his way to the top of the Tour de France podium.

“Lance knows everything that happened,” Frankie Andreu told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “He’s the one who knows who did what because he was the ringleader. It’s up to him how much he wants to expose.”

Armstrong has been in conversations with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials, touching off speculation that he may be willing to cooperate with authorities and name names.

Interviewer Oprah Winfrey didn’t say if the subject was broached during the taping Monday at a downtown Austin hotel. In an appearance on “CBS This Morning,” she declined to give details of what Armstrong told her but said she was “mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers.”

Asked whether the disgraced cyclist appeared genuinely contrite after a decade of fierce denials, Winfrey replied: “I felt that he was thoughtful, I thought that he was serious, I thought that he certainly had prepared for this moment. I would say that he met the moment.”

She was promoting what has become a two-part special, Thursday and Friday, on her OWN network.

Around the same time, World Anti-Doping Agency officials issued a statement saying nothing short of “a full confession under oath” would cause them to reconsider Armstrong’s lifetime ban.

The International Cycling Union also urged Armstrong to tell his story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims that the sport’s governing body hid suspicious samples from the cyclist, accepted financial donations from him and helped him avoid detection in doping tests.

The ban was only one of several penalties handed to Armstrong after a scathing, 1,000-page report by USADA last year. The cyclist was also stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, lost nearly all of his endorsements and was forced to cut ties with the Livestrong cancer charity he founded in 1997.

The report portrayed Armstrong as the mastermind of a long-running scheme that employed steroids, blood boosters such as EPO, and a range of other performance-enhancers to dominate the tour. It included revealing testimony from 11 former teammates, including Andreu and his wife, Betsy.

“A lot of it was news and shocking to me,” Andreu said. “I am sure it’s shocking to the world. There’s been signs leading up to this moment for a long time. For my wife and I, we’ve been attacked and ripped apart by Lance and all of his people, and all his supporters repeatedly for a long time. I just wish they wouldn’t have been so blind and opened up their eyes earlier to all the signs that indicated there was deception there, so that we wouldn’t have had to suffer as much.

“And it’s not only us,” he added, “he’s ruined a lot of people lives.”

During his long reign as cycling champion, Armstrong scolded some critics in public, didn’t hesitate to punish outspoken riders during the race and waged legal battles against still others in court.

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