Oprah Winfrey, after taping an interview Monday with disgraced
U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong, said Tuesday she got so much from her 2
1/2 hours that she plans to present it in two shows -- because he was
ready to talk about using performance-enhancing drugs through his
celebrated championship career.
"A couple of times he was
emotional. 'Emotional' doesn't begin to describe the intensity or
difficulty (for Armstrong) in talking about these things," Winfrey said
Tuesday on CBS This Morning. "All these people wondering if he
goes there and answers things ... I think you will come away, too, that
he brought it. He really did."
In a few clips shown briefly from
the interview done in Armstrong's hometown of Austin, Texas, Armstrong
looked nervous. Winfrey and Armstrong sat simply in chairs, facing one
another, glasses of water with straws sitting on a small table for each.
As Armstrong enters the interview area, Winfrey gets up to greet him.
wearing a bright lime-colored dress Tuesday, spoke from the set of
Harpo studios in Chicago to the CBS anchors in New York about what she
considers her "biggest" interview.
She told CBS she got to ask
most of her "112" questions. "I would say he did not come clean in the
manner I expected," Winfrey said. "It was surprising to me ... for
myself, my team, all of us in the room, We were mesmerized and riveted
by some of his answers."
Winfrey said in addressing her questions,
Armstrong answered "in a way (that showed) he was ready. ... I can only
say I was satisfied by the answers."
Beyond that, she said she
chooses not to "categorize" how Armstrong comes off: "I would rather
people make their own decisions. I felt he was thoughtful, he was
serious, that he certainly had prepared himself for this moment. I would
say he met the moment. At the end of it, we both were pretty
Why did she think Armstrong chose now to talk? "I
just think the velocity of everything coming at him in the past couple
of weeks, he was just ready."
Winfrey said she and Armstrong had
agreed to terms of the interview that included what was said "would be
left for people to make their own judgments about. And by the time I
left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all already had confirmed it. ...
So I'm sitting here now because it's already been confirmed."
International Cycling Union (UCI) is aware of the Winfrey interview and
said "if these reports are true" that Armstrong confessed, "We would
strongly urge Lance Armstrong to testify to the independent commission
established to investigate the allegations made against the UCI" in the
recent U.S. Anti-Doping Agency decision on the cyclist and his former
United States Postal Service team.
The UCI's independent panel
looked into claims the sport federation covered up suspicious samples
from Armstrong, accepted financial donations from him and helped him
avoid detection in doping tests.