USADA Chief Slams Door Shut On Armstrong

Travis Tygart, the CEO of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has remarked that he has now closed any door of chance for Lance Armstrong cooperating with the agency and getting his life ban reduced.

Tygart, speaking at a seminar at the Ulleval Stadium in the capital of Norway, said Armstrong told him prior to Thanksgiving that he was not interested in speaking to the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA chief went on to add that the banned cyclist could have done good to image of cycling if he had come all clean when he was first charged by the anti-doping agency.

Armstrong was in discussion with USADA about speaking under oath and remarked that he would be open to speak before UCI’s independent commission but does not want the United States Anti-Doping Agency to get involved.

Former US Postal Service rider, Steffen Kjærgaard, may be called as one of the witnesses called for testifying against former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel. Kjærgaard admitted to doping and was a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the 2000 and 2001 editions of the Tour de France. He also spoke at the seminar at the Ulleval Stadium.

In January this year, Lance Armstrong made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey talk show and admitted to doping. The cyclist however refrained from admitting that he used performance enhancing drugs after his return to the sport in 2009, as claimed by USADA in its reasoned decision.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency disclosed that the USPS Team doping conspiracy was designed professionally for pressuring and grooming athletes to make use of dangerous drugs and evade detection while ensuring secrecy of superior doping practices to gain an unfair competitive advantage. USADA’s reasoned decision was supported by different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence and testimonies from Armstrong’s former teammates: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

Armstrong also denied before Oprah that the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, and its then President Hein Verbruggen, had helped him cover up his doping. He however claimed last month that Verbruggen had been complicit in a bogus and the backdated prescription for a saddle sore cream for covering up a positive test for a corticosteroid in the 1999 Tour de France.

Meanwhile, wife of Frankie Andreu has questioned the motives of Armstrong for his apparent contrition. Betsy Andreu remarked the disgraced cyclist is still trying to manipulate the situation to his advantage and was acting out of self-interest. She added nothing has changed with Lance and he is still desperately trying to control the narrative but the problem for him is not many are listening. Betsy also noted that Lance has a history of reaching out to people before key legal dates and said she believes that Armstrong’s episodes of reaching out to the likes of ex-pro cyclists Christophe Bassons and Filippo Simeoni are influenced by a court appointment in the whistleblower case and the arbitration hearing of Bruyneel.

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