- - Monday, January 14, 2013

Shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong battled back tears Monday as he apologized to staffers at his Livestrong cancer foundation ahead of his hyped doping confessional to Oprah Winfrey.

“I’m sorry,” Armstrong said, choking back tears, according to a person close to the man stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union.

Armstrong’s first me culpa after years of denying he used performance enhancing drugs came just moments ahead of his anticipated sit-down with Winfrey. The 90-minute chat with Winfrey, to be taped later Monday, was being touted as a “no-holds barred” confessional.

In it, Armstrong is expected to make a limited confession about using drugs to boost his performance on a bike.

Many commentators in the cycling world believe that Armstrong’s decision to admit to doping accusations stems from a lifetime ban on competition enacted after the USADA stripped his winning titles between 1999 and 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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