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Vaughters praises meeting between Armstrong and Tygart

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Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters at the team presentation

Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters at the team presentation
(Image credit: Casey Gibson/Garmin)
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Lance Armstrong and his US Postal teammate Jonathan Vaughters training together before the 1999 Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong and his US Postal teammate Jonathan Vaughters training together before the 1999 Tour de France.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Brian Cookson was on hand for the first women's World Cup of the year.

Brian Cookson was on hand for the first women's World Cup of the year.
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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The media scrum assembles outside the Garmin-Sharp team bus at the Tour de France the morning a news story broke alledging that team boss Jonathan Vaughters plus riders Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie had testified in USADA's investigation of Lance Armstrong.

The media scrum assembles outside the Garmin-Sharp team bus at the Tour de France the morning a news story broke alledging that team boss Jonathan Vaughters plus riders Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie had testified in USADA's investigation of Lance Armstrong.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong at the Dauphine in 2004

Lance Armstrong at the Dauphine in 2004
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Garmin-Sharp team boss Jonathan Vaughters speaks to the press prior to the start of Tour de France stage 5.

Garmin-Sharp team boss Jonathan Vaughters speaks to the press prior to the start of Tour de France stage 5.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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."