Travis Tygart, CEO of US Anti-doping Agency (USADA), has reiterated that he and the anti-doping agency will strive to protect the rights of clean athletes. The statement comes after the criminal case investigating Lance Armstrong and US Postal team was closed on Friday with no charges being brought against either party. Armstrong has always maintained his innocence as a rider, saying he has never taken performance enhancing drugs. He welcomed the news that no charges would be filed.
The closure of the federal case's timing appears to have taken many by surprise but when Cyclingnews reached Tygart in his office on Super Bowl Sunday, he said that every task would be carried out to uncover if any doping rules had been broken. The FDA was concentrating on charges of fraud, not doping.
"Clean athletes and those that value the integrity of sport can rest assured that USADA will leave no stone unturned to obtain the evidence to reveal the truth, whatever that truth may be in our investigation of the doping allegations in the sport of cycling," Tygart told Cyclingnews.
"Our job is to search for the truth and we'll work to ensure that the rules of the sport are upheld and that clean athletes do not have their rights violated by those that cheat with dangerous drugs."
Tygart would not comment on any specifics of an investigation into cycling. However, the next steps would involve USADA requesting any material or evidence they lacked from the United States Attorney's office in Los Angeles.
During the investigation several witnesses met with both Federal agents and USADA, however some information would not have been shared as present - namely testimonies made in front of the Grand Jury.
A question mark may remain over the statute of limitations however a recent independent arbitration case suggests that although doping allegations date from 1999 to 2004, USADA would pursue a case if evidence warranted it.
Eddy Hellebuyck's case was resolved earlier this month but dated back to offences between 2001 and 2004. At that time, Tygart issuing the following statement: "We are pleased the Panel has upheld the fundamental principle of fairness for clean athletes. This decision sends a clear message that you can’t use performance enhancing drugs to cheat, conceal your violations, and when the truth is revealed, attempt to hide behind the statute of limitations."
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