Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping in October, has told associates and antidoping officials that he is considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career, according to several people with direct knowledge of the situation, as reported by Juliet Macur of The New York Times.
Armstrong’s motives for making a public admission include regaining his eligibility to compete in triathlons and running events, and pressure from wealthy supporters of Livestrong to protect his charity from further damage, one person with knowledge of the situation said.
Armstrong, 41, reportedly has been in discussions with the United States Anti-Doping Agency and its chief executive, Travis Tygart, to lift the lifetime ban, according to one person briefed on the situation.
Armstrong is also seeking to meet with David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, that person said.
When asked if Armstrong might admit to doping, Tim Herman, Armstrong’s longtime lawyer, said: “I do not know about that. I suppose anything is possible, for sure. Right now, that’s really not on the table.”
Herman reportedly denied that Armstrong was talking to Tygart.
Armstrong has long denied allegations of doping and fought investigative efforts, but hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony, correspondence and financial records presented by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency led to the International Cycling Union and the Tour de France stripping him of his seven titles and his being banned from Olympic competitions.