Lance Armstrong has many supporters, but even his staunchest defenders will have a difficult time defending him against the mounting evidence he’s facing.
On Friday, The New York Times reported that Armstrong was considering admitting he doped/used performance-enhancers during his cycling career in order to improve his standing with the US Anti-Doping Agency. Now, USADA executive Travis Tygart is claiming that an Armstrong representative tried donating a large sum to the agency in 2004.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Tygart told “60 Minutes Sports” that an Armstrong representative tried donating around $250,000 to the organization in 2004. In the interview, which will air Wednesday on Showtime, Tygart reportedly called the gesture “totally inappropriate.”
“I was stunned,” Tygart says in the interview. “It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA. We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer.”
One of Armstrong’s attorneys tried explaining the offer.
“At some point … I thought around the mid-2000s … someone was seeking some money for testing equipment and Armstrong offered to help,” attorney Tim Herman told the LA Times. “I don’t know for sure what happened. I only vaguely remember someone in the enforcement community needing some new testing equipment.
“There was some request to us, I thought. I can’t recall exactly, but that’s my recollection.”
Armstrong has donated $125,000 to the International Cycling Union. He gave them $25,000 in 2002, and his management company gave the organization $100,000 in 2005.
Armstrong’s actions come off as obvious bribery attempts. Don’t forget that the New York Daily News also reported that Nike paid a UCI president $500,000 in 1999 to cover up one of his positive tests.
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