CHICAGO -- He did it. He finally admitted it. Lance Armstrong doped.
He was light on the details and didn't name names. He mused that he might not have been caught if not for his comeback in 2009. And he was certain his "fate was sealed" when longtime friend, training partner and trusted lieutenant George Hincapie, who was along for the ride on all seven of Armstrong's Tour de France wins from 1999-2005, was forced to give him up to anti-doping authorities.
But right from the start and more than two dozen times during the first of a two-part interview Thursday night with Oprah Winfrey on her OWN network, the disgraced former cycling champion acknowledged what he had lied about repeatedly for years, and what had been one of the worst-kept secrets for the better part of a week: He was the ringleader of an elaborate doping scheme on a U.S. Postal Service team that swept him to the top of the podium at the Tour de France time after time.
Wearing a blue blazer and open-neck shirt, Armstrong was direct and matter-of-fact, neither pained nor defensive. He looked straight ahead. There were no tears and few laughs.
He dodged few questions and refused to implicate anyone else, even as he said it was humanly impossible to win seven straight Tours without doping.
After the fact: Not once but twice after he supposedly discovered his online girlfriend of three years never even existed, Notre Dame All-American linebacker Manti Te'o perpetuated the heartbreaking story about her death.
On Thursday, a day after Te'o's inspiring, playing-through-heartache story was exposed as a bizarre lie, Te'o and Notre Dame faced questions from sports writers and fans about whether he really was duped, as he claimed, or whether he and the university were complicit in the hoax and misled the public, perhaps to improve his chances of winning the Heisman.
Arians hired: The Arizona Cardinals filled the NFL's final head coaching vacancy by hiring Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
The team confirmed the hiring in a release, saying Arians received a four-year contract with a club option for a fifth year.
Browns add Turner: The Cleveland Browns named Norv Turner their new offensive coordinator on Thursday.
Turner, fired by the Chargers as head coach earlier this month, led San Diego to a 59-43 record in six years with three division titles. He also was head coach of the Washington Redskins (1994-2000) and Oakland Raiders (2004-05).
New Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski expects Turner to make a big impact on that side of the ball, and the Browns can use the help. Cleveland went 5-11 last year and scored just 302 points.
Bradley joins Jags: The Jacksonville Jaguars have an energetic head coach to go along with their brash general manager.
The Jaguars hired Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as the franchise's fifth head coach Thursday.
New coordinator: The San Diego Chargers hired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt to serve as the team's offensive coordinator. New Chargers coach Mike McCoy lauded Whisenhunt's experience with the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, saying Whisenhunt has a "very creative mind" and will be a great asset for San Diego.
Djokovic advances: Novak Djokovic absorbed plenty of pressure from Radek Stepanek before advancing to the fourth round of the Australian Open. Djokovic broke the 34-year-old, 34th-ranked Stepanek late in each set of a 6 -4, 6-3, 7-5 win Friday, extending his winning streak to 17 matches at the Australian Open.
In the next match on Rod Laver Arena, Maria Sharapova beat Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in an unexpectedly lopsided third-round result.
Voting announced: Kobe Bryant was voted to his NBA-record 15th consecutive All-Star start, leading four Los Angeles players into next month's game.
Lakers teammate Dwight Howard and the Clippers' Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will join Bryant in the Western Conference lineup for the Feb. 17 game in Houston. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant rounds out the five.
Kevin Garnett held off Chris Bosh in fan balloting, giving the East two Boston Celtics and two Miami Heat players. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will represent the Heat and receive passes from Rajon Rondo. New York's Carmelo Anthony is the other starter.