Did California lawmakers ride to Lance Armstrong’s aid?
Less than a week after the United States Anti-Doping Agency banned cyclist Lance Armstrong for life for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs, 23 California lawmakers sent a letter to the state’s two U.S. senators urging them to conduct a “comprehensive review of the organization.” While never mentioning Armstrong by name, the letter raises concerns that “the USADA has unilaterally changed the rules by which athletes who have never failed a drug test are prosecuted.”
The letter was signed by 23 state lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans.
“We respectfully ask that you … conduct a comprehensive review of USADA’s operations and finances,” the letter continued.
In an interview with Times reporter Lance Pugmire, the wife of one of Armstrong’s former teammates suggested the letter was a product of Armstrong’s political connections aimed at destroying the reputation of his enemies.
"He had political connections, from the president of France trying to shut down a drug lab, to the head of the criminal division of the Department of Justice, to those in the California Legislature who wanted to review USADA's funding after the report,” said Betsy Andreu, wife of cyclist Frankie Andreu.
Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he reportedly confesses to doping, will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Thursday and Friday.
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--Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: Lance Armstrong in 2011. Credit: Getty Images