Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong apologized to the staff of his nonprofit organization before taping an appearance with Oprah Winfrey on Monday, reports the Associated Press
Armstrong reportedly choked up several times while saying he was “sorry” to employees at Livestrong, the cancer organization he helped establish.
According to the AP, which cited an anonymous source:
“Armstrong apologized for letting the staff down and putting Livestrong at risk but he did not make a direct confession to the group about using banned drugs. He said he would try to restore the foundation's reputation, and urged the group to continue fighting for the charity's mission of helping cancer patients and their families.”
Armstrong was expected to make a “limited confession” to Oprah about his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his career as a professional cyclist—a career that included a record seven Tour de France wins. After the interview, Oprah tweeted:
Twitter was abuzz with chatter about Armstrong on Monday, as various conversations about the cyclist emerged as trending topics.
Countless tweets expressed anger and dismay, such as:
Other riffed on the hashtag #OtherLanceArmstrongConfessions:
And at least one person cut him some slack:
Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer in his 20s, spent years fighting accusations that he took performance-enhancing drugs. Last year, cycling’s governing body stripped Armstrong of his titles following a damning report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Many of Armstrong’s sponsors dropped the cyclists after the report was made public. He also stepped down from the board of directors of Livestrong.
A story in Sunday’s New York Times
explored the notion that Livestrong helped feed Armstrong’s marketability. One former staffer said it created a conflict of interest.
Livestrong has denied
many of the accusations in the story.