Photo: Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year, is considering acknowledging the use of performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, The New York Times reported.
Armstrong, 41, may make the admission so that anti-doping officials restore his eligibility to compete in triathlons, a sport he competed in prior to taking up cycling, the daily said, citing anonymous sources.
The Times noted that “those competitions are often sanctioned by organizations that adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code, under which Armstrong received his lifetime ban.”
The sources told the paper that Armstrong, who has been banned for life from competing in sporting events sanctioned by WADA or the U.S. Anti Doping Agency, has been in touch with USADA chief Travis Tygart and was “moving toward confessing.”
But Armstrong’s long-time attorney, Tim Herman, denied Saturday that his client was mulling such a move.
In making its case against Armstrong last year, the USADA presented to the International Cycling Union, or UCI, evidence from “numerous witnesses” who said they had either personally observed Armstrong’s doping activity from before 1998 through 2005 or learned about it directly from the cyclist.
That alleged activity, according to USADA, included the use of “EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone during the period from before 1998 through 2005.”
Armstrong has categorically denied the accusations but he announced in August he would no longer fight them.
A cancer survivor who is regarded as one of the all-time greatest road cyclists, Armstrong issued a statement on his Web site after choosing not to appear before a USADA arbitration panel to respond to the doping charges.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999,” the Aug. 23 statement read.
“The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors,” Armstrong said.
The UCI decided not to award the 1999-2005 Tours to the second-place finishers of those races.
Armstrong has lost lucrative endorsement contracts as a result of the scandal and in October he stepped down from the board of directors of the cancer-fighting Livestrong Foundation he founded in 1997.