Lance Armstrong 'will admit doping to stage a comeback'

Reportedly told friends he would publicly acknowledge his cheating… but there are likely to be strings attached

by Sarah Barth   January 5, 2013  

Lance Armstrong (pic courtesy Photosport International)

Lance Armstrong could publically admit his secret doping and cheating that led him to seven Tour titles, in a bid to stage a comeback into sport.

A public confession could see him returning to competition - Armstrong had latterly been competing in triathlons following his second retirement from competitive cycing - in less than four years, as opposed to the lifetime ban he now faces.

According to the New York Times, Armstrong has met Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Authority (USADA), to discuss a confession

And a friend added that he had also sought to meet David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency,although the paper said that Tygart declined to comment and Mr Howman was unavailable for comment. Both claims were denied by Armstrong's lawyer, Tim Herman.

An admission might mean that Armstrong was able to begin competing again, while he is still being pursued for damages. The Sunday Times has sued him for the return of money paid for him to settle a libel claim. In 2006, the newspaper paid Armstrong £300,000 in an out-of-court settlement relating to its publication in 2004 of allegations that he doped - it could cost him £1 million.

The financial impact of the Sunday Times action however amounts to little more than small change when set against the money he is already being asked to repay by the Texan insurance company SCA promotions - a figure put at $12m dollars; and the amount the he will have to pay the United States Postal Service should a federal whistleblower case brought by Floyd Landis be successful. The Landis suit alleges that Tailwind Sports, the team management company, of which Armstrong was part owner, defrauded the US Government over the terms of its sponsorship agreement because undertakings were given that the team was not engaged in any form of doping. The US Postal Service paid $30 million to be title sponsor of Armstrong's team from 1999 to 2004 when he 'won' five of his Tour titles. As yet Armstrong's personal and team sponsors have not publicly at least asked for their money back.

That would change should Armstrong confess particularly were he to face a perjury charge over evidence he gave  under oath that he did not take performance enhancing drugs when he sued SCA over money it withheld from paying out in relation to insured win bonuses.

However what worries Armstrong and his lawyers most, according to the New York Times' sources is the prospect of perjury charges should he confess. A conviction would entail jail time and if a confession hadn't already triggered a tidal wave of litigation from former sponsors a perjury case certainly would. That would spell financial ruin for the Texan who has lost $50 million in sponsorship deals since his fall from grace and although his fortune is considerable it still at best only adds up to roughly the same as the amounts he could be sued for… at a conservative estimate.

No surprise then that Armstrong is reported to be be seeking assurances from the Justice Department that he would be immune from prosecution those assurances might be difficult to give if the US Government joins Landis as a plaintiff in the USPS funding case.

Judged dispassionately the New York Times story could be seen as an attempt by Armstrong and his associates to test the waters regarding a possible confession or partial confession while still keeping things at arms length from the man himself. The need to keep all this discussion at the level of unnamed associates while accompanied by denials from his lawyer is the simple fact that once  Armstrong or his legal team enter in to discussions about a confession they are admitting his guilt to the charges made against him by USADA and so many of his former teammates.

37 user comments

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Going to be a lot of other people feeling very uncomfortable this weekend Smile

Get out and ride

posted by davidtcycle [62 posts]
5th January 2013 - 16:03

9 Likes

Does anyone care about what Lance Arsestrong has to say let alone believe what he says?

Rupert

posted by Rupert49 [38 posts]
5th January 2013 - 16:25

9 Likes

Armstrong is a busted flush and should not be allowed back into cycling or any other sport for that matter. A confession now would be purely cynical.

posted by LeDomestique [34 posts]
5th January 2013 - 16:43

13 Likes

Legal system is ridiculous ......

Options:
1. He is honest and admits guilt (albeit very belatedly).
2. He continues his public lie of cleanliness.

Outcomes:
1. Locked up
2. Not locked up.

How can that be right and just?!

"The law is an ass"

posted by Bobbys boys [81 posts]
5th January 2013 - 16:55

8 Likes

Lance Who? That all history lets talk about the people of tomorrow and move on from the negative stuff He and MANY of his piers did to better themselves and nearly destroy this great sport/pastime/excuse to get out and about.

posted by joebee9870 [57 posts]
5th January 2013 - 16:56

8 Likes

Karbon Kev wrote:
Quite disgusting if this is allowed to happen

It already has for all the people who confessed in the USADA investigation or before and what's worse is that Tyler Hamilton has made a fortune out if it.

As much as I dislike Lance and what he did, he shouldn't be the one who has to pay for the sins of the entire peloton whilst they all walk away.

CraigS's picture

posted by CraigS [135 posts]
5th January 2013 - 17:34

10 Likes

Is anyone suggesting that he has to pay for the sins of the entire peleton? Isn't it his own cheating, bullying and perjury that he has to pay for?

posted by andyp [980 posts]
5th January 2013 - 17:37

9 Likes

What exactly is he planning to achieve at the age of 45 and clean? Any admission should not get him out of a life time ban. What a funt.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1356 posts]
5th January 2013 - 18:09

11 Likes

sod the lifetime ban, he needs a spell in the clink.

posted by andyp [980 posts]
5th January 2013 - 18:11

10 Likes

Rupert49 wrote:
Does anyone care about what Lance Arsestrong has to say

Johan Bruyneel certainly will care, seeing as he is actively mounting a defence against the charges he shares with Mr Dopestrong.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
5th January 2013 - 18:21

11 Likes

I honestly couldn't give a crap what Armstrong says - I wouldn't believe a word that comes out of his lying mouth.

There's only one person in the world LA gives a shit about and that's himself. Given how much he craves publicity and being centre of attention there should be a lifetime ban on media stories about him - that would would probably hurt him more than anything else.

Spleen, vented Crying

Ride For Precious Lives - Annual Cornwall to Bristol charity ride.

posted by graphite [58 posts]
5th January 2013 - 18:41

12 Likes

you can usally tell when Lance is lying his lips are moving, Devil

lets just leave him to his own little world of deception and move on to hopefully a brighter cleaner future for a sport that should be admired at the feats of clean pro riders Big Grin

Pain is weekness leaving the body

road ronin's picture

posted by road ronin [57 posts]
5th January 2013 - 19:23

9 Likes

Confesses, then ok to stand for election as Governor of Texas. Spell in the White House is possible.

posted by onlyonediane [162 posts]
5th January 2013 - 19:36

8 Likes

It's too late. Confession or not, what he's done to the integrity of 'Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story' is unforgivable.

posted by ped [168 posts]
5th January 2013 - 20:21

9 Likes

+1 for CraigS AND graphite.

Go away, Lance; we're bored of you.

fourstringsisplenty's picture

posted by fourstringsisplenty [67 posts]
5th January 2013 - 20:35

12 Likes

bikeboy76 wrote:
What exactly is he planning to achieve at the age of 45 and clean? Any admission should not get him out of a life time ban. What a funt.

I think it will be so he carry on his Triathlon's that he's been working on for a while now.

I doubt he'll be back in the pro cycling ranks ever again, if he did, everyone else would refuse to race

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8955 posts]
5th January 2013 - 21:01

5 Likes

This just doesn't ring true. Any admission of guilt from Armstrong is also an admission of perjury, and a confession that everyone he sued over the years was right all along. He would face financial ruin at best, and imprisonment at worst. Would Armstrong risk all of that for an opportunity to compete in triathlons in four years time?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
5th January 2013 - 22:05

11 Likes

I read another good comment on the subject and thought it was worth sharing

http://read.bi/VBMtgq

By Henry Blodget (who knows a bit about downfall and redemption himself)

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [136 posts]
5th January 2013 - 22:46

10 Likes

Devious, cowardly, self-important arse-covering. He makes Jeffrey Archer look like a decent sort of chap.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [420 posts]
6th January 2013 - 9:41

11 Likes

Carl - good link to Henry Blodget - spot on argument and totally sums up the self-serving, self obsessed nature of LA. personally, I hope USADA does not negotiate at all - a spot of jail time is the least he could do given all the damage and hurt he's caused down the years.

Can't wait to see the twisted logic the LA fanboys use to explain this one away.... Devil

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [220 posts]
6th January 2013 - 14:47

9 Likes

Fucking hell, go away Lance Armstrong, you have no place in cycling, you are a fraudster, liar and cheat. Despite all the other dopers of which there are hundreds, you took it to an incredible level. Someone pass him a loaded revolver. I despise you now as I despised you then, fuck off out of my life.

Ah, but that was then

posted by Pitstone Peddler [104 posts]
6th January 2013 - 15:08

7 Likes

Don't you just love Karma!

You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Lance be damned; financial ruin awaits, me thinks. Just when I thought I'd had all my Christmas presents!

Chris D

posted by wingsofspeed68 [51 posts]
6th January 2013 - 17:10

12 Likes

Easy. Just like that French guy with the big nose he will apply for Russian Citizenship. Liar
He could than join his friend Ekimov on Katuscha in the new Russian Break away league!

posted by Dr. Ko [109 posts]
6th January 2013 - 21:53

11 Likes

Wow, there's some real vitriol on this thread!

posted by crazy-legs [538 posts]
7th January 2013 - 9:33

5 Likes

Carl wrote:
I read another good comment on the subject and thought it was worth sharing

http://read.bi/VBMtgq

By Henry Blodget (who knows a bit about downfall and redemption himself)

Interesting article and I think it does much to show how Armstrong's moral compass is off route. I have to say though that this does look like Armstrong has realised that he will be facing financial ruin and this is probably the best way to protect what he has. The mention of triathlon competition is only a smoke screen for the main issue, which is: how can Lance Armstrong limit his liability to legal and criminal prosecution.

Armstrong is no saint, and as Blodget says, only if he addresses some of the wrongs will he start to deserve redemption. As for his stand point, I think it is very week at the moment. Basically the Feds and USADA have pretty much all the information they needed, and so why do they need Armstrong's additional testimony/confession.

This latest statement appears to be no more than a PR stunt to test the water and probably put pressure on Travis Tygart. Just like Armstrong's fabled 500 drugs tests, who knows if anything that he has said is true.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1175 posts]
7th January 2013 - 10:22

8 Likes

There is, of course, one possible good thing to come of an Armstrong confession - IF the UCI were complicit in his doping over the years, and Armstrong is able to provide evidence (and I don't just mean testimony given now, I mean actual contemporaneous evidence) then we might get more credible and ethical leadership at the UCI. Pat and Hein might well be bricking it at the sound of this.

From Armstrong's side, there has to be more to it. He's not doing it to race triathlon as an age-grouper, so it must be for either (a) a money making enterprise (race organiser?) or (b) political aspirations. Could get interesting.

posted by step-hent [695 posts]
7th January 2013 - 10:52

11 Likes

I'm no Armstrong lover but why has Riis,Ulrich, Pantani and Contador and co been allowed to keep their wins? I mean Armstrong didn't test positive during an event he won so what is different. Witness reports but no actual released scientific evidence. What am I missing? Yes Armstrong is the icon of his era but it we are going to wipe records then lets do it consistantly, which means anything from 1996 to 2006 is removed as all Winners have been touched by juicing at some point in their career.

Do you think Armstrong will come clean via a press release or will he do it on tv hugging Stiller and Williams and all the other celebs that kissed his ****.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [359 posts]
7th January 2013 - 13:47

12 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
Armstrong didn't test positive during an event he won so what is different. Witness reports but no actual released scientific evidence.

Yes, strange that the UCI aren't frantically trying to dig up an old fail that was overlooked.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1356 posts]
7th January 2013 - 14:25

12 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
I'm no Armstrong lover but why has Riis,Ulrich, Pantani and Contador and co been allowed to keep their wins? I mean Armstrong didn't test positive during an event he won so what is different. Witness reports but no actual released scientific evidence. What am I missing? Yes Armstrong is the icon of his era but it we are going to wipe records then lets do it consistantly, which means anything from 1996 to 2006 is removed as all Winners have been touched by juicing at some point in their career.

Armstrong's case is peculiar in that he refused to answer the charges against him and this in itself led to the life ban. If you read USADA's "Reasoned Decision" you will see there is more against him than "witness reports".
Incidentally, Pantani never tested positive either. He did have a suspiciously high haematocrit level (i.e. high enough to get him disqualified), but that in itself is not biologically impossible (as Phil Liggett will tell you). Besides which, stripping a dead man of his palmares seems a bit like digging up Oliver Cromwell to be beheaded.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
7th January 2013 - 15:59

11 Likes

step-hent wrote:
There is, of course, one possible good thing to come of an Armstrong confession - IF the UCI were complicit in his doping over the years, and Armstrong is able to provide evidence (and I don't just mean testimony given now, I mean actual contemporaneous evidence) then we might get more credible and ethical leadership at the UCI. Pat and Hein might well be bricking it at the sound of this.

From Armstrong's side, there has to be more to it. He's not doing it to race triathlon as an age-grouper, so it must be for either (a) a money making enterprise (race organiser?) or (b) political aspirations. Could get interesting.

Too right, the ability to squirm out of any legal and criminal charges must be at the forefront of his mind. Anything to limit his liability. This is not about a Armstrong doing any soul searching on his part. He has no remorse. He's already made that clear.

The Triathlon thing is just a smoke screen for what is his real vested interest, how to reduce the damage.

Interesting thoughts about the damage UCI may be hit with as colateral from any 'coming clean'. Armstrong owes cycling nothing now (from his perspective), and so why not let the bonfire of the vanities begin!

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1175 posts]
7th January 2013 - 17:56

12 Likes