ONE OF THE attorney’s for American cyclist Lance Armstrong took to Irish airwaves today to defend his client.
Sean Breen was on RTÉ’s Sport at Seven to hit back at claims that Armstrong, as part of the US Postal Service team, was involved in the ‘most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen’.
On Tuesday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency released what its ‘reasoned decision’ that proved, in their view, that Armstrong and USPS had been involved in taking, then concealing, performance enhancing drugs during a period of years when the Texan had won six of his Tour de France titles.
“Mr Armstrong has been targeted by this rogue agency in the USA for years,” proclaimed Breen.
The attorney, based in Austin, Texas, alleged that USADA had spent millions of dollars and offered ‘unbelievable sweetheart deals’ to former teammates of Armstrong to testify against him. Breen added:
There are a few people in (USADA) that we know have a vendetta against Mr Armstrong.”
Breen attempted to discredit two former USPS riders, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, by saying they had vested interests and money issues that marked their testimonies as obsolete.
One of the most damaging aspects of the 1,000-page plus USADA findings against Armstrong is the testimony of long-time teammate George Hincapie, a former, vocal supporter of the Texan.
Breen conceded that he had yet to speak to Hincapie or fully read his testimony against Armstrong but alleged that he and his fellow attorneys were fighting against ‘a rigged process’.
He paraphrased the words of his legal colleague, the attorney Tim Herman, when he told Sport at Seven, “The Christians had better odds against the lions than athletes do against USADA.” He added;
In Texas, we say you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.
“That’s what this is.”
Breen’s firm belief is that Armstrong is ‘absolutely a freak’ that pushed his body to extreme to win cycling’s top prizes.
“Lance is perfectly comfortable; his conscience is clear,” said Breen.
He added, “I believe Lance is innocent. I believe him when he says that.”
Armstrong once said he’d never cheat as he would lose ‘the faith of cancer survivors around the world’