Lance Armstrong. Photo by Reuters
Lance Armstrong, the American cyclist at the center of the
biggest doping scandal in the sport's history, may admit he
used performance-enhancing drugs during his career, the New
York Times reported.
Such an admission would be a stunning reversal for Armstrong,
who has vehemently denied doping for years.
The Times reported that Armstrong, 41, has told associates
and anti-doping officials he may make the admission in hopes
of persuading anti-doping officials to allow him to resume
competition in athletic events that adhere to the World
Anti-Doping Code, under which Armstrong is currently subject
to a lifetime ban.
Asked if Armstrong might admit to doping, Armstrong's lawyer
Tim Herman told the Times: "Lance has to speak for himself on
The newspaper, citing an unidentified person briefed on the
situation, said Armstrong has been in discussions with the
United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and met with Travis
Tygart, the agency's chief executive.
The paper, citing the same source, said Armstrong is also
seeking to meet with David Howman, the director general of
the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Armstrong's lawyer denied his client had talked with Tygart,
according to the Times.
Howman said in a statement the agency had read "with
interest" media accounts of Armstrong's possible intention to
"To date, WADA has had no official approach from Mr.
Armstrong or his legal representatives, but - as with anyone
involved in anti-doping violations - it would welcome any
discussion that helps in the fight against doping in sport,"
A spokeswoman for the USADA declined to comment.
An October 10 report from the USADA citied Armstrong's
involvement in what it characterized as the "most
sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program
that sport has ever seen," involving anabolic steroids, human
growth hormone, blood transfusions and other doping.
Less than two weeks later, Armstrong's seven Tour de France
victories were nullified and he was banned from cycling for
life after the International Cycling Union ratified the
USADA's sanctions against him.
Wealthy supporters of Livestrong, the charity Armstrong
helped found, have been seeking to convince Armstrong to come
forward to clear his conscience and spare the organization
from further damage, the Times reported, citing a person with
knowledge of the situation.
But an official with Livestrong said the group was unaware of
any pressure on Armstrong by organization donors to admit
anything, and declined to comment further.
Calls to Armstrong's attorney and Capital Sports &
Entertainment, which represents Armstrong, were not returned.
Austin, Texas-based Livestrong was launched in 2003 by the
Lance Armstrong Foundation, which the cyclist founded in
1997, a year after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
In October, he stepped down from his post as chairman of the
board, saying he did not want the doping controversy to
affect the organization. A few weeks later, he quit the board
World Anti-Doping rules permit under certain circumstances
penalties for admitted dopers to be reduced.