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Lance Armstrong lied to Oprah Winfrey: USADA chief

Posted on Jan 26, 11:37AM | IBNS

The American anti-doping official, who pursued Lance Armstrong for years said Armstrong had lied in his confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey and has set the American cyclist with a deadline of two weeks to come clean.

USADA chief Travis Tygart said in an yet to be aired interview to CBS network that Armstrong failed to tell Winfrey the truth about several key points over doping -- including a claim that he raced drug-free in his comeback in 2009 and 2010.

Tygart said he has written to Armstrong to say that if he wants to lessen his lifetime sporting ban he must "cooperate fully and truthfully'' by Feb 6, about drug-taking in the sport, said reports.

"His blood tests in 2009, 2010 - expert reports based on the variation of his blood values from those tests (say it was a) one-to-a-million chance that it was due to something other than doping," he told 60 Minutes programme of CBS.

Armstrong admitted to doping during his seven Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005, but told Winfrey that reports about his doping during his comeback in 2009 and 2010 were false.

Tygart said Armstrong resorted to lie about his comeback because under the statute of limitations for criminal fraud, he would still be open to prosecution for fraud.

"He used a lot of EPO," Tygart told "60 Minutes", alleging that Armstrong was not truthful when he told Winfrey that he had not pushed his teammates toward doping.

It is not clear if cooperation from Armstrong, who had been stripped of all seven of his Tour De France wins last year, could take the form of testimony before a truth and reconciliation commission.

Armstrong told Oprah that he deserved the punishment for doping but did not deserve a life ban, which is similar to a "death penalty".

"I am not saying that's unfair - I'm saying it is different," he told Winfrey.

"I deserve to be punished but I am not sure I deserve the death penalty."

"Would I love to run the Chicago marathon when I am 50? I would love to do that but I can't," he confessed at the interview.

Tygart however, responded immediately after Armstrong's first confession aired last week, saying Armstrong had to testify under oath about his doping to have any hope of reducing his sanction.

"His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction," Tygart was quoted as saying.

"But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities," said he.