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I took drugs, Armstrong tells Oprah

Lance Armstrong has confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke anonymously because the interview is to be broadcast Thursday on TV host Winfrey's network.

Armstrong was stripped of all seven tour titles last year in the wake of a voluminous US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report that portrayed him as a ruthless competitor, willing to go to any lengths to win the prestigious race.

USADA chief executive Travis Tygart labelled the doping regimen allegedly carried out by the US Postal Service team that Armstrong once led "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

After a government 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 programme that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of other performance-enhancers.