After years of denial that he ever used performance-enhancing drugs to best the competition and earn his record seven Tour de France titles, Lance Armstrong has reportedly come clean with Oprah Winfrey.
The 41-year-old sat down with the talk show host yesterday in what was described as a "no-holds-barred interview"
to speak candidly about the accusations from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Appearing on the "CBS Morning Show,"
Winfrey said Armstrong was "forthcoming" during their 2.5 hour conversation; adding that he came clean in the manner she did not expect. "It was surprising to me," she said. "My team, all of us in the room ... I feel that he answered the questions in a way that he was ready."
Asked if Armstrong at all expressed remorse during the interview, Winfrey says it's up to the viewers to come to that conclusion.
"I choose not to characterize," she said. "I would rather people make their own decisions about whether he was contrite or not. I thought that he was thoughtful. I thought that he was serious ... I thought that he met the moment."
The interview, which will be broadcast over two nights in its entirety on the OWN network and online, came about after Winfrey contacted Armstrong via email. She said they met privately at her home in Hawaii over the holidays where he agreed the timing was right to speak.
"I think he was just, ready. I think the velocity of everything that's come at him in the past several months and the past several weeks, he was just ready," she said.
Prior to yesterday's interview, Armstrong offered a personal apology to staffers at the Livestrong charity he founded in 1996.
"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,” Livestrong director of communications and external affairs Rae Bazzarre said in a statement to NBCNews.com
Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey will air Thursday, January 17, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET/PT and Friday, January 18, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The interview will be simultaneously streamed live both nights on Oprah.com
. The CBS Morning Show interview with Winfrey is below.