Armstrong urged for WADA cooperation

Armstrong urged for WADA cooperation

LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
Armstrong urged for WADA cooperation

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s highly anticipated interview with famous American talk show host Oprah Winfrey will be broadcast tonight. REUTERS Photo

The former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Dick Pound, has called on Lance Armstrong to co-operate fully with drug-testing authorities if he wants to have his lifetime ban from the sport lifted.

Armstrong has given his first interview since being stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banished from the sport. In it, the talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who talked to the Texan for two-and-a-half hours, said he admitted doping.

But on the eve of tonight’s anticipated broadcast, Pound said Armstrong should face a proper grilling from anti-doping and cycling authorities, giving details about how he cheated.

“Simply by confessing to what everybody knows is not going to do anything here,” Pound told AFP in an interview. “USADA [US Anti-Doping Agency] can, if Lance provides significant or substantial assistance in the fight against doping in sport, make a recommendation to change the ban from life to something less than life, depending on the degree of information and assistance he gives.”

The USADA last year said Armstrong was at the centre of the most sophisticated doping program in the history of sport.

Pound said that by giving the interview now and admitting what he had always denied, Armstrong could be hoping to pave the way for a return to competition in marathons and triathlons and rehabilitate his tattered reputation.