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.”
Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test
- Young Scottish star was very impressive during Liverpool's 5-1 aggregate destruction of Man City in last-eight clash.
- Robertson refuses to take Roma lightly after their shock victory over Barcelona in the last round.
LIVERPOOL: With a desire stoked in the stands of Parkhead, Andrew Robertson is now fired up to fulfil a childhood dream.
While following the fortunes of Celtic, the defender’s first Champions League final memory was when Zinedine Zidane volleyed Real Madrid to success in 2002 as the contest was staged in Robertson’s home city of Glasgow. He was just eight years old.
While Robertson was deemed too small to play for his boyhood idols, released at 15 with a future uncertain, he has grown to prove his worth on Europe’s biggest club stage with Liverpool.
Now, with a semifinal encounter against AS Roma after beating Premier League champions Manchester City in the last eight, he wants to emulate those Reds heroes who lifted the trophy five times before.
“I was a big Celtic fan growing up and my heroes were Henrik Larsson and Co,” Robertson told Arab News ahead of tonight’s first-leg clash at Anfield.
“But these heroes who have won the European Cup and Champions League for Liverpool, you have to look up to them — and we want to emulate them and hopefully get a winner’s medal too.
“The club’s won it five times and the history of the club has always been this, the Champions League, where the fans create a special atmosphere and the club challenges for the trophy. It would be unbelievable to be a part of that history.
“This is the highlight for me so far and an incredible feeling, but it just makes you hungry for more. I don’t want it to end.
“As a kid, you sit back and watch how great it would be to play in this competition, let alone in the final.
“I always used to go to Celtic and we didn’t progress very far in the Champions League, but the occasions at Parkhead were always unbelievable.
“The fans at Celtic are incredible, world renowned, but Anfield was unbelievable against Man City and we have another chance for them to create that same atmosphere and hopefully we can put in another great performance.” Having beaten Pep Guardiola’s City so convincingly, 5-1 over two gripping games, Liverpool will start favorites against Roma.
That is despite the Italians upsetting Barcelona in the previous round with an epic 3-0 win in the second leg after a 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp.
But Robertson will take nothing for granted against a Roma side who last reached the final in 1984 where they were beaten by Liverpool in a penalty shootout at their Stadio Olimpico home.
“Barca are an unbelievable team,” added the Scotland left-back, 24. “But let’s not kid ourselves. For Roma to score three goals against Barcelona, that’s special.
“They’ve been unbelievable this season too in the Champions League and deserve to be in the semifinals. It will definitely not be an easy game.
“But once you get to the semis, the fear of who you are playing has gone because you know how good the teams are.
“It’s like you look forward to the possibility of playing in the final, that’s what drives you forward. We will have fire in our bellies because we are so close to getting there.”
Jurgen Klopp’s men will no doubt be looking to Mohamed Salah to conjure more magic against the club he left in the summer for £36.9 million ($51.5 million). But Robertson insisted Liverpool are no one-man team and the Egyptian, crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after scoring 41 goals in an unforgettable campaign, epitomizes a team united and ambitious in their quest for glory. “He’s just unbelievable,” said Robertson of the frontman.
“In the first half (of the second leg) against Man City we struggled to get him in the game and he wasn’t quite at it. But the second half he was different class and pops up with a goal to help us win it. That’s what he does.
“His goals have been incredible and long may that continue. He’s a great guy, so humble, and for someone who has done so much this season he’s so down to Earth.
“That’s credit to our squad because we don’t let anyone get ahead of themselves.
“Mo is no different, he’s a lovely person and stands for what we are as a team.”
HEART OF GOLD
Five years ago Andrew Robertson was playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football with Queen’s Park and earning extra money by selling concert tickets in the corporate offices at Hampden Park.
Last summer he suffered relegation from the Premier League with Hull City before Liverpool signed him for £10 million ($13.9 million).
In a career fraught with setbacks and hardships, he has been grateful, supporting foodbanks that help those in need.
“It’s all about giving something back to the less fortunate,” said Robertson.
“I’m in a fortunate position where I do a job I love and get paid well and it’s nice to give something back, especially in my hometown. I’ll always do that.
“It’s been a great journey for me in my career, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. But I don’t forget where I came from. Maybe it is rare, but a lot more people are doing it now and I hope even more will.”