On deadline day, will Armstrong play ball with USADA?

  • By Matthew Beaudin
  • Published Feb. 20, 2013
  • Updated Mar. 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM EDT

BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — For Lance Armstrong, the clock is always ticking.

Today, the fallen-from-grace former world champion is supposed to decide whether or not he’ll work with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to clean up a sport that he ultimately helped to soil.

Armstrong, whose seven Tour wins were whitewashed after USADA released a report that painted him clearly as a drugs cheat, was operating under an extension from the anti-doping body, as he considered cooperating, and not in front of TV cameras but rather under oath. Currently, Armstrong is banned for life from high-level sport. If he fully cooperates with anti-doping authorities, shedding light on cycling’s dark days of dope, then it’s understood that his sentence could be reduced to eight years, meaning he could compete in events like marathons or triathlons — both of which he’s completed since stepping away from the peloton — but he would be nearly 50 years old by then.

Armstrong first found himself engulfed when USADA released its reasoned decision in his case on October 10, 2012, but more recently for a confessional in which many saw him as guarded and, more importantly, avoiding the truth.

In an interview on “60 Minutes,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said Armstrong was still lying, and that he would need to tell the complete truth to see his ban reduced.

Among the statements that Tygart said were categorically untrue: that Armstrong had raced free of performance enhancing drugs during his 2009 and 2010 comeback; that his representatives had not offered USADA a $250,000 “donation”; that Armstrong had not pushed his teammates toward cheating; and that Armstrong had only used a small amount of EPO from 1999 through 2005.

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Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin was a VeloNews reporter from 2012 through 2014. He currently works at Rapha and contributes periodically. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder's journalism school in 2005, he immediately moved to Telluride, Colorado, to write and ski, though the order is fuzzy. Beaudin was the editor of the Telluride Daily Planet for five years. He now lives in Portland, Oregon. Music. Coffee. Bikes. That about sums it up.

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