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Lance Armstrong apologizes to Livestrong staff

7:04 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
Lance Armstrong/AP
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Lance Armstrong apologized to the staff of Livestrong Monday prior to an afternoon interview taping with Oprah Winfrey in which he planned to admit to doping during his cycling career.

The apology was described as emotional for him and the staff. A full house of around 100 staffers heard it at the foundation's headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Livestrong spokesman Katherine McLane said it was a "very sincere and heartfelt apology to the staff."

Livestong, a charity based in Austin, Texas, was founded by Armstrong to provide support to cancer survivors. It has been entangled in the controversy surrounding Armstrong's cycling career during the last few years. In October, Armstrong was forced to step down from the Livestrong board after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive file of detailed doping evidence against him.

A big part of his motivation to admit to doping now was to help reduce distractions and reputation damage for Livestrong, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

Armstrong, 41, previously denied doping for years and often attacked those who accused him of it. The Oprah interview is scheduled to air Thursday.

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