Months after being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and receiving a lifetime ban from athletic competition, Lance Armstrong is reportedly considering admitting to using illegal performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions throughout his cycling career. The New York Times reports that Armstrong has told associates and anti-doping officials his plan in hopes of eventually getting his eligibility restored for triathlons.
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Armstrong's lawyer, Tim Herman, denied that the cyclist had reached out to U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart and David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency. When asked about the possibility of his client confessing, Herman told the Times
, "Lance has to speak for himself on that."
Armstrong had fought against doping accusations for more than a decade, but in August, the celebrated cyclist gave up his fight
against the USADA, stating that he was "finished with this nonsense." Two months later, the USADA released its extensive report against Armstrong, which included detailed eyewitness testimony from teammates, email correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses. After the report's release, Armstrong was stripped of his Tour titles, received a lifetime ban from all Olympic sports, resigned from his Livestrong charity and lost all his sponsors.
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According to the Times
, contributors to Livestrong have been pressuring the cyclist to come forward to help save the non-profit, but there are other legal issues complicating Amrstrong's possible admission. If Armstrong did dope, it would confirm that he is guilty of defrauding the government by violating his contract with the United States Postal Service cycling team, which outlines that doping would result in a breach of their agreement. In addition to the federal whistle-blower suit, Armstrong also currently faces two other civil lawsuits, as well as any possible perjury charges he might face if he confesses.
If Armstrong does admit to doping, it's possible that he will be eligible for a reduction on his lifetime ban, but it's unlikely it'd go lower than eight years, maybe four if he's lucky.