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Vaughters welcomes Armstrong news
18 Mar 2015 19:07
Jonathan Vaughters, a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong turned team boss, has welcomed reports of a meeting between the disgraced cyclist and the United States Anti-doping Agency.
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Vaughters, chief executive of the Cannondale-Garmin team, competed alongside Armstrong for the United States Postal Service team which was subject of the USADA report which led to the Texan's downfall.
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Armstrong was in August 2012 banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles before admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs.
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Vaughters gave evidence to USADA and has admitted to doping himself, but Armstrong refused to cooperate with the investigation into US Postal.
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Now, perhaps in an effort to see his life ban reduced, it has been reported Armstrong met with USADA chief executive Travis Tygart.
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In an interview with Press Association Sport on Monday, Tygart insisted USADA was still in contact with Armstrong's legal representatives. Press Association Sport has contacted USADA about the meeting.
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On the reports, Vaughters, speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport conference in London, said: "I don't know what his motivations are, but to me that's good news. My experiences with Travis have been nothing but positive."
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Armstrong was condemned on Tuesday by Brian Cookson, the president of the UCI, cycling's world governing body, for his plan to return to the Tour route this summer in a charity ride alongside ex-footballer Geoff Thomas.
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Cookson described Armstrong's presence alongside Thomas, who plans to ride the entire Tour route one day ahead of the professional peloton as "completely disrespectful".
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"I understand that opinion," Vaughters added.
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"I sincerely hope his reasons for wanting to do that are altruistic.
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"I have no idea what his motivations are. If it's altruistic then it's hard to condemn anything altruistic, across the board.
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"If it's part of a greater commercial strategy or legal strategy, then I feel like that's disingenuous.
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"One of the biggest penalties that guys face when they are caught for doping is the loss of their social group.
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"They're no longer accepted amongst their tribe, their people that they were once close with.
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"He would like social acceptance again. I'm assuming that's a little bit what he's after."
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