Former USADA CEO: Armstrong rep made offer
By THE SPORTS XCHANGE
|Astana rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. prepares to start the individual time trial in the first stage of the 96th Tour de France cycling race in Monaco in this July 4, 2009 file photo. (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files)
Former U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Terry Madden told ESPN on Saturday that one of Lance Armstrong’s representatives offered the agency a six-figure offer in 2004, but rejected the gift.
Madden, who is retired and living in Colorado Springs, Colo., corroborated statements made by current USADA chief Travis Tygart on CBS’ “60 Minutes” earlier this month.
Armstrong denied that he or anyone representing him made such an offer during the second part of his interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was televised on Friday night.
“That’s not true,” Armstrong told Winfrey.
“No one representing you?” Winfrey asked.
“Nobody,” Armstrong said. “Certainly I had no knowledge of that. But I’ve asked around: Did anybody? Not true.”
Madden said Tygart received a phone call from Armstrong’s representative. Madden said he could not identify the person because of a pending federal civil whistleblower lawsuit filed by Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis. Armstrong and other business associates are defendants in the case.
The case is sealed and the U.S. Department of Justice has not decided whether to intervene as a plaintiff.
“He informed me, and we immediately rejected the idea,” Madden said. “I told him to go back and call the representative and inform him that based on our ethics, we could not accept a donation from anyone we were testing (for performance-enhancing drugs and techniques) or would test in the future.
”We later informed our board of directors and they confirmed we had made the right decision.“
Madden said he did not remember the exact amount of the offer but that it was probably between $200,000 and $250,000.
Madden added that he did not know if Armstrong knew of the representative’s offer.
Armstrong made two donations to the UCI (cycling’s governing body) totaling $125,000 several years ago. He told Winfrey he did it ”because they asked me to.“
UCI president Pat McQuaid said in October that accepting the gift may have been a mistake. The UCI was heavily criticized by the USADA for accepting the donation.
Armstrong said he did not receive protection from testing positive because of the donations.
”There was no deal — this is impossible for me to answer this question and have anybody believe it — it was not in exchange for any cover-up,“ he said.