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Armstrong 'offered $250,000 donation' to USADA

other Updated: Jan 10, 2013 00:17 IST
Oprah Winfrey

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong offered to "donate" up to $250,000 towards anti-doping campaigns, according to an interview with the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency.

CEO Travis Tygart told CBS's "60 Minutes Sports" that a representative for Lance Armstrong offered the agency a "donation" in 2004, several years before a Usada investigation led to Armstrong being stripped of seven Tour de France titles.

In an interview on the show's premier to be aired on Wednesday, Tygart said he didn't hesitate to turn the offer down. Tygart tells interviewer Scott Pelley, according to a statement issued by the show: "I was stunned. It was clear - it was a clear conflict of interest for Usada. We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer."

Asked how much money Armstrong offered the agency, Tygart replied: "in excess of $150,000." Told that 60 Minutes had learned it was $250,000, Tygart answered: "It was around that ballpark."

Tygart also alleges Armstrong offered the International Cycling Union (UCI), a regulatory body for the sport, a gift of $100,000.

Armstrong's attorney, Tim Herman, said that no such offer was made: "No truth to that story. First Lance heard of it was today. He never made any such contribution or suggestion."

In October Usada produced a 1,000 page report which alleged that Armstrong's team "ran the most sophisticated doping programme ever".

During the interview, Tygart describes Armstrong and his team of doctors, coaches and riders as similar to a "Mafia".

Oprah interview
American talk show queen Oprah Winfrey has landed an exclusive interview with Armstrong. It will be the first interview of the cyclist since the doping controversy. In the 90-minute interview, which will air on January 17, Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating and charges of lying about doping.