independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

‘Armstrong wants to clean up cycling,’ says anti-doping boss

The US Anti-Doping Agency has announced Lance Armstrong wants to "assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling" and has given the disgraced cyclist a two-week extension to co-operate with investigators.

Armstrong had been given until yesterday to confess all under oath after admitting to doping during each of his seven Tour de France triumphs in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.

However, USADA has set a new deadline.

Chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement: "We have been in communication with Mr Armstrong and his representatives and we understand that he does want to be part of the solution and assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling.

"We have agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on details to hopefully allow for this to happen."

USADA revealed last year that Armstrong had led "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen".

The UCI, cycling's world governing body, stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles - none of which were reassigned - and he was banned from sport for life.

Armstrong told Winfrey he would "be the first man through the door" to take part in a truth and reconciliation hearing.

And in an email interview with cyclingnews.com, the American was adamant a truth and reconciliation commission is the only way forward for all endurance sports.

"It's not the best way, it's the only way," he said.

"As much as I'm the eye of the storm this is not about one man, one team, one director.

"This is about cycling and to be frank it's about ALL endurance sports."

Armstrong stated the UCI should not be involved in a TRC, believing the World Anti-Doping Agency should lead it.

Asked why WADA and not USADA should run the process, Armstrong said: "No brainer. This is a global sport not an American one. One thing I'd add - the UCI has no place at the table.

"When I was on speaking terms with ol' Pat McQuaid (the UCI president) many, many months ago I said, 'Pat, you better think bold here. A full-blown, global, TRC is our sport's best solution.' He wanted to hear nothing of it."

Meanwhile, Armstrong is facing a lawsuit after SCA promotions announced its intention to recoup the bonuses paid to the Texan when he won his fourth, fifth and sixth Tours.

SCA lawyer Jeff Dorough said: "I can now confirm we intend to file a suit against Mr Armstrong first thing on Thursday morning."

 

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