TAIPEI (AFP) - A Taiwanese news group on Wednesday released its cheeky take on the Lance Armstrong scandal with an animation of the disgraced cyclist turning into a vampire during his "interview" with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.
Next Media's irreverent two-minute cartoon depicts Armstrong being interviewed at his Texas mansion wearing a Tour de France shirt before morphing into a bloodsucker complete with Dracula cape but still wearing a cycling helmet.
The cartoon shows empty spaces on the wall and sideboard where Armstrong's trophies and winner's T-shirts were once displayed before he was stripped of his titles after the doping scandal.
"Has anyone ever tried to see things from the perspective of disgraced athletes like Armstrong?" the narrator asks tongue-in-cheek after a sequence showing an apparently drug-fuelled Armstrong riding to victory on a bicycle that bursts into flames.
"They probably all have perfectly good excuses such as needing steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to make money to save sick children," she says as the vampire Armstrong leads a shocked Ms Winfrey on a tour of his hidden laboratory populated by animated steroids and a syringe-headed athlete.
Ms Winfrey has said Armstrong "came clean" on his use of banned drugs in the eagerly awaited interview to be aired on Friday.
The interview was Armstrong's first since he was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency put him at the heart of the greatest sports doping scandal in history.
For a decade, he had vigorously denied using banned substances to win his way into the history books after battling cancer.