The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency says Lance Armstrong hasn’t approached the organization after the New York Times reported the cyclist is considering admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs.
The Times said today that Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and barred for life from competing in Olympic sports, is talking to associates and anti- doping officials about a public admission to restore his competitive eligibility. The newspaper cited people with knowledge of the discussions.
WADA Director General David Howman said in an e-mailed statement today that the organization has “read with interest” the article but has yet to hear from Armstrong.
“To date, WADA had had no official approach from Mr. Armstrong or his legal representatives, but -- as with anyone involved in anti-doping violations -- it would welcome any discussion that helps in the fight against doping in sport,” Howman said.
Armstrong was banned for life from competing in sanctioned events by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which cited a career “fueled from start to finish by doping” when it released a 202-page summary of its investigation into the rider and the U.S. Postal Service cycling team on Oct. 10.
Armstrong, who has denied using performance-enhancing drugs and blood infusions to further his cycling career, lost his titles on Aug. 23 after he declined to take the USADA case to arbitration.
Armstrong has been in discussions with the USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart as he tries to get the lifetime ban reduced, the Times said, citing a person familiar with the situation.
Tim Herman, Armstrong’s attorney, denied his client was talking to Tygart and said he said he didn’t have knowledge of Armstrong’s decision to admit to doping, according to the newspaper. Both Herman and the USADA didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment today.
According to the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete may be eligible for a reduced punishment if he confesses and details his doping. He also must say who helped him and how he got away with doping.