Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Lance Armstrong won’t cooperate with a probe into performance-enhancing drug use in cycling by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency because it’s too narrowly focused, his attorney said in a statement.
Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France championships in August and banned for life from Olympic-level sports by Colorado Springs, Colorado-based USADA, had until today to agree to testify before the organization in hopes of having the length of his ban reduced.
“Lance will not participate in USADA’s efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95% of the sport over which USADA has no jurisdiction,” Armstrong’s attorney Tim Herman said in an e-mailed statement.
USADA on Feb. 6 gave Armstrong an additional two weeks to work on details that would allow his testimony. Travis Tygart, the chief executive officer of USADA, said in a statement today that the World Anti-Doping Agency told Armstrong that working with the U.S. organization was the proper avenue for him.
“Lance is willing to cooperate fully and has been very clear: He will be the first man through the door, and once inside will answer every question, at an international tribunal formed to comprehensively address pro cycling, an almost exclusively European sport,” Herman’s statement said. “We remain hopeful that an international effort will be mounted, and we will do everything we can to facilitate that result.”
Armstrong said last month in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he cheated during each of his Tour de France victories from 1999-2005, calling his cycling career “one big lie.”
Armstrong declined to speak about other people’s involvement in his doping activities during his interview with Winfrey. He and his U.S. Postal Service cycling team conducted “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” USADA said in October when releasing a 1,000-page report detailing its finds.
Armstrong said in an interview with Cyclingnews published Jan. 30 that he’s been made into a scapegoat for drug use and that a truth-and-reconciliation panel is “the only way” to move forward, and that it needs to be run by WADA.
Armstrong is the richest cheater to be stripped of a championship or Olympic medal for doping, having made more than $218 million during his cycling career.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com