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U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart is confident of his agency’s lifetime ban on Lance Armstrong, as well as its case against Johan Bruyneel, and believes his case file will go to the UCI before the end of September. In a lengthy interview that ran Monday in French sports daily L’Equipe, Tygart says his predecessor and he have received death threats over the Barry Bonds and U.S. Postal Service cases, but that he remains vigilant in USADA’s mission to represent clean athletes.
“I am interested in the facts and have to respect the mandate I have,” Tygart told L’Equipe. “Powerful or not, all athletes face the same justice. I have to keep emphasizing that USADA is independent. We want a clean sport and have nothing to do with the business caused by this or that discipline. We are here to intervene if necessary. We do this because the federations can’t do it. It’s contradictory to promote the sport and be in a position to sanction the athletes at the same time.”
When asked about Bruyneel’s upcoming arbitration hearing, in which the Belgian will argue against charges that he was among six men to mastermind a decade-long conspiracy to distribute and conceal doping products and practices, Tygart said that Armstrong could be summonsed to testify.
“I don’t know what (Bruyneel) hopes for,” said Tygart. “Winning time? Take advantage of the inertia of the system? He will be heard before the end of this year. The hearing will be public. Lance Armstrong may be called upon to tesify, under oath. Like all the others. In that game there is no safety net. If he lies under oath, it’s serious.”
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