Oprah Winfrey has said Lance Armstrong did "not come clean in the manner I had expected" in their interview about the disgraced cyclist's doping history.

Armstrong sat down for an interview with Winfrey after a "tearful" confession to workers at the Livestrong Foundation he co-founded, where he is believed to have admitted to lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

"I think the entire interview was difficult for Lance Armstrong," Oprah told CBS This Morning.

oprah winfrey lance armstrong

Armstrong and Winfrey during their interview

"I would say he did not come clean in the manner I had expected. It was surprising to me.

“Emotional doesn't begin to describe the intensity or difficulty Lance experienced during the interview. He brought it. He had certainly prepared himself and was pretty forthcoming. He met the moment."

Wearing a light purple shirt with jeans and a jacket, Armstrong did not appear to wear a Livestrong wristband which was once ubiquitous on the peloton.

Oprah added Armstrong "answered the questions in a way that he was ready" and said she was “satisfied” but "exhausted" after the two-and-a-half-hour interview.

During a break in the interview, Armstrong even asked his interviewer, “Will there be a point where you lighten up?”

Oprah also revealed she will air the Armstrong interview in two nights because it’s “impossible” to cut it down, and so secretive was the tête-à-tête she “hand carried” the tapes of the interview in her bag with dog food.

Armstrong visited Oprah in Maui over the Christmas holidays about the possibility of an interview, with the media proprietor asking her guests to leave in order to hear him out.

Oprah requested no lawyers be allowed in the interview, although a team of people were present for the conversation.