WADA chief dismisses Armstrong's 'clean after 2005' claim

Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:42am IST

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey looks on before the WADA Media Symposium at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne in this February 27, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey looks on before the WADA Media Symposium at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne in this February 27, 2008 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse/Files

REUTERS - Lance Armstrong's assertion that he did not take performance-enhancing drugs after his seventh and final Tour de France victory in 2005 has been dismissed by the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Armstrong admitted years of systematic doping in an interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey on Thursday but the American maintained he was clean when he made a comeback in 2009, 3-1/2 years after retiring.

However, WADA chief John Fahey told Britain's Daily Telegraph on Friday: "The evidence from USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) is that Armstrong's blood tests show variations in his blood that show with absolute certainty he was doping after 2005".

"Believe USADA or believe Armstrong? I know who to believe.

"It struck me that the statute of limitations under U.S. law might be relevant and Armstrong would not want to admit to anything in regards to his comeback that might be picked up under the U.S. criminal code," Fahey added.

Armstrong, stripped of his Tour wins and banned for life last year after a USADA investigation, said in Thursday's interview that if asked to participate in a truth and reconciliation commission he would be "the first man through the door".

But Fahey responded by saying Armstrong had recently declined to give evidence to USADA under oath.

"The USADA invited him to come clean and advised he would have to give evidence under oath and provide substantial assistance and, if he indicated the nature of the evidence - and he would have to name times, dates, people - there may be a consideration of reducing his life sentence to a term of years," Fahey said in the Telegraph.

"But he never came back, he went to Oprah instead and that indicates how sincere he really was. He wanted to control the way his story was told.

"This bloke is a cheat and did my view of him change after watching the interview? No," added Fahey. (Writing by Alison Wildey; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Reuters Showcase

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Read 

Jihadi John

Jihadi John

British PM Cameron vows to hunt down 'Jihadi John'.  Full Article 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Read | Ab Tak Chhappan 

Nimoy Dies

Nimoy Dies

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83.  Full Article 

Gown Returned

Gown Returned

Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscar gown returned by thief via TMZ.  Full Article 

NZ vs Australia

NZ vs Australia

Boult destroys powerful Australia batting lineup.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage