After Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey airs on Thursday, Armstrong could potentially face jail time for perjury.
Armstrong confessed to Oprah–in an interview that was taped on Monday but will air on Thursday–that he had doped throughout his career.
Armstrong has testified, under oath, that he had not used performance-enhancing drugs.
According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Armstrong “has made seven statements under oath in a Dallas court that could lead to criminal charges.”
There has been precedent for a prominent athlete going to jail for perjury. For instance, American sprinter Marion Jones, who won five gold medals at the 2000 Olympics before returning them after admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs, “was jailed for six months for lying under oath about her involvement in the Balco drug scandal.”
Reports indicated that Armstrong, fearful of going to jail, would only confess to having doped if the Justice Department granted him immunity from potential perjury prosecutions. The Justice Department has not commented about whether such discussions took place or whether it will grant Armstrong immunity or pursue charges against him.