Lance Armstrong won't meet with USADA, attorney says
Lance Armstrong listens as he is interviewed by talk show host Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas on Jan. 14. / AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, File, Inc., George Burns
AUSTIN Lance Armstrong's attorney says the cyclist won't interview under oath with a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency official who wanted Armstrong to tell them all he knows about doping.
Travis Tygart comes face to face with Lance Armstrong
The agency has said Armstrong's cooperation in its cleanup effort is the only path open to Armstrong if his lifetime ban from sports is to be reduced
USADA officials had said Armstrong must speak with them if he hoped to reduce his lifetime ban from sports. Wednesday was the deadline for him to agree to interview.
After more than two months of negotiations with USADA, Armstrong attorney Tim Herman now says Armstrong won't participate in a process designed "only to demonize selected individuals."
USADA director Travis Tygart told CBS last month that he had spoken with Armstrong and hoped he would cooperate with their investigation.
"We encouraged him, because we know he has information about others who helped him perpetuate this fraud, to come forward and help us clean up this sport once and for all," Tygart said. "I think if he is truly sorry for what he has done, he will help us clean up sport."
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In a statement today, Tygart expressed his disappointment that Armstrong had decided not to meet with USADA and emphasized that the organization will continue their mission.
Lance Armstrong's doping denials through the years
"At this time we are moving forward with our investigation without him and we will continue to work closely with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and other appropriate and responsible international authorities to fulfill our promise to clean athletes to protect their right to compete on a drug free playing field."
Armstrong said previously he was willing to participate in an international effort to clean up cycling.
For years, Armstrong denied using performance-enhancing drugs. But in January admitted doping to win seven Tour de France titles -which already had been stripped by USADA after a lengthy investigation.
Armstrong is facing several legal challenges, and testifying under oath to USADA could have exposed him to further troubles.
Armstrong was the subject of a two-year federal criminal investigation that was dropped in February with no charges filed, but the Department of Justice is still considering whether to join a federal whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis.
Armstrong also has been sued by Dallas-based SCA Promotions to recover more than $12 million in bonuses. He also has been sued by The Sunday Times in London to recover a libel judgment that Armstrong won against the paper.
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