Pleading guilty can save Armstrong his titles
MOSCOW, August 27 - RAPSI. Famous bike racer Lance Armstrong could have kept some the sports titles which the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has stripped him of if he admitted to using and distributing banned substances.
USADA accused seven-time Tour de France winner of breaking a host of anti-doping rules: from using to distributing performance enhancing drugs, as well as inciting other athletes to use them. After several hearings, Armstrong decided to give up his fight and USADA announced that Armstrong would be stripped of all his titles and would be disqualified from competitive sports events for life.
USADA head Travis Tygart says that if Armstrong had "come in and been truthful" the punishment may have been reduced and he would have been deprived only of the titles he won in 2004 and 2005. The terms of his disqualification would not have been so severe "if he would have been truthful and willing to meet to help the sport move forward for the good," Tygart told USA Today.
His lifetime disqualification may still be shortened if he decides to cooperate with the agency.
Armstrong's representatives believe that USADA's decision is unlawful and that only the International Cycling Union (UCI) holds the power to strip a racer of his titles.