Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Report: Armstrong to Admit Doping

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Report: Armstrong to Admit Doping

Article excerpt

Lance Armstrong, who this fall was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping and barred for life from competing in all Olympic sports, has told associates and anti-doping officials that he is considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance- enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career, according to several people with direct knowledge of the situation. He would do this, the people said, because he wants to persuade anti- doping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career.

For more than a decade, Armstrong vehemently has denied doping, even after anti-doping officials laid out their case against him in October in hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony from teammates, email correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses.

When asked if Armstrong might admit to doping, Tim Herman, Armstrong's longtime lawyer, said: "I do not know about that. I suppose anything is possible, for sure. Right now, that's really not on the table."

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 get 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. Among the obstacles is a federal whistle-blower case in which he and several officials from Armstrong's U.S. 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 explicitly forbade it.

Although Herman said such an option was not on the table, people familiar with the situation said Armstrong, 41, was in fact moving toward confessing and had discussions with the U.S. 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. …

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