(CNN) — The court of public opinion weighed in decidedly against Lance Armstrong ahead of the broadcast of his interview with Oprah Winfrey, who confirmed media reports Tuesday that the cyclist acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs after years of denials.
After CBS and other media outlets reported that Armstrong admitted using banned substances, Winfrey said her team and Armstrong’s camp had agreed not to leak details of the interview but agreed to talk because “it’s already been confirmed.”
Winfrey, appearing on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, did not describe Armstrong’s statements in detail but said the former cyclist was forthcoming in what she said was an exhausting and intense interview taped in Armstrong’s hometown of Austin, Texas.
“We were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers,” she said, adding that “he did not come clean in the manner that I expected.” She didn’t elaborate.
On CNN’s Facebook page, the opinions were passionate and pointed.
“This guy is a loser and a liar!!” Melinda Morgan said. “He is not sorry for what he did, he is sorry that he got caught!!”
Margaret Midkiff said there’s no hope of Armstrong reviving his career. “He’s lied to folks way too long.”
For more than a decade, Armstrong has denied he used performance-enhancing drugs, but he was linked to a doping scandal by nearly a dozen other former cyclists who have admitted to doping.
Some media outlets have reported that Armstrong has been strongly considering the possibility of a confession, possibly as a way to stem the tide of fleeing sponsors and as part of a long-term comeback plan.
But Gretta Michellé said it’s too late for redemption.
“He had the opportunity to be honest from the beginning and he should have,” she posted on the Facebook page. “Winning was more important.”
Armstrong’s admission is a sharp about-face after more than a decade of vehemently denying he cheated en route to winning a record seven Tour de France titles, which were later stripped away by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
The interview will air over two nights, beginning at 9 p.m. ET Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Winfrey has promised a “no-holds-barred” interview, with no conditions and no payment made to Armstrong.
“I hope the ratings are (a) record low on that show,” Matthew Black said in a Facebook comment.
Winfrey declined to characterize Armstrong’s statements, saying she preferred that viewers make up their own minds. She said the interview was at times emotional and surprisingly intense.
“I would say that he met the moment,” she said.
Word that Armstrong may have allowed some emotion to show through didn’t seem to soften many critics.
“Go ahead and cry, Lance … it won’t help you one bit,” Lori Polacek said. You “blew it a long time ago!”AlertMe