AUSTIN, Texas (AP):
The Livestrong charity Lance Armstrong founded says it expects the disgraced cyclist to be "completely truthful and forthcoming" in his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Armstrong admitted to Winfrey using performance-enhancing drugs during his career after years of denial. The interview taped Monday is scheduled to be broadcast today and Friday.
Armstrong founded the charity in 1997, but stepped down as chairman and left the board of directors late last year after a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report detailed a complex doping programme on Armstrong's US Postal Service teams.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from sport for life.
In a statement yesterday morning, Livestrong said it had "charted a strong, independent course forward" and remained confident about its future.
AMNESTY FOR WITNESSES
Meanwhile, an independent panel preparing to investigate the International Cycling Union's (UCI) links to Lance Armstrong fought back yesterday against the governing body's resistance to offer amnesty to potential witnesses.
The three-member panel said it will soon hold a public hearing in London to examine if "truth and reconciliation" should be offered to riders and officials who testify in April.
Full or partial amnesties were "desirable" and would help ensure that "the most complete evidence is available" at the scheduled three-week hearing in London, the panel said.
"The commission is of the view that such a process would be in the interest not only of the inquiry, but also of professional cycling as a whole," said the panel, which is composed of retired British judge Philip Otton, Paralympic great Tanni-Grey Thompson and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes.
The UCI refused to back USADA's proposal, which would free past and current riders to explain how far doping extended.
"The UCI indicated to the Commission (last week) that that proposal was unacceptable to it as part of this inquiry," said the panel.
USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency withdrew from the process on Tuesday until the panel's terms of reference are widened.