Lance Armstrong and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart met last week for the first time in more than two years, in a step that could lead to the reduction of Armstrong’s lifetime ban due to doping, according to The New York Times.
Armstrong was banned from competition for life by USADA on Aug. 24, 2012, and then stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles won from 1999 through 2005.
Tygart did not confirm that the meeting took place, according to the report:
But Armstrong, 43, has confided to close friends that the meeting went well and that he was hopeful of further talks.
Armstrong is eager to reach an agreement that would allow him to compete in top-level triathlons.
The meeting lasted six hours, according to The Associated Press.
Armstrong said in January he was frustrated he couldn’t, for example, run the Boston Marathon in 4 hours, 15 minutes and raise $100,000 for charity.
“I don’t know how anybody thinks that’s right,” Armstrong told the BBC. “Nothing benefits me by going and running a slow marathon.”
Last week, International Cycling Union president Brian Cookson said he had “no remit to reduce” the lifetime ban but that it was up to USADA. Cookson’s comment came after an independent commission released a 227-page report probing cycling’s doping culture for which Armstrong was interviewed.
“The commission did not feel that anything that Lance Armstrong had told them was sufficient for them to recommend a reduction in his sanction,” Cookson said, according to VeloNews. “I have found no evidence to contradict that.”
Under the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, athlete sanctions can be reduced if they provide “substantial assistance” to anti-doping officials.
“It is premature to talk about any sanction reduction,” Tygart said, according to The New York Times.