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The lawsuit most likely to be influenced by a confession might be the Sunday Times case. Potential perjury charges stemming from his sworn testimony in the 2005 arbitration fight would not apply because of the statute of limitations. Armstrong was not deposed during a federal investigation that was closed last year without charges being brought.

But the USADA report persuaded many of his sponsors to drop Armstrong — at the cost of tens of millions of dollars — and soon after, he left the board of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity he founded in 1997. Armstrong is still said to be worth about $100 million.

Livestrong might be another reason Armstrong has decided to come forward with an apology and limited confession. The charity supports cancer patients and still faces an image problem because of its association with Armstrong. He may also be hoping a confession would allow him to return to competition in the elite triathlon or running events he participated in after his cycling career.

But World Anti-Doping Code rules state his lifetime ban cannot be reduced to less than eight years. WADA and U.S. Anti-Doping officials could agree to reduce the ban further depending on what new information Armstrong provides and his level of cooperation.

USADA officials said in a recent interview that the cyclist’s cooperation could well initiate a “pathway to redemption.”