This series complied on June 14, 2012 shows seven file pictures clockwise from upper left taken in 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999 of US cyclist Lance Armstrong posing on the podium on the Champs-Elysees in Paris after winning the Tour de France cylcing race. (AFP PHOTO)
Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, told USA Today in an interview that Lance Armstrong might have been able to keep most of his cycling titles if he had cooperated with the agency’s investigation.
The USADA had charged that Armstrong used banned drugs and blood transfusions, and when Armstrong ended his attempt to fight the case last week, the USADA banned him from cycling competition for life and stripped him of all titles he won since 1998, which included all seven Tour de France titles.
Although the statute of limitation for such charges is eight years, it can be extended if a cover-up is involved, and the USADA alleged that Armstrong and others conspired to conceal the doping.
Tygart told USA Today in an article released Sunday that if Armstrong had “come in and been truthful, then the evidence might have been that the statute (of limitations) should apply.”
Tygart said that “would have been fine by us.”
Tygart acknowledged that would have meant that Armstrong could have kept five of his Tour de France titles.
Tygart said the sanctions would have been lighter if Armstrong had been truthful and had revealed what he knows about doping in cycling. In fact, Tygart said the punishment could still be reduced if Armstrong comes forward now.
Armstrong’s attorneys claim the USADA does not have the right to sanction Armstrong. That responsibility belongs to the International Cycling Union (UCI), they claim.