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Armstrong refuses to confess to USADA

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 26, 2013, 12:23 GMT,
Updated:
January 26, 2013, 12:37 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 26, 2013
Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration

Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration

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Tygart says the investigations are moving forward

Lance Armstrong's legal team has indicated that the disgraced former rider is ready to reveal more about the doping he did during his career but has made it clear he will not give detailed evidence to USADA – the United States Anti-Doping Agency - whose detailed investigation led to Armstrong's downfall.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart is due to appear on a special CBS 60 minutes programme on Sunday evening to respond to Armstrong's confession on Oprah Winfrey last week. USADA has confirmed to the media that Tygart met with Armstrong in December and talked about a detailed confession but has given Armstrong until February 6 to talk.

Armstrong's lawyer Timothy Herman confirmed USADA's request but told the Associated Press that "logistically, it is simply not possible" to do in the next two weeks "due to pre-existing obligations." It is not clear what obligations Armstrong has.

Herman wrote that Armstrong is more likely to cooperate with international sports authorities -- specifically the Union Cycliste Internationale, rather than USADA, claiming it does not have global jurisdiction over sport.

"USADA has no authority to investigate, prosecute or otherwise involve itself with the other 95% of cycling competitors," Herman claimed. "Thus, in order to achieve the goal of 'cleaning up cycling,' it must be WADA and the UCI who have overall authority to do so."

USADA worked with Interpol and other anti-doping associations around the world to snare Armstrong and force other riders to confess and testify. It has also banned Dr Michele Ferrari and other doctors who worked with Armstrong and the US Postal Service Team. The UCI ratified USADA's bans after studying the 1000 pages of evidence.

Long-running battle

Armstrong and Tygart have been locked in a battle for a long time. In a preview segment of the CBS 60 minutes interview, Tygart criticised Armstrong for claiming he competed on a level playing field and that he didn’t think he was cheating more than any other athletes at the time.

Tygart said that even if others also took performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong "was on an entirely different playing field" given how much "inside information" and "special access" he had.

"No real athlete has to look up the definition of cheating," Tygart said, in an excerpt of the interview posted online. "It's offensive to clean athletes who are out there, working hard, to play by the rules that apply to their sport."

According to AP, USADA attorney William Bock sent a letter to Armstrong, urging him to work with USADA and WADA –the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"Regardless, and with or without Mr. Armstrong's help, we will move forward with our investigation for the good of clean athletes and the future of sport," Bock's letter reads, according to AP.

"He has been given a deadline of February 6th to determine whether he plans to come in and be part of the solution," Tygart said in a statement. "Either way, USADA is moving forward with our investigation on behalf of clean athletes."
 

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