Armstrong: 'I'm a flawed character'

Posted: January 18, 2013

LANCE ARMSTRONG was light on the details and didn't name names, but he confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, reversing more than a decade of denial.

He mused that he might not have been caught if not for his comeback in 2009. And he was certain his "fate was sealed" when longtime friend, training partner and trusted lieutenant George Hincapie, who was along for the ride on all seven of Armstrong's Tour de France wins from 1999-2005, was forced to give him up to anti-doping authorities.

But right from the start and more than two dozen times during the first of a two-part interview Thursday night with Winfrey on her OWN network, the disgraced former cycling champion acknowledged what he had lied about repeatedly for years, and what had been one of the worst-kept secrets for the better part of a week: He was the ringleader of an elaborate doping scheme on a U.S. Postal Service team that swept him to the top of the podium at the Tour de France time after time.

"I'm a flawed character," he said.

Baseball * 

Boston and free-agent catcher Mike Napoli agreed to shorten their deal to a 1-year contract worth $5 million, a source said.

* Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was found to have relatively minimal cartilage damage in his left hip during surgery Wednesday.

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