Armstrong Has Evidence Against UCI, Says Tygart

Travis Tygart wants disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to come forward with information detailing the alleged complicity of the governing body of cycling in his doping.

Speaking at a French government hearing in Paris to discuss ways to improve the fight against doping, Tygart said he had “evidence of the UCI’s involvement in this affair,” and Lance could hold the key to revealing the extent of that involvement.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from elite sport for life after a damning report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency on systematic doping by Armstrong and his teams. The UCI, cycling’s governing body, has been accused of covering up suspicious samples from the cyclist and accepting financial donations from him and helping him avoid detection in doping tests.

“Armstrong led us to believe — during the course of our interaction with him — that he had evidence of their complicity in this situation, and of course we’ve developed additional information that will come out through our process, that I can’t comment on right now,” Tygart said in an interview. The USADA chief hopes Armstrong changes his mind and details what happened during his reign as the undisputed superstar of cycling.

Tygart said after speaking before the Senate that he is hopeful at some point Lance will come in and be truthful and added that he could provide a lot of information.

In a statement, the UCI said it categorically rejects allegations of collusion and said the fact is that Tygart has no evidence of any wrongdoing and has chosen to make headlines on a convenient interpretation of a conversation he had with Lance Armstrong. The UCI, in the statement, added that Tygart should establish the facts before jumping to conclusions and the governing body of cycling welcomes any assistance and clarification that Lance Armstrong may wish to give Tygart on the matter.

Tygart thinks there is still much more to come after Armstrong openly confessed to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January and said we are hopeful that (the UCI) are going to take decisive action and we’re fully prepared to participate in a meaningful process, not a setup, a self-scripted outcome. The anti-doping chief answered many questions concerning the UCI’s alleged role in covering up doping practices by Armstrong. He said the UCI was clearly aware of several (suspicious) samples returned by the cyclist in the 2001 Tour of Switzerland and 2002 Dauphine Libere race, and the six positive EPO samples from the 1999 Tour — first reported by sports daily L’Equipe in 2005 — but had failed to proceed on any of this data. He went on to add that 30 percent of samples from the 2010 Tour were not tested for the blood-booster EPO and said these holes give dirty athletes a runway to fly their planes through.

In a separate briefing, Tygart told reporters that the only decisive action they’ve made is to disband the independent commission right at the moment when the independent commission was finally taking off the blinders and undoing the handcuffs to truly act independent.

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