Sports Mole's live text commentary of Lance Armstrong's long-awaited interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Lance Armstrong's hotly-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey began this morning, in the first of a two part broadcast which looked to question the 41-year-old on the issue of doping.
Armstrong started by admitting to using performance enhancing drugs including EPO, testosterone, blood transfusions and cortisone injections during to help him win all seven Tour de France titles.
Winfrey moved on to question Armstrong about his involvement in the culture of cheating in cycling and ask how he could continue to sue anyone who accused him of doping despite knowing their accusations rang true.
Look back at a whirlwind exchange with Sports Mole's live text commentary of the 90-minute exchange below.
Oprah Winfrey is the lucky person handed the task of grilling Armstrong, and declared earlier this week that she had 112 questions for the former Tour de France champ. Just how many of that considerable list of questions did she pose? We are around 20 minutes away from finding out.
Let's just give you some of the background to tonight's interview in the short time we have before kickoff. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and branded a "serial cheat" by United States Anti-Doping Agency last October.
A host of coverage in the lead up to tonight's broadcast has confirmed Armstrong has made a confession, but to what extent? The legal and financial ramifications of his words tonight could be huge, so expect him to choose his words carefully.
Why Armstrong decided that the time was right to speak is open to debate. He may hope for redemption or to secure a return to sport by coming clean. A keen Ironman competitor, the 41-year-old may realise time is running out to restore his shattered reputation.
We are around 10 minutes away from the start of the programme. Time to go in with an open mind, and more importantly for me an empty notebook. Time to test that shorthand and bring you every word I can from perhaps the biggest TV interview of the year.
The interview is being shown on the OWN Network, Oprah's own channel in the US and simulcast on Discovery in the UK. Since launching OWN has struggled to match expectations so tonight's interview is a real coup for the ailing enterprise.
The constantly changing news landscape of this story took another twist this week, with reports emerging that Armstrong is set to be stripped of his Olympic bronze medal, which he won in the time trial event in Sydney 13 years ago.
Oprah: "When we first met we agreed there would be no conditions, that this would be an open field. Let's start with a simple yes or no. Yes or no did you take banned substances and was one of the EPO?"
Armstrong: "I certainly didn't read Tyler's book. I viewed it all as very simple. We had things that were oxygen-boosting drugs that were incredibly beneficial for endurance sports. My cocktail so to speak was EPO, transfusions and testosterone."
Time for another break. Armstrong has put his flag firmly in the ground here, 'I was no different to a whole host of guys on the tour'. But he helped drive the culture and profited from the enhancement in performance more than any other rider of that era. But the 41-year-old flatly denies cheating in 2009 despite all his admissions.
Another break, hope we get onto the subject of lawsuits soon. Armstrong aggressively pursued and won damages from any publication or person that levelled the very accusations he is admitting to tonight. Will he pay back that compensation I wonder?
The word bully doesn't quite do Armstrong justice in those instances. He systematically broke any person that threatened to blow the whistle on his actions, with careers, reputations and livelihoods all left in tatters.
"Well we didn't give him a spot on the team, which he wanted. I tried to keep him on 'my team' quote unquote. But to say I shunned him, I'm not sure. I think he feels like the sport did. I don't regret coming back, we wouldn't be sitting here if I did."
"I love cycling, and I know people will say how can you knowing you disrespected the sport, the tour, the yellow jersey. If there was a truth and reconciliation commission, I'd be the first man at the door."
That's just about it for today. Well that was a whirlwind hour or so! Part two will pick things up at the same time tomorrow night. Topics look to include his sponsors, family reaction and that infamous tweet of his seven Yellow jerseys. Plenty more to this story yet.
No-holds barred was the tagline, but the level of admission still felt like Armstrong was dictating the terms. Winfrey did far more to force a few issues that I had expected, for example the notion that he forced other riders into to dope with a 'with us or against' us mentality.