herald

Friday 1 August 2014

'Confession on TV won't help Lance end ban'

A TELEVISED confession by Lance Armstrong isn't enough -- anti-doping officials want the disgraced cyclist to admit his guilt under oath before considering whether to lift a life ban.

That was seconded by at least one former teammate.

"Lance knows everything that happened," Frankie Andreu said. "He's the one who knows who did what because he was the ringleader. It's up to him how much he wants to expose."

Armstrong has been in conversations with US Anti-Doping Agency officials, touching off speculation that he may be willing to cooperate with authorities there and name names.



Samples

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey didn't say if the subject was broached during the recording of an interview on Monday, to be screened tomorrow.

She declined to give details of what Armstrong told her, but said she was "mesmerised and riveted by some of his answers."

In an appearance on CBS This Morning, Winfrey said: "I felt that he was thoughtful, I thought that he was serious, I thought that he certainly had prepared for this moment.

"I would say that he met the moment."

She was promoting what has become a two-part special on Thursday and Friday.

Around the same time, World Anti-Doping Agency officials issued a statement saying nothing short of "a full confession under oath" would cause them to reconsider Armstrong's lifetime ban from cycle races.

The International Cycling Union also urged Armstrong to tell his story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims that the sport's governing body hid suspicious samples from the cyclist, accepted financial donations from him and helped him avoid detection in doping tests.

The ban was only one of several penalties handed to Armstrong after a scathing, 1,000-page report by USADA last year. The cyclist was also stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, lost nearly all of his endorsements and was forced to cut ties with the Livestrong cancer charity he founded in 1997.

The report portrayed Armstrong as the mastermind of a long-running scheme that employed steroids, blood boosters such as EPO, and a range of other performance-enhancers to dominate the tour. It included revealing testimony from 11 former teammates, including Andreu and his wife, Betsy.

"A lot of it was news and shocking to me," Andreu said.

"I am sure it's shocking to the world. There's been signs leading up to this moment for a long time.

"For my wife and I, we've been attacked and ripped apart by Lance and all of his people, and all his supporters, repeatedly for a long time.

Ruined

"I just wish they wouldn't have been so blind and opened up their eyes earlier to all the signs that indicated there was deception there, so that we wouldn't have had to suffer as much.

"And it's not only us," he added, "he's ruined a lot of people's lives."

Armstrong is also facing several legal cases, including from the Australian government, which paid him fees to appear in the Tour Down Under in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the London-based Sunday Times, which paid Armstrong around €350,000 in a libel case

hnews@herald.ie

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