Travis Tygart calls for truth and reconciliation, says punishing Armstrong not sufficient

Travis Tygart says that stripping Armstrong of his titles is insufficient for change, calls for truth and reconciliation commission

WASHINGTON, DC (AFP) — The head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency called for a truth and reconciliation commission to uncover drug cheats in cycling, saying on Monday that punishing Lance Armstrong is not nearly enough to restore the sport’s credibility.

“It is essential that an independent and meaningful truth and reconciliation commission be established so that the sport can fully unshackle itself from the past,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement.

The statement came after the UCI backed USADA’s decision to erase Armstrong’s entire palmarès from August 1998 onward.

UCI president Pat McQuaid called the scandal “the biggest crisis” the sport had ever faced, and the governing body said on Monday that it would strip Armstrong of nearly every major result he had achieved.

Earlier this month, USADA released a devastating, 202-page dossier on Armstrong, with more than 1,000 pages of supporting testimony, on his role at the heart of the biggest doping program in the history of sport.

In his statement Monday, Tygart said acting against Armstrong is not enough.

“There are many more details of doping that are hidden, many more doping doctors and corrupt team directors, and the omerta has not yet been fully broken,” he said.

Tygart said that punishing Armstrong and the riders who came forward to talk about the former Tour champion’s doping activities cannot be seen as “penance for an era of pervasive doping.”

“There must be more action to combat the system that took over the sport,” Tygart said, proposing a panel to receive confessions from dopers that have not yet come forward.

“Only an independent truth and reconciliation commission can fully start cycling on the path toward true reform and provide hope for a complete break from the past.”