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USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for illegal steroids.
Armstrong denied offering $250,000 in Winfrey interview
The US Anti-Doping Agency has supported CEO Travis Tygart’s assertion that representatives of Lance Armstrong had attempted to make a donation of some $250,000 to the body in 2004.
During the second part of his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was screened on Friday evening, Armstrong denied that he had made any such offer to USADA. He claimed that if it had occurred, it would have been included in USADA’s Reasoned Decision, which provides rigorous detail on the case against Armstrong.
“Why wasn’t that in there? Pretty big story. Oprah, it’s not true,” Armstrong told Winfrey on Friday evening.
Tygart had spoken of the attempted donation in an interview with “60 Minutes Sports” aired last week, noting that USADA had instantly rejected the offer as a “clear conflict of interest.” The USADA stance contrasted with that of the UCI, which accepted a similar donation from Armstrong of $100,000 towards its anti-doping programme.
In a brief statement on Friday night, USADA stood by Tygart’s account and all of the information provided in the Reasoned Decision. “We stand by the facts both in the Reasoned Decision and in the ‘60 Minutes’ interview,” read the USADA statement.
Armstrong, who has been banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, confessed to doping during each of those victories in the first part of the Winfrey interview, broadcast on Thursday evening.