AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey during an interview Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview is to be broadcast Thursday on Winfrey's network.

Armstrong was stripped of all seven Tour titles last year following a voluminous U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that portrayed him as a ruthless competitor, willing to go to any lengths to win the prestigious race.

USADA chief executive Travis Tygart labeled the doping regimen allegedly carried out by the U.S. Postal Service team that Armstrong once led, "The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.''

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  • Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis

    In this July 24, 2004, file photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Bourg-d'Oisans and Le Grand Bornand, French Alps.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong negotiates the route on the way to his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from professional cycling.

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, Lance Armstrong pauses during an interview in Austin, Texas. Armstrong said on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, that he is finished fighting charges from the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career, a decision that could put his string of seven Tour de France titles in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Thao Nguyen, File)

  • ARMSTRONG

    FILE - This July 25, 1999 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong being kissed by his wife Kristin, left, and his mother Linda after the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this July 6, 2010, file photo, Lance Armstrong grimaces prior to the start of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Wanze, Belgium. Armstrong said on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, that he is finished fighting charges from the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career, a decision that could put his string of seven Tour de France titles in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

  • ARMSTRONG JALABERT MC EWEN

    FILE - This July 28, 2002 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, center, flanked by best sprinter Robbie McEwen, of Australia, right, and best climber Laurent Jalabert, of France, after the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France cycling in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

  • ARMSTRONG

    FILE - This July 23, 2000 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong riding down the Champs Elysees with an American flag after the 21st and final stage of the cycling race in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2011, file photo, former cycling champion Lance Armstrong smiles during a news conference at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, granted Armstrong an extension of up to 30 days to contest drug charges while the seven-time Tour de France winner challenges the case in federal court. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

  • Lance Armstrong, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich

    FILE - In this July 24, 2005 file photo, Lance Armstrong gestures from the podium after winning his seventh straight Tour de France cycling race, as second-placed Ivan Basso of Italy, left, and third-placed Jan Ullrich of Germany, look on, after the 21st and final stage of the race in Paris. Armstrong, he superstar cyclist whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong, right, chats with other riders at the start line of the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the starting line in Snowmass Village, Colo., early Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from the sport.

  • Lance Armstrong, Keegan Swirbul

    Lance Armstrong, front, talks to reporters after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. Race-winner Keegan Swirbul, 16, of Aspen, left, clapso his hand.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong guides his bicycle down the steps after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from professional cycling.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong listens at the World Cancer Congress in Montreal Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong speaks to delegates at the World Cancer Congress in Montreal Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong signs autographs for supporters after a run, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, on Mont Royal Park in Montreal.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong talks to supporters prior to a run, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, on Mont Royal Park in Montreal.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong, Isabelle Armstrong, Grace Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon with his ten-year-old twin daughters Grace, left, and Isabelle, right, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong

    In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, cyclist Lance Armstrong prepares to take part in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race in Snowmass Village, Colo. With U.S. anti-doping officials set to issue their report on Armstrong's case, a lawyer for the cyclist on Tuesday again criticized the process which led to himn being banned from the sport for life.

  • Lance Armstrong

    In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, Lance Armstrong considers a question from a reporter after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This April 1, 2012 file photo shows seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong grimacing during a news conference after the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon in Galveston, Texas.

  • This is a July 24, 2005, file photo showing overall leader Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, surrounded by press photographers, signaling seven, for his seventh straight win in the Tour de France cycling race, prior to the start of the 21st and final stage of the race, between Corbeil-Essonnes, south of Paris, and the French capital.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This July 5, 2004 file photo shows U.S. Postal Service team leader and five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, third from right, framed by his teammates as the pack rides during the second stage of the 91st Tour de France cycling race between Charleroi and Namur, Belgium.

  • Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie

    This March 21, 2009 file photo shows Lance Armstrong, of the United States, beside fellow countryman George Hincapie, left, during the Milan-San Remo cycling classic in San Remo, Italy.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong waits for the start of the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Panama.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This May 11, 2012, file photo shows cycling great and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong at a rally in favor of Proposition 29, at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong (center) leads the pack coming to Jack's restaurant in Pleasant Grove, Ala., Friday, April 27, 2012,, on the fourth day of the Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Alabama tornadoes.

  • Lance Armstrong

    From left, Bo Jackson, Lance Armstrong, Picabo Street and Ken Griffey, Jr. gather for a photo as the greeted fans and signed autographs in Pleasant Grove, Ala., Friday, April 27, 2012,, on the fourth day of the Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Alabama tornadoes. Jackson and about 140 bicyclists and the celebrity bikers rode from Cordova, Ala. to Bessemer, Ala. on Friday.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong waits for the start of the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon, Sunday, April 1, 2012, in Galveston, Texas. Armstrong finished in seventh place.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

After a federal investigation of the cyclist was dropped without charges being brought last year, USADA stepped in with an investigation of its own. The agency deposed 11 former teammates and accused Armstrong of masterminding a complex and brazen drug program that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of other performance-enhancers.

A group of about 10 close friends and advisers to Armstrong left a downtown Austin hotel about three hours after they arrived Monday afternoon for the taping. Among them were Armstrong attorneys Tim Herman and Sean Breen, along with Bill Stapleton, Armstrong's longtime agent, manager and business partner. All declined comment entering and exiting the session.

Soon afterward, Winfrey tweeted: "Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!'' She was scheduled to appear on "CBS This Morning'' on Tuesday to discuss the interview.

In a text to the AP on Saturday, Armstrong said: "I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I'll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly. That's all I can say.''

Armstrong stopped at the Livestrong Foundation, which he founded, on his way to the interview and said, "I'm sorry'' to staff members, some of whom broke down in tears. A person with knowledge of that session said Armstrong choked up and several employees cried during the session.

The person also said Armstrong apologized for letting the staff down and putting Livestrong at risk but he did not make a direct confession to using banned drugs. He said he would try to restore the foundation's reputation, and urged the group to continue fighting for the charity's mission of helping cancer patients and their families.

Armstrong spoke to a room full of about 100 staff members for about 20 minutes, expressing regret for everything the controversy has put them through, the person said. He told them how much the foundation means to him and that he considers the people who work there to be like members of his family. None of the people in the room challenged Armstrong over his long denials of doping.

Winfrey and her crew had earlier said they would film Monday's session at Armstrong's home. As a result, local and international news crews were encamped near the cyclist's Spanish-style villa before dawn.

Armstrong still managed to slip away for a run despite the crowds outside his home. He returned by cutting through a neighbour's yard and hopping a fence.

___

Jim Litke reported from Chicago.

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