UK & World News
Armstrong Loses Olympic Medal Ahead Of Oprah
Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his Olympic medal ahead of the airing of a confessional TV interview that critics say was less than candid.
The disgraced cyclist has said viewers will soon be able judge the Oprah Winfrey interview for themselves.
"I left it all on the table with her and when it airs the people can decide," he said in a text message to the AP news agency.
Winfrey had said she was "satisfied" with Monday's recording, during which the 41-year-old appears to have acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
However even she concluded: "I would rather people make their own decisions about whether he was contrite or not.
"I would say he did not come clean in the manner that I expected."
The IOC is not waiting to see the interview before removing Armstrong's bronze, won in the time trial in Sydney in 2000.
Officials said a letter was sent to Armstrong on Wednesday night, asking him to return the Olympic medal.
Armstrong had already been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year and banned for life after a scathing US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report.
Chief executive Travis Tygart labelled the doping regime, allegedly carried out by the US Postal Service team that Armstrong once led, as "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
The airing of the interview at 9pm ET on Thursday (2am GMT on Friday), with the second part to follow 24 hours later, will in no way be the end of the saga.
He is named as a defendant in at least two pending lawsuits involving SCA Promotions and The Sunday Times, and possibly a third.
The US Justice Department is expected also to reveal on Thursday that it is joining a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping.
That suit alleges Armstrong defrauded the US government by repeatedly denying he used PEDs.
He could be required to return substantial sponsorship fees from the US Postal Service and pay a hefty fine.
Armstrong may have been motivated to give the interview to Winfrey to help his bid to compete in elite international triathlon events.
But even that could prove to be a long road back.
World Anti-Doping Agency general director David Howman has said nothing short of a confession under oath could prompt a reconsideration of his lifetime ban.
Armstrong - who always demanded fierce loyalty from his racing teams - would also be under pressure to start naming those who aided or helped cover up the long-term abuse of PEDs.
:: The interview will also be broadcast on Discovery Channel UK at 2am and 8pm (GMT) on Friday January 18.