Lance Armstrong said on Wednesday that he will not cooperate with a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation into drugs cheats in cycling, but would be willing to help other anti-doping inquiries.
The move greatly diminishes Armstrong’s chances of having his life ban from World Anti-Doping Agency-sanctioned sport reduced even as it forces USADA to move ahead without his help in looking into others involved in doping.
“For several reasons, Lance will not participate in USADA’s efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95 percent of the sport over which USADA has no jurisdiction,” Armstrong said in a statement released through attorney Tim Herman.
Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles after a USADA probe uncovered overwhelming evidence he was at the heart of a major doping conspiracy was released in October last year.
After admitting in a television interview last month that he had used performance-enhancing substances, Armstrong said he would cooperate with anti-doping officials. He repeated that offer on Wednesday even as he made it clear he would not go through USADA to do so.
“Lance is willing to cooperate fully and has been very clear: He will be the first man through the door, and once inside will answer every question, at an international tribunal formed to comprehensively address pro cycling, an almost exclusively European sport,” the statement said.
“We remain hopeful that an international effort will be mounted, and we will do everything we can to facilitate that result,” it said.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart had given Armstrong a Feb. 6 deadline to testify under oath on what he knew about such subjects as cycling team manager Johan Bruyneel’s role in the conspiracy or if International Cycling Union officials knew about it.
Armstrong said he would not be able to meet that deadline so Tygart extended it to Wednesday, only to learn Armstrong would not be coming when the cyclist released his statement to the media.