sport

Lie detector prospect for Armstrong

Lance Armstrong's lawyer has revealed the cyclist might take a lie detector test in an attempt to prove he is innocent of doping allegations.

The Texan has been labelled a "serial cheat" and a bully who led "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen" by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which has stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from cycling for life.

His lawyer Tim Herman said he would be keen for the 26 witnesses who testified against Armstrong to the USADA to take lie detector tests.

He told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: "A lie detector test properly administered, I'm a proponent of that frankly, just personally. I wouldn't challenge the results of a lie detector test with good equipment, properly administered by a qualified technician. That's a pretty simple answer."

Asked if Armstrong would take a lie detector test himself, Herman said: "We might do that, you never know."

He added later: "I don't know if we would or we wouldn't. We might."

Asked what reason there could be for not submitting to a test, Herman added: "Because he's moved on. His name is never going to be clear with anyone beyond what it is today.

"People are fans, most of the people that I've talked to, this is their opinion, it is, 'We don't care whether he did or he didn't'."

USADA last week released their 'reasoned decision' behind their sanctions against him.

They said the evidence against him was "beyond strong" and stretched to more than 1,000 pages.

Herman said: "I don't think that this report altered anyone's view, most people had staked out their position a long time ago about Lance. There are fans and there are haters."

Asked if he was saying all 26 witnesses, 11 of whom were former team-mates of Armstrong and who revealed their own doping past by testifying, were lying, Herman said: "No, I'm not, several of them are.

"I can tell you that many witnesses had contradictory stories to tell and Lance had incidentally over 600 fellow riders, team members, trainers, that sort of thing, in his career racing in Europe. Of those, I think 11 came forward, but many others would and have refuted many of the allegations.

"Why would (the witnesses) wait until now (to come forward)? Here's the answer. It's because for the most part they've been given sweetheart deals. They are supposed to be suspended for four years, they're not. They're suspended for six months commencing in September so they don't miss a single race."

Despite repeatedly denying accusations of doping, in August Armstrong announced he would not fight the doping charges filed against him by USADA, saying in a statement he was "finished with this nonsense" and insisting he was innocent.

Herman said: "The same allegations, same witnesses, same information, was provided to the United States Justice Department in Los Angeles during their investigation and after two years of unbelievable stress emotionally and financially the Justice Department elected not to go forward with these allegations.

"Shortly after that here comes USADA with the same information and with the same witnesses. So faced with a predetermined result, faced with two to three years more litigation, stress and expenses, he (Armstrong) elected to move forward with the important part of his life which is the fight against cancer and that's all he devotes himself to and has for some time."

Herman ended the interview in bizarre fashion, saying: "Anyway, it's been very nice talking to you, well it hasn't really been all that nice. I'm just kidding, but I need to run now."

The president of cycling's world governing body the UCI has admitted his anger and shock at USADA's findings.

Pat McQuaid was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying he was "angry and shocked. That's as much as I can say".

The UCI said last week they would study all the USADA evidence before issuing a response.