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WADA President gives scathing review of Armstrong interview

By:
Jane Aubrey
Published:
January 18, 2013, 8:28 GMT,
Updated:
January 18, 2013, 16:46 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 18, 2013
Race:
Lance Armstrong Oprah Interview
WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.

WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Fahey says: "We learnt nothing new"

World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey has dismissed Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey as "nothing but a public relations exercise."

In a scathing review of the 90-minute program shortly after its airing, Fahey told ABC News 24 in Australia that Armstrong's mode of confession was a calculated move designed so that the Texan would not be faced with tough questions.

"We learnt nothing new," said Fahey. "He refused to give names of the entourage, the officials, the other riders, the source of the drugs which he admitted taking and he indicated at the same time that he harassed and bullied many decent and honest people with litigation and public statements - even though those people were telling the truth.

"If he'd wanted to come clean and seek redemption I would hope that he would seek some appropriate tribunal and give evidence under oath, subject himself to cross-examination and tell the facts. Not just the snippets that he sees is convenient for his own purposes."

During his interview with Winfrey, Armstrong maintained that he never failed a test and that was due to the methods used as the time by anti-doping agencies.

"Testing has evolved," he said explaining that the lack of out-of-competition testing effectively allowed him to past dope tests.
Fahey said that it was not a valid excuse.

"Don't be taken by this ‘I never tested positive'," he warned. "The simple fact of the matter is that unless there is a sample taken, blood or urine, in close proximity to the substance being put into the body you're not going to get caught."

Fahey told the news channel that he earlier had hope that Armstrong would speak to the likes of USADA following discussions a few weeks ago and that the Texan's choice to "go down the path of a public relations exercise on television" had not improved his opinion of the former cyclist.

"I think he's a very confused person," said Fahey. "When someone justifies all of the wrongs that he did on the basis that everyone else was doing it and when someone gives the impression as I distinctly got that the biggest mistake that he ever made in all of this was to come back in 2009 and 2010 and had he not made that comeback he might have got away with it. That tells me that he regrets all the occurred because he got caught. I don't see him as being anyone of character at all. I see him being as he now admits he is and that is a liar, a bully and a cheat."

 

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