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Washington: An attorney for Lance Armstrong said the disgraced cyclist will not meet the US Anti-Doping Agency’s deadline for him to answer questions under oath, and suggested his client would rather participate in international efforts to “clear the air.”
In a letter to the USADA dated on Saturday, attorney Timothy Herman said that while the athlete is willing to cooperate with the agency, its request to interview him in the next two weeks “cannot be accommodated.”
Herman blamed pre-existing obligations.
The USADA set a February 6 deadline for Armstrong to fully cooperate in its investigation in return for a possible lifting of his lifetime ban from cycling, the agency’s chief executive Travis Tygart said in an excerpt from an interview due to air on the CBS “60 Minutes” programme today.
After years of denials, Armstrong confessed last week in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to cheat his way to a record seven Tour de France wins.
The USADA last year stripped Armstrong of his titles and called him a “serial cheat.”
In his letter, Herman raised questions about the role of the USADA in ridding cycling of performance-enhancing drugs. He noted that “professional cycling is and has been largely a European sport.”
Herman applauded the International Cycling Union’s announcement on Friday that it would work with the World Anti-Doping Agency in a broad probe into the use of drugs and rely on a “truth and reconciliation” process.
“As such, we would like to make sure we coordinate with the truth and reconciliation process to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past and to clear the air so that cycling can move forward,” Herman wrote.
Armstrong, 41, said in his interview with Winfrey on her cable network OWN that the lifetime ban against him is like a “death penalty.” REUTERS