Lance Armstrong is not telling the truth by denying his representatives offered a six-figure cash donation to the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA), the body’s former chief executive Terry Madden said yesterday.
In the second part of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Armstrong, the Texan denied the charge made by current USADA chief Travis Tygart that one of Armstrong’s representatives offered around $250,000 to the agency.
But in an interview yesterday with ESPN.com, Madden said he remembered the offer clearly.
“Travis’s office was about a five-second walk from mine. He informed me and we immediately rejected the idea,” the former USADA chief executive said.
“I told him to go back and call the representative and inform him that, based on our ethics, we could not accept a donation from anyone we were testing or would test in the future.
“We later informed our board of directors and they confirmed we had made the right decision.”
Madden, a lawyer, said he had no idea whether Armstrong personally knew of the representative’s approach but said Armstrong’s comment in Friday’s interview was “another personal attack on Travis and USADA.” When asked directly in the interview with Winfrey about Tygart’s charge, Armstrong said: “No, that is not true.”
Armstrong also said Tygart’s claim was not included in the detailed dossier USADA presented last year on his doping activities.
“In the 1,000-page reasoned decision that they had issued, there was a lot of stuff in there, everything was in there, why wasn’t that in there? Pretty big story. Oprah, it’s not true.”
Armstrong said he had checked and none of his associates had made the offer.
“Nobody, I had no knowledge of that but I asked around. Nobody, not true. I think the claim was $250,000, it was broad number but they narrowed it down. That’s a lot of money. I would know,” Armstrong said.
Meanwhile, one of Armstrong’s biggest critics dismissed the former cyclist’s public show of contrition, labelling him “delusional”.
Betsy Andreu, the wife of Armstrong’s former team-mate Frankie, who testified Armstrong had admitted to doping in a hospital in 1996, and was subsequently labelled “crazy” by the Texan, said he does not understand “the magnitude of what he’s done”.
“Boo-hoo,” Andreu told CNN. “He’s not getting it. What about Greg LeMond’s bike company that was completely destroyed? It doesn’t make sense.
“What about Scott Mercier not having a career? Christophe Bassons not having a career? Other guys who didn’t want to do what he wanted them to do not having a career?”
Three-time Tour de France winner LeMond’s company LeMond Cycles fell into dispute with distributors Trek, Armstrong’s sponsors, after he spoke out publicly against doping. Bassons and Mercier were effectively forced out of cycling because they refused to dope.