Lance Armstrong is poised to perform one of the best remarkable U-turns in the history of sport and admit that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs, it has been reported.
It has been claimed by the New York Times that Armstrong has already held preliminary discussions with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) about the situation and is also seeking to talk to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Until now, Armstrong has always fiercely denied that he had used drugs during his career.
The newspaper reported that Armstrong, 41, has told friends and associates he may make the admission in hopes of USADA to allow him to resume competition in athletic events, including triathlons and marathons, that adhere to the WADA code, under which Armstrong is currently subject to a lifetime ban.
Asked if Armstrong might admit to doping, Armstrong’s lawyer Tim Herman told the New York Times: “Lance has to speak for himself on that.”
The newspaper, quoting an anonymous source, said Armstrong has been in discussions with the USADA and met with Travis Tygart, the agency’s chief executive. They also claimed that Armstrong wanted to hold talks with David Howman, the director general of the WADA.
Herman, though, denied his client had talked with Tygart, according to the New York Times.
The report in the New York Times was written by journalist Juliet Macur, who is currently working a book on Armstrong’s downfall, Cycle of Lies, which is due to be published later this year.
WADA responded to the report by claiming that it was open to talks with Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after he was banned for life by USADA in August following his refusal to defend himself against accusations that he had used performance-enhancing drugs between 1998 and 2008.
“To date, WADA has 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.
The USADA report on the Armstrong claimed that he had been involved in the “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” involving anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, blood transfusions and other doping.
It has been claimed that wealthy supporters of Livestrong, the cancer charity Armstrong helped found, have been seeking to convince Armstrong to come forward to clear his conscience and spare the organization from further damage, the New York Times claimed.
Austin, Texas-based Livestrong was launched in 2003 by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which the cyclist founded in 1997, a year after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
In October, he stepped down from his post as chairman of the Board, saying he did not want the doping controversy to affect the organization.
A few weeks later, he quit the Board outright.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Inside the Games is a blog of the London Organizing Committee that helped put on the recent Summer Olympics. This article is reprinted here with permission of the authors of the blog.