Even when Lance Armstrong portrayed himself as coming clean about his career spent cheating to win, he was still lying.
That’s the argument U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart made Sunday evening on the CBS show “60 Minutes,” in an interview with Scott Pelley for a segment called “The Fall of Lance Armstrong.”
Tygart sat down with Pelley to rebut several claims Armstrong made during his interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was televised on January 17-18.
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.
Armstrong told Winfrey that the last time he had “crossed that line” — i.e., used performance-enhancing drugs — was in 2005. Asked about using blood transfusions in 2009 and 2010, Armstrong replied, “Absolutely not.”
Tygart told Pelley that Armstrong lied to Winfrey and her television audience.
“[It’s] just contrary to the evidence,” Tygart told Pelley, referring to Armstrong’s blood values during those years. “[There’s a] one in a million chance that it was due to something other than doping.”
Tygart said he believes Armstrong is lying about his doping in 2009 and 2010 to avoid criminal charges for conspiracy to defraud.
“There’s a five-year statute on a fraud criminal charge,” Tygart said. “So the five years today would have been expired. However, if the last point of his doping as we alleged and proved in our reasoned decision was in 2010, then the statute has not yet expired and he potentially could be charged with a criminal violation for conspiracy to defraud.”
Tygart also disputed Armstrong’s claim that his doping during that era was just leveling the playing field.
“It’s just simply not true,” he said.”The access they had to inside information — to how the tests work, what tests went in place at what time, special access to the laboratory … he was on an entirely different playing field to all the other athletes — even if you assume all the other athletes had access to some doping products.”
Read more: Velonews.com