Potential Fallout for Armstrong from Oprah Interview

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong, the now infamous cyclist was recently stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) filed a report indicting him for using performance enhancing drugs. Armstrong has recorded a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey that will interview on January 17th, giving Armstrong a chance to tell his side of the story. However, legal experts speculate that Armstrong may have a lot to lose after denying the doping allegations many times including while under oath, any admission could have legal consequences. While Oprah’s camp maintains that no question is off limits, sports writers and professors of law suspect that Armstrong will set limits to questions asked. Many believe he will admit to use of performance enhancing drugs, or wonder what new information he will present that has not already made news.

However, Armstrong is facing charges in several cases. If he admits to doping, he has no grounds for a defense, arguing the claims are untrue.  Armstrong has spoken against the people who accused him. Confessing now could give them grounds for fraud or defamation suits. Additionally, brands sponsoring him could seek damages for ruining their good name. Yet the statute of limitations for prosecuting perjury charges, or lying under oath, is typically five years. Armstrong testified in 2005, and could potentially legally comment about doping without facing charges. Armstrong could be using the interview as an opportunity to appeal to viewers as a human, and rejuvenate his chances at a political career or competing in future sports events. He is likely to use it as a forum to rehabilitate his image and potentially to kick off an apology tour.

Source courtesy of BBC. Image courtesy of Gawker.