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Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 12:51am
(CNN) — Lance Armstrong is ready to cooperate with an international "truth and reconciliation commission" digging into doping in professional cycling, but not -- for now and perhaps longer -- with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which expedited his downfall, his lawyer said Friday.
USADA, designated by Congress as the country's official anti-doping organization for Olympic sports, had reached out to Armstrong's representatives, asking the former champion cyclist to talk to them at length by February 6 about his past.
In a letter dated Friday, Armstrong's lawyer Timothy Herman acknowledged the USADA request but said that "logistically, it is simply not possible" to do in the next two weeks "due to preexisting obligations."
Furthermore, Herman wrote that Armstrong is more inclined to cooperate with international sports authorities -- specifically the Union Cycliste Internationale, which recently announced its intention to set up a "truth and reconciliation commission" in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The lawyer reasoned USADA has limited jurisdiction over the sport, since it has focused on the U.S. Postal Service team once led by Armstrong, but not the vast majority of professional cycling teams that have raced in recent decades.
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"USADA has no authority to investigate, prosecute or otherwise involve itself with the other 95% of cycling competitors," Herman said. "Thus, in order to achieve the goal of 'cleaning up cycling,' it must be WADA and the UCI who have overall authority to do so."
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, in a statement to CNN, challenged Armstrong's claim he did not have sufficient time to arrange his schedule so he could talk to his organization. Tygart said the two sides met last month, at which time his agency asked Armstrong to work with them and "be part of the solution."