Lance Armstrong, the once seven-time Tour de France winner, is mulling a confession to long-running doping accusations, which he has continually denied. The report, which emerged on Friday, cited anonymous sources, and said that Armstrong, 41, was considering confessing to help restore his athletic career.
To be clear, the confession would not be made to restore his career in cycling, where he has been banned for life, but rather in triathlons, the report added.
That being said, Tim Herman, Armstrong's lawyer, denied the claims of an impending confession Saturday, saying he has no knowledge that Armstrong was thinking about a confession. Herman said:
When, and if, Lance has something to say, there won't be any secret about it.
Obviously, Herman's statements do not mean that Armstrong is considering a confession, just that he (Herman) isn't aware of it, and that -- if it happens -- it will be huge news, something no one needs to say.
Herman also denied that Armstrong has reached out to United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief executive Travis Tygart and David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as the initial report stated.
However, according to several people with direct knowledge of the situation, Armstrong is under pressure to confess for non-athletic reasons, as well as the aforementioned athletic ones. While Armstrong earlier cut ties to Livestrong, the charity he founded after surviving testicular cancer, wealthy supporters have been pressuring him to confess, saving the organization from further damage, one person familiar with the situation said.
There are a number of legal roadblocks to a confession, though. In addition to civil lawsuits, there is a concern that Armstrong could be charged with perjury if he were to admit doping. In sworn testimony in a civil case involving SCA, Armstrong said he had never doped.
Two sources said that before confessing, Armstrong would need reassurance from the Justice Department that he would not be prosecuted for perjury.
In October of 2012, he was stripped of his Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and banned for life. The UCI's announcement came just days after the USADA banned Armstrong from the sport for life over alleged use of PEDs. The USADA issued a 200-page report on Oct. 10 after what was said to be an extensive, wide-ranging investigation into the issue.