Lance Apologizes Ahead of Oprah Interview

Reaches out to Landis, Livestrong

Caty Enders

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Lance Armstrong has reportedly been making the rounds with apologies in advance of his interview with Oprah, which tapes this afternoon.

The Livestrong Foundation told ABC News that he gathered a group of about 100 staffers at their Austin, Texas, headquarters for a special announcement. The disgraced cyclist was reportedly emotional as he addressed the staff, promising that he would attempt to restore the foundation’s reputation.

Armstrong’s “sincere and heartfelt apology” generated lots of tears, spokeswoman Katherine McLane said, adding that he “took responsibility” for the trouble he has caused the foundation.

McLane declined to say whether Armstrong’s comments included an admission of doping, just that the cyclist wanted the staff to hear from him in person rather than rely on second-hand accounts.

Armstrong then took questions from the staff.

Armstrong has resportedly also made overtures to Floyd Landis, which, predictably, haven’t gone over terribly well. (In response to Landis’ early doping accusations, Lance has called his former teammate “a carton of sour milk” and “a person of zero credibility.”) But it would be great for Armstrong if Landis did feel an upswelling of the old bonhomie, as USA Today explains:

If the two reconciled, Landis might drop a federal whistleblower lawsuit he filed against Armstrong under the False Claims Act—a suit the federal government has considered joining. At issue is whether Armstrong and others defrauded the U.S. Postal Service of around $30 million when it sponsored his team.

A person close to Armstrong told the AP that he plans to make a “limited confession” to Oprah about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. The interview, which was originally supposed to be taped at Armstrong’s home, will be taped instead at an Austin hotel and airs Thursday night.

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