Anti-doping leader to discuss ‘Playing Fair & Winning’ at SMU on Aug. 27

Alumnus Travis Tygart, who investigated cyclist Lance Armstrong, will speak at SMU Aug. 27.

Travis Tygart

DALLAS (SMU) — U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, an SMU Dedman School of Law alumnus who led the investigation into the doping case against cyclist Lance Armstrong, will speak at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. Aug. 27.

Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart
Travis Tygart
Hear his Aug. 19 interview on "Think" audio

Tygart will discuss “Playing Fair & Winning: An Inside View on Ethics, Value and Integrity” at a public event sponsored by the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility as part of this year’s Delta Gamma Lecture in Value and Ethics hosted by SMU’s Alpha Upsilon chapter. The event is free and open to the public, but guests must RSVP online or by calling 214-768-4255.

Earlier in the day, Tygart will discuss the “Legal and Ethical Lessons Learned Through USADA’s Pro Cycling Investigation” at a special lecture with SMU Dedman School of Law students.

“In today’s win-at-all-cost culture, it is critical that the next generation of leaders, whether athletes or not, hear firsthand that competing fair with integrity is the only way to truly win,” says Tygart, a Jacksonville, Fla., native who earned his J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law in 1999, graduating Order of the Coif.

“It is a thrill to be able to return to SMU and hopefully provide timely, interesting and important insights for students. I want to support them in doing the right thing for the right reasons, even when that’s tough to do.”

During the USADA’s pro cycling case, “We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure, because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand,” Tygart told The Florida Times-Union from his home in Colorado Springs, Colo. “If we’re going to cave to attacks by those attempting to cover up their sporting fraud, we might as well shut down. You have to endure those attacks. We just do our job based on the evidence we have.”

Evidence obtained during the high-profile investigation resulted in the sanctioning of two team doctors and several high-profile cyclists, including sports icon Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his Tour de France cycling titles after Tygart says the USADA “uncovered the most sophisticated and professionalized doping scheme that sport had ever seen.”

Tygart became CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in September 2007, where five years prior he served the USADA in various prosecutorial counsel roles. As CEO, Tygart works closely with the USADA’s board of directors to carry out the organization’s mission of “preserving the integrity of competition, inspiring true sport and protecting the rights of U.S. athletes.”

Tygart is one of this year’s Time Magazine100 Most Influential People in the World,” and also has been named one of Sports Illustrated’s “50 Most Powerful People in Sports.” He has served as an advocate for the integrity of sport and clean athletes, testifying before a number of U.S. Congress committees, including the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport, the need for hGH testing in all sports, regulation of the supplement industry and ratification of the UNESCO international treaty against doping in sport.

Under Tygart’s leadership, the USADA’s efforts to protect clean athletes have included cooperating with federal authorities on many investigations, including “Operation Raw Deal,” the largest steroid enforcement action in U.S. history. Tygart also helped uncover the international doping conspiracy involving San Francisco’s BALCO laboratory, which provided anabolic steroids to professional athletes.

Prior to joining the USADA, Tygart was an associate in the sports law practice at Holme Roberts & Owen LLP in Denver. While at HRO LLP, Tygart worked with individual athletes and the United States Olympic Committee, USA Basketball, USA Swimming, USA Volleyball and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.