Travis Tygart denies Lance Armstrong 'witch hunt' claims

Following Pat McQuaid's accusation of Lance Armstrong being subjected to a witch hunt, USADA chief Travis Tygart says both parties had the chance to appeal

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong at the 2003 Tour de France (Watson)
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

The chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency has dismissed claims that Lance Armstrong was the subject of a “witch hunt” when he was banned from cycling for life.

The accusation was made by former UCI president, Pat McQuaid, on BBC Radio 5 Live after Armstrong gave an interview to the corporation - two years after his doping confession.

But according to AFP, Travis Tygart says that if McQuaid and Armstrong felt so strongly about it they could have challenged the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport when the ban was imposed.

“It is easy for Pat McQuaid or others to say soundbites like he said,” Tygart told reporters at an anti-doping intelligence seminar in Singapore.

He added: “Lance certainly had every opportunity to challenge that sanction.

“And certainly Pat McQuaid could have appealed our decision to impose the lifetime ban. If he in any way felt that was unfair or was singling out Lance Armstrong, he certainly as the president of UCI had the appeal rights to go to CAS.”

Armstrong lamented in his BBC interview that his USADA ban was too wide-reaching, preventing him from entering marathons and triathlons, and potentially raising thousands of pounds for charity.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.