CNN Acquires Lance Armstrong Doping Doc (Video)

The Australian film, "The World According to Lance Armstrong," includes footage of a 2005 deposition on drug use as well as allegations that some sponsors may have been complicit in the cyclist's cover-up.

Exposed in a systemic doping scheme, stripped of his Tour de France titles, dropped by sponsors (like Nike) and banned for life from cycling, Lance Armstrong has gone from hero to pariah. And while the dark turns seem to have scuttled the more aspirational planned Hollywood projects, it has increased interest in the stories of whistleblowers and former teammates and spurred renewed interest from news organizations.

On Sunday, CBS News’ 60 Minutes updated its 2011 piece – vehemently disputed by Armstrong at the time – that centered on an interview with Armstrong teammate Tyler Hamilton who said he saw Armstrong inject EPO.

STORY: Lance Armstrong Stripped of Tour de France Titles, Banned for Life by UCI

Now CNN has acquired the highly critical Australian documentary The World According to Lance Armstrong, which it will broadcast Saturday at 9 p.m. 

Reported by journalist Quentin McDermott for Australian TV’s Four Corners news program, the documentary includes assertions from former friends Betsy and Frankie Andreu that Armstrong admitted during treatment for cancer that he used a long list of banned substances.

The documentary also includes footage of Armstrong’s only deposition, given in 2005, in response to a lawsuit by an insurer that resisted awarding Armstrong bonuses for his Tour de France triumphs. The company, Texas-based SCA Promotions, was contracted to pay Armstrong $5 million for winning the Tour. Armstrong prevailed in the suit, and SCA was compelled to pay the bonuses and Armstrong’s legal fees for a total of $12 million, according to an article in Texas Monthly.

The company is now “considering all legal options” to recoup the money.

STORY: Lance Armstrong Fired by Nike, Steps Down From Livestrong

The documentary also includes interviews with Hamilton and longtime Armstrong critic Greg Lemond -- a three-time Tour winner -- who plays for McDermott what he says is a secretly taped phone call between him and a marketing executive that suggests some sponsors might have felt pressured to cover up for Armstrong’s doping to protect their own corporate images.

The World According to Lance Armstrong will air again on CNN on Oct. 27 at midnight and 3 a.m. ET.


Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie