- Created on Thursday, 07 February 2013 12:22
AUSTIN, Texas (AP)
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has been in contact with Lance Armstrong and is giving him more time to decide if he wants to cooperate with its investigators and tell more about what he knows of doping in cycling.
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USADA, the agency that investigated the cyclist's performance-enhancing drug use and banned him for life from sports, has given him an extra two weeks to work out an interview with investigators under oath.
''We have been in communication with Mr. Armstrong and his representatives and we understand that he does want to be part of the solution and assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling,'' USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement. ''We have agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on details to hopefully allow for this to happen.''
The agency has said cooperating in its cleanup effort is the only path open to Armstrong if his ban is to be reduced.
Separately, Armstrong has been warned he's about to get sued.
SCA Promotions in Dallas said it will sue Armstrong on Thursday to recover more than $12 million it paid him in bonuses for winning the Tour de France seven times.
SCA Promotions tried to withhold the bonuses in 2005 amid doping allegations against the cyclist. The company wants its money back, plus fees and interest, now that Armstrong has admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs and has been stripped of those victories.
Armstrong testified under oath in 2005 that he didn't use steroids, other drugs or blood doping methods to win. SCA said the lawsuit will be filed in Dallas.
''Mr. Armstrong's legal team and representatives claimed repeatedly that SCA would only be entitled to repayment if Mr. Armstrong was stripped of his titles, and since that has now come to pass, we intend to hold them to those statements,'' the company said.
Armstrong attorney Tim Herman did not immediately respond to messages.
Also on Wednesday, the federal Food and Drug Administration said it is not investigating Armstrong. FDA spokeswoman Sarah Clark-Lynn made the statement following stories by ABC News and USA Today Sports.
Quoting an unidentified person that it called a ''high-level source,'' ABC said that federal agents are actively investigating Armstrong for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation. On Wednesday, USA Today Sports reported that the FDA ''is investigating the Lance Armstrong case.''
The news reports came after a statement by U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte, whose office conducted a criminal investigation of Armstrong, closing the inquiry a year ago without bringing any charges. Armstrong subsequently admitted to the drug use he long denied after USADA went ahead with its own investigation.
Birotte said that ''we've been well-aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong and other media reports. That has not changed my view at this time. Obviously, we'll consider, we'll continue to look at the situation, but that hasn't changed our view as I stand here today.''
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler declined to say whether any other component of the department is investigating Armstrong.
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