AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong’s lawyers say the cyclist will talk more about drug use in the sport, just likely not to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that led the effort to strip him of his Tour de France titles.
USADA’s response to that: “The time for excuses is over.”
The letters, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, underscore the continuing feud between Armstrong and USADA CEO Travis Tygart, the man who spearheaded the investigation that uncovered a complex doping scheme on Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service teams.
Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories were taken away last year and he was banned for life from the sport.
His most realistic avenue toward that might be telling USADA everything he knows in a series of interviews the agency wants started no later than Feb. 6.
That seems unlikely.
Armstrong attorney Tim Herman responded to USADA’s first letter, sent Wednesday, by saying his client’s schedule is already full, and besides, “in order to achieve the goal of ‘cleaning up cycling,’ it must be WADA and the (International Cycling Union) who have overall authority to do so.”
“Why would we cooperate (with USADA)?” Herman said in a telephone interview. “USADA isn’t interested in cleaning up cycling. Lance has said, ‘I’ll be the first guy in the chair when cycling is on trial, truthfully, under oath, in every gory detail.’ I think he’s going testify where it could actually do some good: With the body that’s charged with cleaning up cycling,” Herman said.
“Regardless, and with or without Mr. Armstrong’s help, we will move forward with our investigation for the good of clean athletes and the future of sport,” Bock’s letter reads.
The letters confirm a Dec. 14 meeting in Denver involving Armstrong, Tygart and their respective attorneys, which is when, in Tygart’s words, Armstrong should have started thinking about a possible meeting with USADA.