The once seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong has told associates that he is considering admitting to doping through his career.
The New York Times reports that Armstrong would only do this to persuade antidoping officials to restore his eligibility so that he can restore his athletic career. Armstrong had competed in numerous triathlons after he finished his cycling career.
Armstrong's attorney, Tim Herman, said of the potential admission, "I do not know about that. I suppose anything is possible, for sure. Right now, that’s really not on the table."
According to the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete may have a lifetime ban reduced if he or she fully confesses and details how they doped, who they helped dope, and how they got away with it. Armstrong has been in contact with the US Anti-Doping Agency to try and get his lifetime ban reduced or overturned. Armstrong has also been in contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency. Herman has denied that his client spoke with the USADA.
There are obstacles, however, in Armstrong admitting to doping. Among them are a federal whistle blower case in which he and several members of the US Postal Service cycling team have been accused of defrauding the government by allowing doping within the team. The contract with the US Postal Service explicitly forbid doping amongst its members.
One of the biggest supporters of Lance Armstrong's cycling career has decided to cut ties with him.
Nike announced on Wednesday that they will terminate their contract with the embattled cyclist. Armstrong had been with Nike since 1996.
Nike said in a statement: "Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer."
Armstrong becomes the second athlete to be dumped by Nike, the first being Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, then of the Atlanta Falcons, after his role in a dog fighting ring that got him sent to prison. Nike has since re-signed Vick to a new contract in 2011.
The announcement of the Nike drop comes on the same day that Armstrong announced that he will step down as chairman of Livestrong, a foundation built to combat cancer. Armstrong stepped down as chairman so that the foundation can focus on its mission rather than the allegations against Armstrong.
Nike will also change the name of the Lance Armstrong Fitness Center located at the company's headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
The US Anti-Doping Agency has pressed doping charges against seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong is facing a lifetime ban from cycling and being stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles. The USADA has banned him from triathlons, a sport that he took up after cycling.
The charges were first reported by The Washington Post.
A letter from the USADA has accused Armstrong of using EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, HGH, and anti-inflammatory steroids. The letter from the USADA has not cited specific examples, but says the charges are based upon investigations on Armstrong's former teams.
The letter goes on to say that blood collected from Armstrong by cycling's governing body in 2009 and 2010 are "fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions"
Armstrong denied his involvement in a statement: "I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have completed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one."
Armstrong is currently in France training for a triathlon.