Lance Armstrong has pulled out of his much anticipated appearance at the One Zero Conference in Dublin on Friday, reportedly citing legal concerns.
Organisers confirmed that no refunds will be made on the tickets to the conference, but said that the American former rider had let many people down with his late withdrawal.
Armstrong was set to be interviewed by Irish journalist Ewan MacKenna, who said that Armstrong had called him numerous times in the lead up to the event, attempting to "buddy up".
He told Ger Gilroy, who conducted a tense interview with Armstrong on his Off The Ball radio show, that he believed Armstrong was trying to be friendly to him, possibly to ensure an easier interview on stage in Dublin.
"For the last few weeks, Lance has suddenly been calling my house in Brazil and it got to the stage where my wife woke me up one morning and said 'Lance Armstrong is on the phone'. It's kind of a situation you'd dream of in the past maybe now you're going 'Oh, Jesus, not again!'", said MacKenna.
"He kind of tried to buddy up. He talked about your interview [with Ger]. I think he was trying to befriend me and make sure the same thing wouldn't happen. I told him I thought he was very ill-prepared for your interview.
"He tried to buddy up over the last couple of weeks. And I played along with it so I was wondering what he was expecting tomorrow if he showed up on stage."
Armstrong is currently embroiled in a $100m civil fraud lawsuit against the US Government, which he says will leave him "on the street" should he lose.
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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