Disgraced international cyclist Lance Armstrong failed to meet Wednesday's deadline to meet with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and give a full confession about his drug use.
Had he chosen to cooperate with the agency it would likely have paved the way for a reduction in Armstrong's lifetime ban from the sport, the New York Times reported.
USADA had agreed to give him a two-week extension at his request to decide whether he wanted to provide full disclosure but he once again refused to work with the agency.
Armstrong's lawyer, Tim Herman, explained in a statement Wednesday that his client would cooperate only with “an international tribunal formed to comprehensively address pro cycling, an almost exclusively European sport.”
“We remain hopeful that an international effort will be mounted, and we will do everything we can to facilitate that result,” Herman said in the statement.
“In the meantime, for several reasons, Lance will not participate in Usada’s efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95 percent of the sport over which Usada has no jurisdiction.”
Armstrong admitted in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey last month that he took banned substances during all seven of his Tour de France victories.
USADA officials seemed stunned Wednesday by Armstrong's decision simply to walk away, ABC News reported.
Its chief executive, Travis Tygart, said that during the past few weeks Armstrong had "led us to believe that he wanted to come in and assist USADA, but was worried of potential criminal and civil liability if he did so.", USA Today reported.
Tygart said he learned from the media that Armstrong "is choosing not to come in and be truthful and that he will not take the opportunity to work toward righting his wrongs in sport."
He said it would not stop USADA's investigation moving forward.
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It was USADA who last year uncovered the damning evidence against Armstrong, which led to his lifetime ban and ultimate downfall, the London Telegraph reported