Sports

Lance Armstrong reportedly may do the mea culpa

Thumbnail image for lance-armstrong.jpgThe New York Times is reporting that Lance Armstrong "has told associates and antidoping officials that he is considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career." Up to now, Armstrong has denied in the strongest possible terms that he ever cheated and portrayed any accusers, including internal anti-doping officials, as something akin to liars and conspirators. It gets more complicated: Armstrong has previously won lawsuits against accusers, and may have to pay back damages and possibly face perjury charges if he now admits it was he who lied.

From the NYT story:

Armstrong has been under pressure from various fronts to confess. Wealthy supporters of Livestrong, the charity he founded after surviving testicular cancer, have been trying to persuade him to come forward so he could clear his conscience and save the organization from further damage, one person with knowledge of the situation said.

Several legal cases stand in the way of a confession, the people familiar with the situation said. Among the obstacles is a federal whistle-blower case in which Armstrong and several team officials from his United States Postal Service cycling team are accused of defrauding the government by allowing doping on the squad when the team’s contract with the Postal Service clearly stated that any doping would constitute default of their agreement.

[Armstrong's lawyer] said the option to confess to antidoping officials was not currently on the table. However, the people familiar with the situation said Armstrong, 41, was in fact moving toward confessing and had even been in discussions with the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Armstrong had met with Travis Tygart, the agency’s chief executive, in an effort to mitigate the lifetime ban he received for playing a lead role in doping on his Tour-winning teams, according to one person briefed on the situation.

Armstrong, according to the story, would like to compete in triathlons and running events, "but those competitions are often sanctioned by organizations that adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code, under which Armstrong received his lifetime ban."


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