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January 18th, 2013
11:03 AM ET

Can Armstrong repair his image? Cyclist Nicole Cooke, WSJ's Reed Albergotti & agent Drew Rosenhaus weigh in

In a gripping interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday night, now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong came clean about using performance enhancing drugs. Armstrong said that through most of through most his cycling career he had multiple blood transfusions in addition to using a cocktail of drugs, including testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone and the blood booster EPO. The interview in which Armstrong did not get deep into the details of how exactly he doped and who assisted him is set to continue on Winfrey's OWN cable network on Friday night.

Cyclist and 2008 Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke, legal reporter for the Wall Street Journal Reed Albergotti, and sports agent Drew Rosenhaus weigh in on whether it is possible for him to rehabilitate his image.

In order for cycling to move forward Cooke says Armstrong has to “definitely” come clean. On Armstrong’s interview with the TV legend, Cooke says, “we haven’t even scratched the surface.” She adds, “Oprah isn’t an expert on the ins and outs of cycling and what happens with the anti-doping.” Cooke went on to say that she hopes Armstrong “can be put under oath and actually have to answer those hard questions.”

In order for Armstrong to get back in the public eye and have any credibility Rosenhaus says he has to “come completely clean, be totally remorseful, absolutely apologetic.” He adds that the disgraced cyclist “can not continue to be defiant. He’s got to lay it all out there publicly and privately with these agencies.” Rosenhaus says by doing these things Armstrong “has a chance to start over again and get a fresh start.”

With lawsuits and threats of legal action against Armstrong many wondered if his public statement would help him but Albergotti says, “I don’t think it does at all.” He adds, “I think they’re going to look at this and they’re going to say great you know at least we have the doping admission.” Albergotti adds, “they’re going to continue forward saying well look you admitted to this in a contract with the U.S. Postal Service – you swore that you would not dope and you would not break the rules of cycling. You violated – you’ve got to pay back that money.” Money that he says could make him liable for roughly $100 million.

Filed under: Cheating • Drug culture • Drugs • Sports
January 11th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

Will Lance Armstrong admit to doping during his 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey?

Many people are sitting on pins and needles as they wait to see if Lance Armstrong will admit to doping when he sits down to talk to Oprah next week. The former cycling superstar is doing his first interview since he was stripped of seven Tour De France titles and banned from cycling for life. This morning host of CNN's Reliable Sources and Washington Bureau Chief at Newsweek- Daily Beast Howard Kurtz and Daily Beast contributor and Editor in Chief of the Daily Download Lauren Ashburn join “Starting Point” to discuss whether they think Armstrong will use that interview to admit he took performance-enhancing drugs for years.

Ashburn says that while she believes Armstrong will confess to doping during his interview with Oprah, the talk show queen no longer has the cultural clout she used to have. Kurtz agrees but says, “she is still Oprah Winfrey and … [Armstrong] sees that he has to go to the “church of Oprah” and seek absolution.” Ashburn says she is looking forward to seeing Armstrong “sit there for and hour and a half and seeing his body language [and] what his eyes look like.” “This interview could be as important for Oprah Winfrey in trying to get back on the cultural map as it will be for Lance Armstrong,” says Kurtz.

Filed under: Drug culture • Drugs • Entertainment • Sports • TV
June 19th, 2012
01:37 PM ET

Author Don Winslow wrote on stakeouts, worked as private investigator to capture Calif. drug culture in new book 'The Kings of Cool'

You may have heard of the new Oliver Stone's movie "Savages," about two drug-dealing friends who must fight to save the woman they both love from a Mexican cartel.

The movie itself is adapted from a widely praised crime novel of the same name, written by Don Winslow. For more than a decade he has been researching and writing about the war on drugs and drug culture. To get the story, he worked as a private investigator and then for the State Department, even writing parts of his book while on stakeouts.

His research was compiled in his new book, "The Kings of Cool," which is a prequel to "Savages." Winslow explains on "Starting Point" how he was inspired to write the books.

Filed under: Drug culture • Music