Cycling: Armstrong urged to name and shame all

By Lawrence Tobin

Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling, has urged Lance Armstrong to name names and tell all when he addresses the damning doping accusations against him later this week.

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union (UCI) last year, is due to be interviewed on American television by Oprah Winfrey on Thursday. The 41-year-old has maintained a silence since the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) prompted the UCI's action by claiming that Armstrong and his US Postal team had run "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Prior to that, Armstrong had spent years denying doping allegations against him, but there is speculation that he will make at least a partial admission after the Oprah Winfrey Network confirmed the issue would be addressed.

Cookson told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: "For me, the real thing that has to come out is who were these other people involved, who were the people supplying and helping him, the doctors that helped him, the companies that supplied him. Some of the stuff he was taking, apparently, was still in clinical trials so how on earth did he get hold of this kind of stuff?

"If the allegations that he bribed people, that he was given a nod and a wink when the testers were approaching his house and all this kind of thing, are true, let's have that information.

"Who actually did he bribe, where were the payments made, were third parties involved and so on? Let's not have innuendos and smears, let's have the actual facts and names of places and towns, the amounts.

"The sort of thing Armstrong was doing, apparently, according to the Usada report, was not just popping a few pills behind the changing rooms, it was sophisticated conspiracies, cheating over a long period of time on a large scale."

The Sunday Times has taken out an advertisement in the Chicago Tribune with a list of 10 questions it wants Winfrey to ask Armstrong. The newspaper announced in December its plans to sue Armstrong for $US1.5m as a result of losing a libel action to him over doping allegations made in 2006.

Among the questions, chief sports writer David Walsh asks whether Armstrong told doctors in 1996 that he had used EPO, human growth hormone, cortisone, steroids and testosterone, whether he intends to return his prize-money, and whether he accepts "lying to the cancer community was the greatest deception of all".

Cookson added: "It's all very strange. After years and years of denials and suing people who have made accusations, he is going to either have to eat humble pie or come up with some extra layers of lies.

"I think there will be all these layers of emotion and obfuscation of the real issue, which is that he cheated, along with a lot of other people in and around his team."

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