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Travis Tygart says USADA may share redacted names - but cycling needs to seize moment on doping

USADA CEO was speaking at this week's Tackling Doping in Sport conference at Wembley Stadium...

Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) says that it may release the names of 37 riders and others connected with cycling that were redacted from its Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong case. But he warns that the sport faces a race against time if it is to move on from its doping past.

Tygart, who led USADA’s investigation of Armstrong and his US Postal team, culminating in the Texan being banned from sport for life in 2012 and stripped of results including the seven Tour de France titles he won between 1999 and 2005, was talking at this week’s Tackling Doping in Sport conference at London’s Wembley Stadium.

While the names of some of those whose identities have emerged since the Reasoned Decision was published in October 2012 – former Team Sky race coach Bobby Jullich and Orica-GreenEdge sports director Matt White, for example – speculation surround identities of others.

One of the names put forward is Vuelta a España champion Chris Horner, who in November last year denied in an interview with Cycling News that he is the “Rider 15” mentioned in the report. 2012 Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal has admitted having doped at the start of his road career, but it remains unclear whether his was one of the redacted names.

The Independent reports that Tygart may be prepared to furnish the names of the people involved to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) ordered by UCI president Brian Cookson, although with its chairman Dick Marty saying that anonymity will be provided to witnesses, there is no guarantee their identities will become public.

According to Tygart, prior to Cookson replacing Pat McQuaid as president of world cycling’s governing body last September, there appeared to be little appetite on the part of the UCI to learn the contents of such a list.

"We've had communication with the CIRC that we are going to present this all to them because there is a whole lot of information out there that would be helpful in cleaning out the system that is there," said Tygart yesterday.

"I am hopeful the new CIRC process will deal with all of that and it will all be out in public and we can finally put a stake in the ground so this can never happen again."

But he warned that “time is of the essence” and that the sport must seize a “moment in time," and that the focus should not just be on cyclists who have cheated but also a "dirty system" in which team staff, management, and even owners were involved.

"Just because you change the top the dirty system doesn't necessarily change," he explained.

"When you've doped in the past with success, particularly as a doctor, team owner, coach, director and you've never been exposed, the likelihood that you are going to continue that practice of doping and not getting caught is huge.

"We all want to turn the page. But the job is not done. Time is of the essence."

"So as long as those people stayed in the system, doped and never got caught, the odds of them changing their behaviour are not very high when the spoils of victory are so very high," he added.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Colin Peyresourde | 10 years ago

I think WADA and USADA need to find a way of unpicking the omerta otherwise the cycling perpetuates. The battle against doping is ongoing and the anti-doping agencies are armed with pea-shooters and out-manned. So they need to find a way to expose the dopers, break down the trust that exists between riders/teams director/assorted staff. The omertà seems to even involve journalists - though like gangster intimidation it is more through being scared about their jobs.

In most cases of big doping busts the information did come from outside sources. Balco/Armstrong: they were undone by informers. It should actually make you think about the riders who do get caught. Most of them are in complete disbelief, and if you've read Hamilton's book he re-iterates that - in fact the unspoken sub-plot is that Hamilton believes that persons unknown (Armstrong) grassed him in (because he was worried about him beating him). Which may explain part of the reason he helped Tygart.

Those that put any store in anti-doping organisations to adequately provide a deterrent to doping in professional sport are sadly misplaced as the ADAs will confess themselves. But they have developed processes which do help restrict them, which does to more 'human' performances. But sadly the rewards for doping are high, the testing inadequate and penalties not effective - human nature dictates that people will exploit that mercilessly.

700c | 10 years ago

Catching Armstrong was of course a good thing, but until Tygart releases the names you just get the impression that was a personal vendetta for him, with other dopers getting less harsh, or preferential treatment for coming forward.

The sport needs a cleanse and a line to be drawn drawn but first he needs to be open about these riders. It's not exactly helpful for teams, like sky, who are trying to take a zero tolerance approach

But then the same goes for the Spanish government with the Puerto blood bags..

keirik | 10 years ago

What? Give the names up and he'd have to give up his place in the spotlight which he seems very keen to keep.

This stopped being about Armstring and became all about Travis Tygart a long time ago

mikeprytherch | 10 years ago

If he wanted to clean up the sport he would of already released them, come on name and shame and stop messing around.

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