Fallen cycling legend Lance Armstrong took a major legal risk in confessing to drug use in a television interview and has exposed himself to significant litigation, lawyers warned on Friday.

Armstrong already faced several potential lawsuits from former teammates and sponsors who claim they were hurt by his doping and by his ferocious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to cover it up.

Yet by appearing with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and bluntly admitting to taking a cocktail of banned substances over a decade and a half while bullying those around him, he may have put more than his reputation at risk. Armstrong’s admission of guilt could force him to pay substantial out-of-court settlements to many of his detractors, and may encourage US authorities to add their weight to one of the most serious cases against him.

Meanwhile, his aggressive demeanor and perceived lack of contrition in the interview could turn judges and jurors against him if cases come to court.— AFP

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper