Actualité du dopage
The Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Texas-based charity known as Livestrong, sent a lobbyist to Capitol Hill last week to discuss the funding for the agency that has accused the retired cycling champion of cheating to win the Tour de France, a Congressional staff member said.
A spokesman for U.S. Rep. José Serrano (D., N.Y.), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said his office was visited by a registered lobbyist working on behalf of the foundation, which works to increase awareness of cancer.
The lobbyist's main purpose, the spokesman said, was to talk about the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which enforces rules about performance-enhancing drugs in sports, and which has charged Mr. Armstrong and five others associated with his former cycling team with operating a doping conspiracy in an effort to dominate the Tour de France.
Mr. Serrano's spokesman said the Livestrong lobbyist laid out his concerns about the fairness of USADA's process. Two-thirds of USADA's $15 million annual budget comes from taxpayer funds. Neither Mr. Serrano's spokesman nor the Lance Armstrong Foundation would identify the lobbyist.
A spokeswoman for the Lance Armstrong Foundation called the description of the lobbyist's visit "inaccurate," and said the charity was active on Capitol Hill last week. The purpose of the visit, she said, may have been misconstrued by Mr. Serrano's office, because the topic of USADA may have come up in passing. "All of our lobbying is focused on the well being and access to care that our constituents rely on," she said.
In two separate statements last month, the foundation's president, Doug Ulman, lashed out against USADA. "We struggle to understand the leadership choices and lack of openness" of USADA, he said in both statements, questioning its integrity and oversight. "Our hearts go out Lance and his family as they face what can only be a very frustrating and difficult time," he said.