Lance Armstrong says in an interview with the Associated Press that he owes the World Anti-Doping Agency and others an apology for using performance enhancing drugs throughout the majority of his cycling career, but maintains that WADA’s chief did not want to meet with him in 2013.
David Howman, the director general of WADA, has said that Armstrong has done enough to get his lifetime ban for using performance-enhancing drugs reduced and recent attempts at rehabilitation are “almost too late.”
Armstrong, 43, was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories and banned for life in 2012 after USADA issued a report detailing how Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling teammates “ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
When Armstrong requested via email to speak with Howman in 2013, Howman asked where they could meet face-to-face.
But a few days later, Howman declined to meet with him.
"Having reflected upon your request to meet with me, and having taken advice from our lawyers, it is apparent that it is a situation where little, if anything, can be gained from such a meeting," Howman wrote Armstrong in an email provided to the AP.
Armstrong and the International Cycling Union were criticized by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission in a report published in March for ignoring doping for decades.
Howman says Armstrong had the chance to come clean about decades of doping but "did not do it before the independent commission that was established by the UCI, he did not do it with USADA, he has not done it with us."
The report also said that Armstrong's lawyers were allowed to help author the report that criticized WADA.
Armstrong said he doesn't know if he would have apologized to Howman had they met two years ago.
"I was in a different headspace," Armstrong said. "There's no doubt that a lot of people like them, like USADA, are owed an apology."
- Scooby Axson