Former US Anti-Doping Agency chief Terry Madden told US media that Lance Armstrong did offer USADA a donation in 2004, contrary to the shamed cyclist’s claim in a confessional TV interview.
Armstrong’s vehement denial of the claim made by current USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, came in the second installment of his pre-recorded interview with talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, which aired on Friday.
Tygart said in an interview with Showtime television’s “60 Minutes Sports” last week that an Armstrong representative called the agency in 2004 and offered a USD 250,000 “donation”.
“That is not true,” Armstrong told Winfrey, telling her he “asked around” among his camp to see if someone had made the offer without his knowledge. “That’s a lot of money,” Armstrong said. “I would know.”
But Madden, who hasn’t commented publicly on doping matters since his tenure at USADA ended, told both ESPN.com and the Daily News that he remembered the day that Tygart, then USADA’s general counsel, received the call.
“Travis received a telephone call from one of Lance’s closest representatives, who offered to make a contribution to USADA,” Madden told the Daily News.
He said Tygart reported the call to him, and “within 30 seconds” Madden told Tygart to call back and reject the offer, since a donation from a person who could be drug-tested by the agency would be improper.