USADA chief says Lance Armstrong offered 'donation' of 150K US
Travis Tygart tells '60 Minutes Sports' offer was made in 2004
The chief of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency told "60 Minutes Sports" that a representative for Lance Armstrong offered the agency a "donation" in excess of $150,000 US several years before a USADA investigation led to Armstrong being stripped of seven Tour de France titles.
Armstrong to go on Oprah
Lance Armstrong has agreed to a rare televised interview with Oprah Winfrey that will air next week.
According to a release posted on Oprah's website on Tuesday, Armstrong will address allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
Armstrong has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, but The New York Times reported Friday he has told associates he is considering admitting the use of PEDS.
The newspaper report cited anonymous sources, and Armstrong attorney Tim Herman told The Associated Press that night that he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession.
Oprah's interview with Armstrong will air on Jan. 17.
— The Associated Press
In an interview on the show's premiere airing on Showtime Wednesday night, USADA CEO Travis Tygart said he was "stunned" when he received the offer in 2004.
"It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA," Tygart said. "We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer."
Armstrong's attorney, Tim Herman, denied such an offer was made.
"No truth to that story," Herman wrote Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press. "First Lance heard of it was today. He never made any such contribution or suggestion."
Tygart was travelling and did not respond to requests from the AP for comment. USADA spokeswoman Annie Skinner said Tygart's comments from the interview were accurate. In it, he reiterates what he told the AP last fall: That he was surprised when federal investigators abruptly shut down their two-year probe into Armstrong and his business dealings, then refused to share any of the evidence they had gathered.
"You'll have to ask the feds why they shut down," Tygart told the AP. "They enforce federal criminal laws. We enforce sports anti-doping violations. They're totally separate. We've done our job."