Armstrong May Testify Against Cycling Officials

Considered to be the greatest cyclist the world has ever seen, Lance Armstrong, who fell from grace after a massive USADA report accusing him of using and promoting the use of performance enhancing drugs may testify against several powerful people in the sport of cycling who knew about his doping and possibly facilitated it.

It is believed that the disgraced cyclist may open his mouth against officials from the International Cycling Union, the worldwide governing body of cycling, and about their involvement with doping in cycling. Armstrong may however desist from testifying against other riders.

Armstrong was accused by USADA as the mastermind of a long-running scheme that employed anabolic steroids, blood boosters such as EPO, and a range of other performance enhancing drugs.

The Texan rider is also believed to be in discussion with the U.S. Justice Department to possibly testify in a federal whistle-blower case and the cyclist may decide to testify against some of the team owners, including investment banker Thom Weisel, and other officials. The whistle-blower case was filed in 2010 by Floyd Landis against Armstrong and other principals of the Postal Service team wherein Landis claimed that the riders used performance enhancing drugs in violation of its sponsorship contract and defrauded the government.

The recent confession and possible testimony against UCI officials is seen by many as an attempt by Lance Armstrong to rehabilitate his image and compete in triathlons and running events again. The cyclist is presently barred from many of those events because they are sanctioned by organizations that follow the World Anti-Doping Code, the rules under which he is serving his lifetime ban. Last month, Armstrong had a meeting with US Anti-Doping Agency officials, including Travis Tygart, the agency’s chief executive, to discuss how he can get his ban mitigated. Tygart may help the cyclist in getting his ban reduced if he would testify against the people who helped him dope. The list may include names like Pat McQuaid, the president of the cycling union, and Hein Verbruggen, who was the UCI President from 1991 to 2005, when doping in cycling was rampant. Verbruggen is also the cycling union’s honorary president and an honorary member of the IOC.

Anti-doping officials remarked that a televised confession from the cyclist is not enough and he needs to admit his guilt under oath before they can consider whether to lift a lifetime ban clouding his future as a competitive athlete or not. In the last few days, the cyclist has been in touch with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials to spark speculations that he may be willing to cooperate with authorities and name names. A statement was issued by WADA officials that nothing short of ”a full confession under oath” would cause them to reconsider the ban imposed on the disgraced cyclist from sanctioned events. In another development, the world governing body of cycling also urged the cyclist to reveal his story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims that the UCI hid suspicious samples from the cyclist, accepted financial donations from him, and assisted him avoid detection in doping tests.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Armstrong May Testify Against Cycling Officials