Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Travis Tygart discussed use of performance enhancement drugs with COBI Sales School students.
As CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, or USADA, Travis T. Tygart was involved in one of the most high-profile cases when he and his agency took on seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
On November 4, the day he spoke at UT at the Edwin Dodd Distinguished Lecture Series in Business Ethics in a lecture co-hosted by the College of Business and Innovation and the College of Law, and sponsored by Dana Holding Corp. and Owens-Illinois Inc., Tygart also met with students in the sales program in the UT College of Business and Innovation.
“The case is interesting and well-known,” said Dr. Gary S. Insch, dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “It crosses the boundaries of both areas; there is the obvious legal aspect to this, but Lance Armstrong used his name to create a business. Certainly there are business ethics questions associated with this.”
Tygart was chosen to speak at this lecture not only because of this particular case, but because of the background he has that bridges the gap between business and law. Though he received his JD from Southern Methodist University in 1999, he pursued a different path than most lawyers.
“From our perspective, it’s great to have speakers on campus who went to law school and then ended up doing something different with their lives,” said Geoffrey Rapp, UT associate dean for academic affairs in the College of law and the Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values. “He has legal education but branched into a direction that a lot of people might not think is available if you go to get a JD. It’s nice for our students to get to see the diverse things someone can do after they go to law school.”
Under Tygart’s leadership, USADA’s efforts to protect clean athletes have included cooperating with federal authorities on numerous investigations such as the international steroid bust, Operation Raw deal, and the international doping conspiracy involving the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in San Francisco.
Tygart also has been recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the 50 most powerful people in sports; named to Time magazine’s 100 list of most influential people in the world for 2013; named one of the top 12 world sports personalities of the year by Sport Intern; selected as one of the world’s most influential sports personalities by Inside Sport; and was one of the Colorado lawyers of the year named by Colorado Law Weekly.
“I think he’s got some really valuable perspectives for our students, particularly people who might be thinking about law or business school, on how you conduct an internal investigation,” Rapp said, “which is different than how you would defend a criminal in a lawsuit.”
“It’s a great opportunity to generate a conversation and talk about ideas like ethics,” Insch said. “That’s the whole point of a university, and that sometimes gets lost in the daily grind of just trying to get a degree.”