Former cyclist Lance Armstrong has said he will not agree to be interviewed under oath by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA).
Lance Armstrong, 41, admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs during his seven of his Tour de France wins in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
By speaking to USADA, Lance Armstrong would have been eligible to have a lifetime ban overturned.
But a statement said the former cyclist “will not participate in prosecutions… that only demonize selected individuals”.
Lance Armstrong was initially given until February 6 to meet USADA officials but was allowed a further two weeks to decide whether to be interviewed.
His statement, released by his attorney Tim Herman, said he is willing to help with the investigation but will not be interviewed by USADA.
It added: “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.
“We remain hopeful that an international effort will be mounted, and we will do everything we can to facilitate that result.
“In the meantime, for several reasons, 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.”
Lance Armstrong has said he will not agree to be interviewed under oath by the USADA
Lance Armstrong was charged by USADA in June 2012 with using performance-enhancing drugs.
He filed a lawsuit against the organisation the following month, accusing them of “corrupt inducements” to other cyclists to testify against him.
However, Lance Armstrong then announced in August that he would not fight the doping charges filed against him, and was given a life ban by USADA and stripped of his Tour de France titles.
The findings were accepted by the International Cycling Union.
Lance Armstrong, who retired from cycling in 2005 but returned to the sport between 2009 and 2012, has called for a ‘truth and reconciliation commission’ overseen by the World Anti-Doping Agency to look into the issue of doping in the sport.
Lance Armstrong will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, amid reports that he might publicly admit to doping.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the sport’s governing body, following a report by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network said the 90-minute interview would address “years of accusations of cheating”.
Lance Armstrong has maintained his innocence as he received a life ban from USADA.
But the New York Times reported on Friday that the 41-year-old was considering a public admission that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs. An admission could lead to an apparent bid to return to competing in marathons and triathlons, the paper reported.
The interview announcement was first made on Oprah Winfrey’s Twitter account on Tuesday, and confirmed when Lance Armstrong retweeted it 15 minutes later.
The interview – his first since being stripped of his wins – will be broadcast on January 17 on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and live-streamed online.
Lance Armstrong will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, amid reports that he might publicly admit to doping
Lance Armstrong ended his fight against doping charges in August 2012. In October, USADA released a 1,000-page report saying he had been at the heart of “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme” ever seen in sport.
He was stripped of his titles by the International Cycling Union (UCI) shortly afterwards and given a lifetime ban from the sport.
Lance Armstrong also resigned as chairman of the Livestrong foundation – the cancer charity he created – after the cycling body’s decision.
His lawyer, Tim Herman, has described the USADA report as a “one-sided hatchet job” and the cyclist himself has accused the agency of offering “corrupt inducements” to other riders to speak out against him.
It is believed he is considering an admission because he wants to resume his athletic career, and has shown an interest in competing in triathlons.
Asked whether the 41-year-old was set to come clean, Tim Herman told the New York Times: “Lance has to speak for himself on that.”
Separately, the head of USADA told a US investigative programme that Lance Armstrong offered the agency a donation of some $250,000 in 2004, reports said.
Speaking to 60 Minutes Sport, to be broadcast in the US on Wednesday, Travis Tygart said the offer was a “clear conflict of interest” and quickly rejected.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong’s team ran “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen” according to a report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
USADA says it will deliver the full report in the doping case against Lance Armstrong, 41, later on Wednesday.
It contains testimony from 11 of his former US Postal Service team-mates.
Lance Armstrong has always denied doping allegations but has not contested USADA’s charges.
USADA chief executive Travis T. Tygart said there was “conclusive and undeniable proof” of a team-run doping conspiracy.
The organisation will send a “reasoned decision” in the Armstrong case to the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Triathlon Corporation.
The UCI now has 21 days to lodge an appeal against USADA’s decision with WADA or they must comply with the decision to strip Armstrong, who now competes in triathlons, of his seven Tour de France titles and hand him a lifetime ban.
Lance Armstrong ran the most sophisticated doping program in cycling history
Lance Armstrong, who overcame cancer to return to professional cycling, won the Tour from 1999 to 2005. He retired in 2005 but returned in 2009 before retiring for good two years later.
In his statement, Travis T. Tygart said the evidence against Lance Armstrong and his team – which is in excess of 1,000 pages – was “overwhelming” and “and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team and its participants’ doping activities”.
Travis T. Tygart revealed it contains “direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding”.
He also claimed the team’s doping conspiracy “was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices”.
Among the former team-mates of Lance Armstrong’s to testify were George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for failing a dope test and was recently found guilty in a Swiss court of defaming the International Cycling Union for alleging they had protected Lance Armstrong from doping claims.
Travis T. Tygart said: “The riders who participated in the USPS Team doping conspiracy and truthfully assisted have been courageous in making the choice to stop perpetuating the sporting fraud, and they have suffered greatly.
“I have personally talked with and heard these athletes’ stories and firmly believe that, collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they ever did on a bike.
“Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.
“Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognised competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward.”
USADA confirmed that two other members of the US Postal Service team, Dr. Michele Ferrari and Dr. Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for their part in the doping conspiracy.
Three further members, team director Johan Bruyneel, a team doctor Dr. Pedro Celaya and team trainer Jose Marti, have chosen to contest the charges and take their cases to arbitration.
Travis T. Tygart also called on the UCI to “act on its own recent suggestion for a meaningful Truth and Reconciliation programme”.
“Hopefully, the sport can unshackle itself from the past, and once and for all continue to move forward to a better future,” he added.