Why Oprah is the wrong person to interview Lance Armstrong

This week Lance Armstrong announced he would be allowing Oprah Winfrey to interview him regarding his involvement in doping during his cycling career.

Not surprisingly, the decision to grant the interview to Oprah has been met with criticism from many.

The Oprah Winfrey Network has promised a “no-holds barred” confessional from the American cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year, but many are predicting the interview will follow the usual Oprah format of “cuddles over confrontation”.

British cyclist David Millar – a staunch anti-doping advocate – feared that the interview will be “stage-managed” and that it will focus on his emotions as opposed to delving into what he did wrong.

“Only Lance would get to have his moment of truth, if that’s what it will be, in front of Oprah Winfrey,” Millar said.

“It is not sitting in front of a judge or a disciplinary hearing being properly questioned about the things he has done wrong. I doubt very much it will be a proper interrogation.”

The Guardian has drawn up a list of questions Oprah should ask Armstrong during the interview later this month alongside a list of the questions she will probably ask.

It’s noted that through the use of Oprah, the interview will be aimed at an American audience as opposed to the European media and cycling community who have waited so long for answers. Of course, Americas have been far more “indulgent” towards Armstrong over the years.

The Guardian also pointed to the 2008 interview of disgraced American sprinter Marion Jones, saying it was merely an “attempt to address a doping scandal”.

Jones gave her exclusive first interview to Oprah following her six-month stint in jail for lying about her steroid use to US federal prosecutors.

The interview was met with criticism, with Jones using it to insist she had no idea she was being given performance-enhancing drugs by her coach, before stating that she believed she would have won her Olympic gold medals even if she was clean.

Armstrong’s interview will be streamed globally on oprah.com on Friday, January 18 (NZ time) and if you fancy playing some bingo while watching, your card is below (courtesy of Twitter).

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  • Alicia B

    Disagree – think her and Walters can get blood out of a stone. Will be intresting if the cheat has a reason or blames his unfortunate illness at the time.