Armstrong lied to Oprah, says doping chief
Armstrong lied to Oprah, says doping chief
Travis Tygart said in an excerpt of an interview with the CBS network that Armstrong failed to tell Winfrey the truth about several key points over doping — including a claim that he raced drug-free in his comeback in 2009 and 2010.
Tygart, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief, said he has written to Armstrong to say that if he wants to lessen his lifetime sporting ban he must “cooperate fully and truthfully” by February 6, about drug-taking in the sport.
It is not clear if cooperation from Armstrong, who was stripped of all seven of his Tour De France wins last year, could take the form of testimony before a truth and reconciliation commission.
The International Cycling Union (UCI), which is under pressure from the World Anti-Doping Agency and USADA, on Friday agreed that such a platform would benefit the drug-damaged sport after a series of devastating doping cases.
Armstrong, a cancer survivor who during the Oprah interview admitted doping for the first time after years of vehement denials, said he would be willing to testify before such a commission if he were invited.
He also said that his record seven wins in the tour — between 1999-2005 — were fueled by performance enhancing drugs but insisted he was clean when he came out of retirement and raced in the Tour de France in 2009 and 2010.
Tygart, however, in the CBS interview, which will air in full on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, said the latter claim is “just contrary to the evidence.”
According to Tygart, expert reports based on the variation of Armstrong’s blood values in 2009 and 2010 make it a “one to a million chance that it was due to something other than doping.”
The USADA chief reiterated the assertions in the report issued last year by the agency on which it based its lifetime ban of Armstrong and the forfeiture of all of his cycling results from August 1998.
The report led to Armstrong’s demise after more than a decade of denials that he was a drug cheat during which he pursued a series of vitriolic attacks against several individuals who had accused him of doping.
Tygart told CBS that Armstrong may have lied about doping after his comeback because under the statute of limitations for criminal fraud, he would still be open to prosecution.
He also took issue with Armstrong’s claim that the disgraced Texan’s favored drug cocktail of blood-boosting EPO, blood transfusions and testosterone included just a small amount of EPO.
“He used a lot of EPO,” Tygart told “60 Minutes,” alleging that Armstrong was less than truthful when he told Winfrey that he had not pushed his teammates toward doping.
“He was the boss,” Tygart said in the excerpt.
“The evidence is clear he was one of the ringleaders of this conspiracy that pulled off this grand heist that... using tens of millions of taxpayer dollars defrauded millions of sports fans and his fellow competitors.” In the second segment of his interview with Winfrey, which aired over two nights on Jan.18-19, the 41-year-old Armstrong said he wants to compete again in sport — perhaps marathons.
Immediately after Armstrong’s first confession aired last week Tygart responded by saying that the former cyclist must testify under oath to have any hope of reducing his sanction.
“His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction,” Tygart said.
“But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
“Captain fantastic” Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death
- Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
- England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes
VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.