USADA’s Travis Tygart: Evidence of Lance Armstrong Doping Will Be Presented on Paper Internationally

August 27, 2012 – 9:45 am by Eric Schmoldt

Lance Armstrong won’t be contesting the charges leveled against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the evidence against him won’t come out. USADA head Travis Tygart says his agency will be presenting a reasoned decision to the World Anti-Doping Agency in the coming weeks.

Tygart says his main goal in all of this is to clean up the sport from the top — meaning doctors and sport directors — on down through the line to clean up the drug culture in all sports, including cycling. He said the Armstrong decision was made at this point due to recent overwhelming evidence that Armstrong and his teammates were part of a sophisticated doping program.

Travis Tygart joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss why the decision was made now, what would have happened if Armstrong decided to fight back, if he thinks Armstrong was afraid of court, his respect for Armstrong, his response to Armstrong’s claims that he’s passed about 500 drug tests, how the cyclists cheated and the number of cyclists he believes were involved in doping.

Why the decision now?:

“Well, the evidence that we’ve received over the last few months was just overwhelming, unfortunately, that Lance Armstrong and the other participants on the U.S. Postal Service pro cycling team participated in a very professionalized and sophisticated doping program all aimed to win. Really, under our rules and our obligation on behalf of clean athletes and all athletes at every level, who want to compete without having to use dangerous, performance-enhancing drugs, we had an obligation to initiate the process and allow the legal process to ensue. … Lance Armstrong chose not to contest that, so that’s now on him.”

If he would have decided to fight this, what would you have done?:

“We, frankly, we would have welcomed that opportunity. It’s every athlete’s right within our system and we would have had an open legal process where every piece of evidence, bit by bit, piece by piece, would have been presented in open court to the arbitration process. He and his lawyers would have the opportunity to cross-examine it, to confront it, to argue that it wasn’t reliable or didn’t prove what we believed and are confident that it proved.”

Do you think Armstrong was afraid of getting in front of the court?:

“It’s hard to say, but I think at the end of the day, yeah. The better move now for him is to walk away on these terms and hold onto a sound byte with no basis about an unfair process or a witch hunt or a personal vendetta and all these things that you’ve heard. Because I think it would’ve been much tougher had all that evidence, over a two-week, three-week period of time, under oath, been presented on the stand. We’ll be providing a reasoned decision based on that evidence to the International Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency, so I think in the weeks to come, that will be revealed in paper form.”

Do you respect Lance Armstrong?:

“I think there’s a bad culture in the sport and we really saw the win-at-all-costs culture take over. I think he did what a lot of other athletes did at that time. A number of them, when we confronted them with all the evidence we saw, came forward and were truthful and sat down with us and said, ‘Yeah, here’s everything that went on and here’s how we did it and here’s who was involved and here’s who taught us to beat the test.’ They helped and they felt bad about what they were put into and the decisions they were forced to make. … He chose to go an entirely different route and, unfortunately, this is the conclusion at this stage, at least, that results from it. I don’t fault any athlete to succumbing or being tempted to the pressures.”

How do you respond to Lance saying he’s passed close to 500 drug tests?:

“Look, we’ve asked to see the proof of that. I’m not sure that’s accurate. At the end of the day, we know athletes, and Marion Jones made the same claim. There were the ’99 Tour de France samples that were retested. There was the 2001 evidence that we have that there was [something] suspicious indicative of EPO use that didn’t go forward. There was the ’99 glucocorticosteroid and we have evidence of cover-up of that positive. And then we included the analytical data from ’09 and ’10 that, in our charge letter, clearly indicates manipulation of his blood at that time. That is corroborated by other evidence that we have.”

How did they beat the tests?:

“One was they would use plasma expanders. They would use saline expanders so they would have notice of the test or they would delay being tested and then they would use substances that would easily mask the things they were doing. They were also using things like blood transfusions … which, unfortunately, there’s not a current test for. There’s good indications that can be drawn from that data I just mentioned to you of the ’09 and ’10 blood data that we have and presented to him.”

Do you think most riders used?:

“At that time, I think, not unlike baseball in the late 90s and early 2000s, the culture of drug use overtook the rules. I think, like Senator Mitchell, we got handed a really bad, terrible set of facts, and we had an obligation to weed through those facts and appropriately and responsibly piece those facts together. Our number one objective, and this was told to every athlete that we spoke to, including Lance Armstrong, was to ensure that the doctors, the sport director that’s still in the sport, are no longer allowed to continue to advising young athletes and grooming young athletes to do what we’ve seen this U.S. Postal Service team do.”

Listen to Travis Tygart on The Dan Patrick Show here

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  1. 10 Responses to “USADA’s Travis Tygart: Evidence of Lance Armstrong Doping Will Be Presented on Paper Internationally”

  2. Travis Tygart is still looking for his limelight. He does not understand that the American people still need someone to be the hero.

    Lance Armstrong was not given the opportunity to ever be innocent. In the United States you are innocent until proven guilty, not guilty and have to prove your innocent.

    Travis Tygarts’ perspective is skewed because he feels that he has all the information he needs to be judge and jury. If you investigate someone and find incriminating evidence it does make you accountable for providing the proper authorities with said evidence but it does not allow you to judge. Tygart needs to take away his emotions and be demoted from his position based his personal commitment to vengefully go after Lance Armstrong. His personal and professional position in this needs to be evaluated by him as well as his counterparts.

    The evidence Lance Armstrong does need to come out if it conclusive evidence and not coerced. The dates need to be within accountable dates for the USADA and the evidence needs to be channeled to the proper sports authorities.

    The USADA represents just the United States. Their “authority” ends at the borders of the United States. If a national team participates in an international event then the USADA needs to understand the chain of command and see that the international promoter is the authority.

    Travis Tygart sees himself as the judge and jury and has exhibited a “God” syndrome. This needs to be evaluated.

    Thank you for your time,
    Professor Moriarity

    By Professor Moriarty on Aug 27, 2012

  3. The USADA and Tygart ought to be ashamed!!!

    By joe on Aug 27, 2012

  4. Thanks, Professor Moriarty; in other words we can’t have sane society if we use insane means of justice. What T. Tygard represents is the medieval kind of justice when people were charged without specifics and based on allegations that someone said something. In this case what is really clear is that allegations were presented as evidence. That by itself was accepted by many, including sport media and journalists, who supposed to have the skills to discern and rely upon basic objectivity.

    By Vashek on Aug 27, 2012

  5. Did you guys not read the article at all? Armstrong had a chance to go through the process (have his lawyers cross-examine evidence, witnesses, etc.). Instead of doing so – he and his attorneys tried to circumvent the process by suing to have the case dropped before it could see the light of day. So whenever I hear “innocent until proven guilty” – I’m wondering where that is all coming from? Has Armstrong been in front of any kind of tribunal since 1999? Has the evidence the USADA been presented in any formal tribunal in which Armstrong was present?

    If not – then how has the USADA already judged Armstrong? The USADA has been itching for a chance to present their findings officially. Looks like they get their chance in a couple weeks – despite Armstrong trying to prevent it from happening.

    By Tinister on Aug 27, 2012

  6. “…how has the USADA already judged Armstrong?” — by unilaterally applying sanctions and stripping his titles for which they don’t have proper jurisdiction. Does that prove to you anything? If they did that without arbitration hearing that is not a judgement? They already decided presuming guilt based on hypothetical evidence none have seen so far. So, how is that squaring with your sense of justice? “Has the evidence the USADA been presented…” — none was presented by USADA, but much is being talked about, how it is “overwhelming”, “unfortunate”, or “consistent with…”, etc. Judge Sparks described USADA charging letter as “woefully inadequate” meaning no specifics were mentioned, dates, locations, names, etc.

    By Vashek on Aug 27, 2012

  7. They stripped his titles AFTER he declined arbitration. And he declined arbitration stating that he would not get a fair trial. LOL

    By Tinister on Aug 27, 2012

  8. Let’s wait til they present their evidence to the World Anti-Doping Agency (and the Olympic Committee, and cycling union).

    Then we’ll see whether their evidence is substantial or not.

    By Tinister on Aug 27, 2012

  9. Why didn’t the USADA step in and stop this behavior if they knew about it? The overwhelming evidence directly points to a limelight grabbing agency that is overfunded, overpaid and underwhelming in their results. The USADA leadership needs to step down and make the anti doping agency a clean agency that is focused on their mission statement rather than headlines.

    By Palmer on Aug 27, 2012

  10. Denial is strong.

    By get these NETS on Aug 27, 2012

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