The champion cyclist Lance Armstrong could lose a lot more, including personal freedom, than his tattered reputation if he confesses to doping in a TV show with Oprah Winfrey this week.
The threats to Armstrong's liberty arise from his tenure in the US team, where he spent his most successful years. He faces charges for making fraudulent statements. He could also be accused of lying over disclosures to a federal jury in 2005 and in case of conviction, each such statement could result in a 5-five year jail.
Armstrong had always refuted the doping charges against him, but in August last, he did not contest the charges by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that he was a serial drugs cheat. But his profile as a cancer survivor who raised awareness and money to fight the disease, is likely to spare him the worst possible outcome.