Despite his life-time ban remaining in place, Lance Armstrong has thanked Cycling Independent Reform Commission for a chance to cooperate.
Armstrong met with CIRC on two separate occasions in 2014 with the aim of securing a recommendation in the reduction of the lifetime ban handed down to him by USADA in 2012. In a statement issued hours before CIRC’s findings were made public, Armstrong released a statement: “I am grateful to CIRC for seeking the truth and allowing me to assist in that search. I am deeply sorry for many things I have done.”
“However, it is my hope that revealing the truth will lead to a bright, dope-free future for the sport I love, and will allow all young riders emerging from small towns throughout the world in years to come to chase their dreams without having to face the lose-lose choices that so many of my friends, teammates and opponents faced. I hope that all riders who competed and doped can feel free to come forward and help the tonic of truth heal this great sport.”
Despite reports that Armstrong only answered pre-arranged questions, his attorney stated that the banned athlete cooperated fully with the member of the CIRC panel.
Lance’s sole interest in doing so was to facilitate the emergence of the truth about cycling. While Lance has borne the brunt of anti-doping enforcement efforts and attendant negative publicity (and consequences), the truth is that the sport he encountered in Europe in the 1990s was a cesspool where doctors, coaches and riders participated daily in doping and covering up doping. Young riders on elite teams competing in Europe faced a simple choice: dope and lie about it or accept that you could not compete clean.”
Both Armstrong his legal counsel claimed not to have read the full CIRC report before its publication. The 228-page report highlights several areas of concern regarding the relationship between Armstrong and former UCI presidents Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen.