The Marbut Report: Attorney keeps athletes ‘winning the right way’

Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, visits Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 6:30 a.m. November 6, 2017
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
Left, Don Capener, dean of the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University, and Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Left, Don Capener, dean of the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University, and Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
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A homecoming visit by a member of one of Jacksonville’s most prominent families in the legal community turned out to be an opportunity for the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University on Thursday.

Attorney Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, was guest speaker at the college’s Davis Leadership Forum: The Business of Sports.

Son of attorney Tom Tygart, nephew of Senior Circuit Judge Fred Tygart and brother of Lyndsay Tygart, a member of The Jacksonville Bar Association board of governors, he leads the U.S. national organization for anti-doping for Olympic, Paralympic and Para Pan American sports and manages drug testing of amateur athletes in a variety of sports.

The organization is perhaps best known for its investigation of the U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team that determined team members were using prohibited performance-enhancing drugs.

The results led to the International Cycling Federation in 2012 stripping seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong of his titles and banning him from the sport for life.

“The question is ‘can you play by the rules and win?’ Whether in business, law or politics, there’s an idea that it’s tough to win if you play by the rules,” Tygart said.

“But winning the right way is the only way to truly win,” he said.

The organization has administered to athletes about 150,000 tests for prohibited substances in the past 10 years, Tygart said. About 1.6 percent of the tests were positive.

Athletes knowing they can be tested at any time, including during their off-season, is an important part of the program, Tygart said.

“We know we can’t catch all the violators, but we are confident that our testing programs reduce the number of athletes who use banned substances. Without a mechanism to get caught, it would be a free-for-all.”

Tygart became the agency’s CEO in 2007 and has worked with the organization for more than 15 years.

After graduating from law school at Southern Methodist University in 1999 and being admitted to the Bar, Tygart initially considered pursuing a career as an agent for professional athletes, “but that wasn’t for me,” he said.

While in private practice, he was outside counsel for the Boulder, Colorado-based anti-doping agency until 2002 when he joined the staff as director of legal affairs and later, senior managing director and general counsel.

He serves on the Sports Lawyers Association board of directors and the board of governors for the Partnership for Clean Competition.

The Davis Leadership Forum will convene at noon Thursday at JU’s River House when Thomas Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the Raytheon Co., will talk about the latest developments in national defense and government cybersecurity. For details and registration, visit

21-year-old cold case closed

The State Attorney’s Office closed a 21-year-old cold case last week when Terrence Keith Payne, 44, was found guilty by a jury of armed sexual battery.

He was accused of raping a woman at knifepoint in October 1996 at her Arlington home. The victim reported the crime immediately, but was unable to identify her attacker because his face was concealed.

She was administered a sexual assault exam, but the DNA in the rape kit was not tested until September 2014. Payne was identified as the perpetrator.

The case was prosecuted by assistant state attorneys Coreylyn Crawford and Erin Wolfson. Payne is scheduled to be sentenced this week by Circuit Judge Steven Whittington and could face a life sentence in Florida State Prison.

Jacksonville attorney suspended

The state Supreme Court issued 11 disciplinary orders for the period Sept. 13 to Oct. 26, including one against a Jacksonville lawyer.

Case No. SC17-1632: Christopher Michael Ochoa, 212 Trout River Drive, is suspended until further order.

According to a petition for emergency suspension order, Ochoa appeared to be causing great public harm.

More than $1 million was transferred into Ochoa’s trust account for a business deal, and he failed to return the money upon request. He also solicited a client for loan modification/foreclosure rescue services, and then abandoned the client. Ochoa has failed to officially respond to or communicate with The Florida Bar.



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