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Lance Armstrong's lawyer defends his client on Sport At 7

Updated: Friday, 12 Oct 2012 14:04 | Comments

Lance Armstrong's lawyer insists his man is innocent
Lance Armstrong's lawyer insists his man is innocent

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Lance Armstrong’s lawyer Sean Breen launched a staunch defence of his client on RTÉ's Sport At 7, insisting that the Texan cyclist is the victim of a vendetta from a ‘rogue agency’.

Listen to the full interview here.

The US Anti-Doping Agency have accused Armstrong of being at the centre of the 'most sophisticated doping programme that sport has ever seen' in a report that runs to more than 1,000 pages and contains the sworn testimony of 26 people, including 15 riders.

USADA were hugely critical of Armstrong in a report they say is constructed from direct documentary evidence - including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results.

However, speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Sport At 7, Breen insisted that his client is a victim in all this and innocent of the charges against him.

Breen said: "Mister Armstrong has been targeted by this rogue agency (USADA) in the United States for several years. They’ve spent millions of dollars solely to focus on Mister Armstrong.

"They've offered unbelievable types of deals through criminal pressure, through sweetheart deals with riders so it's not a surprise they’ve come up with a report, with millions of dollars, that's extremely critical of Mister Armstrong.

"USADA has to justify their existence. People here in the States know that there's been a lot of questions and political questions about this group for some time and they have to justify their existence and there's a few people in there who we know have had a vendetta against Mister Armstrong for some time," Breen added.

The five American cyclists who testified against Armstrong have all been formally banned for six months after confessing to using performance enhancing drugs.

Tom Danielson, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie all agreed to serve six-month suspensions as part of a plea bargain to provide sworn testimony to the USADA.

Breen believes that this plea bargain deal is the motivation behind the claims from the cyclists and that Armstrong is the fall guy as his former colleagues attempt to cut their bans short.

He claimed: "The other riders weren’t coming forward, they were targeted specifically by USADA. We have evidence that USADA has been offering deals that once they find riders who may have done something wrong they say 'hey look we’ll let you off the hook as long as you tell us something about Lance Armstrong'.

"Lance is perfectly comfortable. His conscience is clear, he's moved on to what his goal is – his family and his foundation."

When asked whether he thought that Armstrong was innocent of all the charges against him or whether he was victimised for 'doing what everyone else in professional cycling was doing,' Breen remained steadfast in his defence of his client.

"I believe that Lance is innocent. I believe him when he says that, I believe him when he says his conscience is clear. I also believe that he is the best athlete and rider, certainly in the last few generations no matter what," he said.

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