Cannondale-Garmn boss Jonathan Vaughters has praised reports of a meeting between Lance Armstrong and US Anti-doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart, according to a report in the Guardian on Wednesday.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Armstrong met with Tygart last week near the Denver Airport. Neither Armstrong nor Tygart would confirm the meeting. While addressing the Tackling Doping in Sport conference in London, Vaughters told the assembled crowd that he doesn't know what the motivations for the meeting were, but he believes it's good news.
"My experiences with Travis have been nothing but positive," Vaughters said, according to The Guardian.
Vaughters also addressed the recent news that Armstrong planned to ride the Tour route this summer as part of a charity event with former footballer Geoff Thomas, who has suffered from cancer. UCI president Brian Cookson condemned the idea.
"I understand that opinion," Vaughters said of Cookson's remarks. "I sincerely hope his reasons for wanting to do that are altruistic. I have no idea what his motivations are. If it’s altruistic then it’s hard to condemn anything altruistic, across the board. If it’s part of a greater commercial strategy or legal strategy, then I feel like that’s disingenuous."
Vaughters also speculated that Armstrong was merely seeking acceptance amongst his former peers.
"One of the biggest penalties that guys face when they are caught for doping is the loss of their social group," Vaughters told the conference, according to the Guardian. "They’re no longer accepted amongst their tribe, their people that they were once close with. He would like social acceptance again. I’m assuming that’s a little bit what he’s after."