IOC wants Lance details
LONDON – Lance Armstrong’s doping confession to Oprah Winfrey was “too little, too late” and failed to provide any new information that will help clean up the sport he tarnished through years of cheating, the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)said yesterday.
A day after stripping Armstrong of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the IOC urged the disgraced former Tour De France champion to supply details to anti-doping authorities in order to “bring an end to this dark episode”.
In an interview with The Associated Press, IOC vice-president Thomas Bach said Armstrong’s admission to Winfrey – after years of vehement denials – that he used performance-enhancing drugs was not enough.
“If he thinks this interview would help him get credibility back, I think this is too little, too late,” said Bach, a German lawyer who leads the IOC’s anti-doping investigations. “It’s a first step in the right direction, but no more.”
Armstrong acknowledged in the interview with Winfrey that he used EPO, testosterone, human growth hormone and blood transfusions to win the Tour de France seven times.
“If he really loves his sport and wants to regain at least some credibility, then he should tell the whole truth and cooperate with the relevant sports bodies . . . . “I hoped he would be more precise, that you would get an idea of who were the people behind him. He’s even protected the famous Dr Ferrari.”
Bach was referring to Italian doctor Michele Ferrari, who worked closely with Armstrong and has been accused of being a mastermind of the cyclist’s doping programme.
Armstrong is under pressure to come clean to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the independent commission set up by the International Cycling Union.
“We have three sports bodies he can address,” Bach said by telephone. “He needs to give testimony under oath. After lying for more than a dozen years, he needs to be questioned by experts and not just in a well orchestrated interview.”
The sentiment was echoed by World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman, who said Armstrong’s interview offered no more than “convenient truth”.
“He didn’t name names. He didn’t say who supplied him, what officials were involved,” World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey said.
“If he was looking for redemption, he didn’t succeed in getting that,” he added.
After refuting doping allegations ever since he won his first Tour De France in 1999, Armstrong admitted on Thursday that he used the blood-booster EPO, testosterone and blood doping at least since the mid-1990s. (AP)