AUSTIN, Texas — Out for a Sunday morning jog in bright sunshine, Lance Armstrong hardly looked like a man about to finally confront the doping scandal that has shadowed his storied career like an angry storm cloud.
"I'm calm, I'm at ease and ready to speak candidly," Armstrong told The Associated Press, referring to his interview today with Oprah Winfrey.
In what's been billed as a "no-holds barred" session, the cyclist is expected to reverse course after a decade of denials and apologize for doping, as well as offer a limited confession about his role at the head of a long-running scheme to dominate the Tour de France with the aid of performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong was stripped of all seven tour titles last year in the wake of a voluminous U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that portrayed him as a ruthless competitor, willing to go to any lengths to win the prestigious race.
"The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," is how USADA chief executive Travis Tygart labeled the doping regimen allegedly carried out by the U.S. Postal Service team that Armstrong once led.
Yet if any of that was weighing on Armstrong's mind, he didn't show it early in the day.
Wearing a red jersey and black shorts, sunglasses and a white baseball cap pulled down to his eyes, he was training by himself and about a mile from his home when he talked to the AP.