Disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong is set to become the latest celebrity to sit across from Oprah Winfrey and bare his soul.
The 41-year-old had a dramatically bad 2012 after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused him of years of doping
that included using banned substances and receiving illicit blood transfusions. He was subsequently given a lifetime ban from professional cycling, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, and dropped by nearly every major sponsor. In October, Amrstrong announced that he was stepping down as chairman of Livestrong
, the cancer charity he founded in 1996.
"It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors," Armstrong said in a statement. "This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart."
In the interview scheduled for next week - and set to be broadcast on both Winfrey's OWN television network and live online - the cyclist will reportedly speak candidly about the allegations. According to reps for Oprah, no questions will be off-limits and Armstrong will not be paid or receive any kind of editorial control over the content.
"Oprah Winfrey will speak exclusively with Lance Armstrong in his first no-holds-barred interview," a news release reads. "Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career."
Unclear at the moment is whether Armstrong will come clean on the doping or further deny the charges. The NY Times reported last week
that sources close to the athlete reported that he was weighing a full confession in an attempt to stage a comeback and be granted a reprieve. "He would do this," the source told the Times, "because he wants to persuade antidoping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career."
The interview with Armstrong will air at 9PM EST on January 17th on the OWN network and Oprah.com.