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article imageLance Armstrong says 'sorry' to Livestrong staff..not for doping

By Yukio Strachan     Jan 14, 2013 in Sports
Austin - On the day of his taped interview with Oprah Winfrey to seek absolution for his sins, Lance Armstrong delivered a “tearful” apology to the staff at the Livestrong, his cancer awareness charity.
CNN has just reported that Rae Bazzarre, the Director of Communications for the Livestrong Foundation, said Armstrong delivered his remarks at the Livestrong foundation office in Austin, Texas.
"Lance came to the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s headquarters today for a private conversation with our staff and offered a sincere and heartfelt apology for the stress they’ve endured because of him and urged them to keep up their great work fighting for people affected by cancer," Bazzarre said according to CNN.
This move comes a day after the Washington Post reported the disgraced cyclist allegedly made a series of phone calls to apologize directly to key people in the cycling community with whom he had not been truthful about his part in sports doping. The Post did not reveal names.
The apologies seem to be part of what has been dubbed "the apology tour," Armstrong’s effort to prepare himself to enter the church of Oprah and make a partial confession to using banned substances and blood doping methods during his famed cycling career after his camp had floated the idea in a leak to The New York Times.
This appearance will mark his first public comments about the widespread allegations in a 1,000-page document released in October 2012.
That document from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, based in part on the testimony of 11 of Armstrong’s former teammates, led to his being stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and being barred from competition for life by cycling’s international governing body. It concluded that Armstrong was the leader and enforcer of “the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
According to the Washington Post, although Armstrong,41, plans to make a confession about his vigorous denials to doping, there are aspects of the USADA report that "Armstrong is expected to dispute — characterizations of fact, as well as characterizations of him personally as a vengeful, vindictive bully who forced teammates to dope along with him and threatened those in position to expose him."
The New York Daily News reported that in 2008, when the Daily News started reporting in earnest on the growing evidence that Armstrong had cheated, the paper found that paranoia struck deep in the cycling world: Armstrong was so powerful inside his sport, that people feared for their livelihoods and reputations if they crossed him.
"He’s destroyed people and if you go against him, he tries to destroy you," former three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond told Cycling News Armstrong last fall. "He’s been trying that for ten years with me."
The New York Daily News reported that Betsy Andreu, the wife of a former Armstrong teammate, Frankie Andreu, said Saturday that their lives were destroyed because of Armstrong's bullying tactics.
“(Armstrong) just kept getting richer. But for us, there was no profit in the truth. The myth was too big. Sure, we’re vindicated now, but that doesn’t pay our bills. At least we’ve kept our integrity, something (Armstrong) doesn’t have,” Andreu said.
The break with Armstrong turned out to be a bad career move for Frankie.
“From having been in professional cycling for so long I was well aware of many incidents where those who spoke about doping too much were ostracized and found it difficult to retain a job in the sport,” he says in his USADA affidavit. He goes on to say that he has been told “that my public disputes with Lance Armstrong have made it more difficult for others in the cycling industry to work with me because they fear reprisal from Lance and his associates. I have never sought to bring Lance down or cause him harm. I have only sought to tell the truth.”
The interview, to be taped on Monday, will be edited to 90 minutes and broadcast on the OWN cable network and streamed via the Internet on Thursday evening, with portions released in advance for publicity purposes.
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