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In the interview, Armstrong acknowledged calling Betsy Andreu crazy. But with a suggestion of a smirk, he said he never claimed she was fat.
Armstrong did not delve into the details of his doping, and Winfrey never asked. He did not explain how it was done, who helped him do it or how, exactly, he perpetuated his myth for so long. He said he was not comfortable talking about other people when asked about the infamous Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari, his former trainer, who is now serving a lifetime ban for doping his athletes.
But it did not really matter what Armstrong told Winfrey in the interview, at least according to Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the USADA, and other agency officials who hold the key to Armstrong's future as a professional athlete.
Armstrong's reason for coming clean was not to unburden himself of the deception he fought to keep secret for so long. It was to take the first step toward mitigating the lifetime ban from Olympic sports that he received from the USADA in the fall, according to people close to him who did not want their names published because they wanted to stay in Armstrong's good graces.
Antidoping officials need to hear more from Armstrong than just an apology and a rough outline of his doping. They need details. "Anything he says on TV would have no impact whatsoever under the rules on his lifetime suspension," Tygart said.
Armstrong, 41, wants to compete in triathlons and in running events again, but he is barred from many of those events because they are sanctioned by organisations that follow the World Anti-Doping Code. To get back into those events, he must tell officials details of who helped him dope, who knew about his doping and who helped him create one of the biggest cover-ups in the history of sports.
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