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WADA: Lance Armstrong's attempt at reduced ban for doping are “almost too late”

By SI Wire
March 24, 2015

World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman says disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has not done enough to get his lifetime ban for using performance enhancing drugs reduced and recent attempts at rehabilitation are “almost too late.”

Howman told the Associated Press at the 11th Symposium for Anti-Doping Organizations in Lausanne, Switzerland, that Armstrong did not take advantage of the opportunities he had to come forward with details of his doping past.

"If he satisfied the criteria to go forward and ask for suspension of his ban, the criteria will be carefully looked at, but so far he has not," Howman said. "There is no consideration being given to it. I'm not sure why he has not done anything. He certainly had plenty of opportunities, including talking to us, but he has not come forward with substantial information that might be helpful to the cycling fraternity."

Armstrong met with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart earlier this month trying to get a reduction of his ban but has not spoken with WADA.

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.”

Earlier this month, Armstrong and the International Cycling Union were criticized by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission for ignoring doping.

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."

Howman also agreed with ICU president Brian Cookson, who said that Armstrong's planned charity ride later this summer on the Tour de France route would be "disrespectful" to current riders.

"Mr. Cookson is the correct judge of that, and I think his statement reflected what was probably the position from their perspective, which is damaging," Howman said. "I think there is probably going more attention on what he is doing than on the Tour, and that's a little bit sad."

- Scooby Axson

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