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If Lance Armstrong’s ban is reduced to eight years, he will be nearly 50 years old by the time he can compete in sanctioned endurance sports, like triathlons.
USADA confirmed Wednesday afternoon the disgraced cyclist was in talks with the agency, and that Armstrong has been granted a two-week extension to determine if, and how, he can help mop up a sport’s floor upon which he was a stain himself.
“We have been in communication with Mr. Armstrong and his representatives and we understand that he does want to be part of the solution and assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling,” said USADA CEO Travis Tygart in a statement. “We have agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on details to hopefully allow for this to happen.”
Wednesday was the deadline for Armstrong to cooperate with USADA — the anti-doping body that eviscerated his career results when it proved he doped his way to seven now-stripped Tour wins — if he hoped to avoid the lifetime ban he’s been saddled with.
Armstrong attorney Tim Herman had previously told The Associated Press on January 26 that it was “not possible” for his client to speak with USADA due to “pre-existing obligations,” adding that Armstrong would be willing to work with WADA and the UCI if they formed a truth-and-reconciliation commission — but not with USADA.
“USADA has no authority to investigate, prosecute or otherwise involve itself with the other 95 percent of cycling competitors,” Herman told AP. “Thus, in order to achieve the goal of ‘cleaning up cycling,’ it must be WADA and the UCI who have overall authority to do so.”
Armstrong, it appears, has reconsidered. The two-week extension will give the two sides time to work together, though it’s unclear how soon Armstrong could return to competition, as both international and U.S. doping codes say the ban cannot be any shorter than eight years for doping sins of Armstrong’s magnitude.
Read more: Velonews.com