Lance Armstrong refused to meet with officials of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) by February 20, letting a deadline pass that might have allowed his lifetime ban from sanctioned competitions to be reduced to eight years. The agency was looking for Armstrong to testify under oath about doping.
"Following his recent television interview, we again invited him to come in and provide honest information, and he was informed in writing by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that this was the appropriate avenue for him if he wanted to be part of the solution," USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement. "Over the last few weeks he has led us to believe that he wanted to come in and assist USADA, but was worried of potential criminal and civil liability if he did so."
Armstrong released a statement through his lawyer, Tim Herman. "Lance is willing to cooperate fully and has been very clear: He will be the first man through the door, and once inside will answer every question, at an international tribunal formed to comprehensively address pro cycling, an almost exclusively European sport," Herman said. "We remain hopeful that an international effort will be mounted, and we will do everything we can to facilitate that result. In the meantime, for several reasons, Lance will not participate in USADA's efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95 percent of the sport over which USADA has no jurisdiction."
No official international tribunal currently exists to address drugs in pro cycling. Previous efforts between the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union to form a truth and reconciliation committee to uncover past cheating in cycling have failed.