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“The line of drugs?” Winfrey asked.

“Yes. And I said, ‘You’ve got a deal,’” he replied. “And I never would have betrayed that with her.”

A U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that exposed Armstrong as the leader of an elaborate doping scheme on his U.S. Postal Service cycling team included witness statements from at least three former teammates who said Kristin Armstrong participated in or at least knew about doping on the teams and knew team code names for EPO kept in her refrigerator. Postal rider Jonathan Vaughters testified that she handed riders cortisone pills wrapped in foil.

Armstrong said in the first part of the interview that he had stayed clean in the comeback, a claim that runs counter to the USADA report.

And that wasn’t the only portion of the interview likely to rile anti-doping officials.

Winfrey asked Armstrong about a “60 Minutes Sports” interview in which USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said a representative of the cyclist had offered a donation that the agency turned down.

“Were you trying to pay off USADA?” she asked.

“No, that’s not true,” he replied, repeating, “That is not true.”

Winfrey asks the question three more times, in different forms.

“That is not true,” he insisted.

USADA spokeswoman Annie Skinner replied in a statement: “We stand by the facts both in the reasoned decision and in the ‘60 Minutes’ interview.”

Armstrong has talked with USADA officials, and a meeting with Tygart near the Denver airport reportedly ended in an argument over the possibility of modifying the lifetime ban. A person familiar with those conversations said Armstrong could provide information that might get his ban reduced to eight years. By then, he would be 49. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a confidential matter.

After retiring from cycling in 2011, Armstrong returned to triathlons, where he began his professional career as a teenager, and he has told people he’s desperate to get back.

Winfrey asked if that was why he agreed to the interview.

“If you’re asking me, do I want to compete again … the answer is hell, yes,” Armstrong said. “I’m a competitor. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. I love to train. I love to race. I love to toe the line — and I don’t expect it to happen.”

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