If Lance Armstrong is to ever compete in the Xterra Off-Road Triathlon Series again, there are a lot of "ifs" that must be answered beforehand, Xterra vice president Trey Garman said Tuesday.
Armstrong finished fifth in the Xterra national championship race in Utah in 2011, before he was running a strong second midway through the world championship race in Kapalua before a crash on his bike led to a 23rd-place finish on the Valley Isle.
Armstrong is under a lifetime ban for Olympic sports, and the World Anti-Doping Agency said it would take an under-oath confession from Armstrong for the consideration of that ban to be lifted.
Garman said that is the first hurdle Armstrong must clear.
"He's been issued a lifetime ban, so unless that gets lifted he won't be able to race with us," Garman said in an email to The Maui News.
When asked if Armstrong would be welcome to compete in Xterra competition if his lifetime ban was lifted, Garman responded, " 'If' being the key word . . . we'll have to cross that bridge if and when we get there."
The 2012 Xterra world title went to London Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez, but Garman said Armstrong could compete with the best in Xterra, even at his current age of 41.
"Yes," Garman said. "He proved he was competitive at our Xterra USA and World Championship races in 2011."
When asked why Armstrong is making these confessions now, Garman replied, "I have no idea."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org