Session to address doping, the media and lessons learned from Lance Armstrong

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A respected sports journalist and a spokesperson for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will participate in a free public session titled “Breaking the Code of Silence: USADA, the Media and Lessons Learned from the Lance Armstrong Case,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in the Foster Auditorium at Paterno Library.

Journalist Bonnie Ford of ESPN.com and Annie Skinner, USADA’s media relations manager, will participate in the session moderated by John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, housed in the College of Communications.

“The work of USADA in bringing a case against Lance Armstrong, an athlete famous the world over, is among the most compelling sports stories of the last decade,” Affleck said. “We hope the conversation will provide insight both into how the story was reported and how USADA got its message out in the face of Armstrong’s fierce resistance.”

Ford regularly covers cycling and Olympic sports. Her work covering Armstrong’s career, his continual denials about the use of performance-enhancing drugs and eventually his admission that he did use them, has been widely praised.

Skinner has been one of the main public voices for USADA, which imposed a lifetime ban on Armstrong and stripped him of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 through 2005.

Affleck directed coverage of the Armstrong story at The Associated Press during the period when the news agency provided first word that the cyclist would not be charged with a federal crime and, later, that he would cease to fight USADA’s competition ban.

The Curley Center, a first-of-its-kind center established in 2003, explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research.

Last Updated March 28, 2014