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UCI Recognizes the USADA Reasoned Decision in re: Armstrong
 
By Staff
Date: 10/22/2012
UCI Recognizes the USADA Reasoned Decision in re: Armstrong
 

October 26, 2012 - UCI Statement in wake of "Lance Armstrong affair"

The Management Committee of the International Cycling Union (UCI), meeting in Geneva today, decided a number of critical measures in the wake of the USADA ‘Reasoned Decision’ on Lance Armstrong. The Committee acknowledged that decisive action was needed in response to the report.

With respect to Lance Armstrong and the implications of the USADA sanctions which it endorsed on Monday 22 October, the Management Committee decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.

The Committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to 2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation. The Committee also called on Armstrong and all other affected riders to return the prize money they had received.

The UCI Management Committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period – but that while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places.

Second, while the Management Committee expressed confidence that enormous strides had been made in the fight against doping since 2005, in order to ensure that UCI and cycling could move forward with the confidence of all parties, the governing body also decided to establish a fully independent external Commission to look into the various allegations made about UCI relating to the Armstrong affair.

The Committee agreed that part of the independent Commission’s remit would be to find ways to ensure that persons caught for doping were no longer able to take part in the sport, including as part of an entourage.

In the week of 5 November 2012, therefore, the Management Committee will announce which independent sports body will nominate the members of the Commission and, with the UCI Management Committee, agree appropriate terms of reference. Following this, individual members of the independent Commission will be appointed as soon as possible with a view to their report and recommendations being published no later than 1 June 2013.

Finally, while continuing strongly to maintain the merits of UCI’s case, the Committee decided to seek to suspend the UCI legal action against journalist Paul Kimmage, pending the findings of the independent Commission. UCI President Pat McQuaid and Honorary President Hein Verbruggen who are individual parties to the case will similarly seek to put their cases on hold.

UCI President Pat McQuaid said: “As I said on Monday, UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport. We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent Commission and we will put cycling back on track. “Today, cycling is a completely different sport from what it was in the period 1998-2005. Riders are now subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport. Nevertheless, we have listened to the world’s reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised.”

--UCI Communications Service

October 22, 2012 - The official statement of the UCI regarding the USADA Reasoned Decision:

The UCI has completed its review of USADA’s ‘Reasoned Decision’ and appendices in the case against Lance Armstrong.

The UCI considered the main issues of jurisdiction, the statute of limitation the evidence gathered by USADA and the sanction imposed upon Mr. Armstrong.

The UCI confirms that it will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and that it will recognise the sanction that USADA has imposed.

The USADA decision explains how riders on the USPS Team showed no inclination to share the full extent of what they knew until they were subpoenaed or called by federal investigators and that their only reason for telling the truth is because the law required them to do so.

These riders have confronted their past and told their stories. Their accounts of their past provide a shocking insight into the USPS Team where the expression to ‘win at all costs’ was redefined in terms of deceit, intimidation, coercion and evasion.

Their testimony confirms that the anti-doping infrastructure that existed at that time was, by itself, insufficient and inadequate to detect the practices taking place within the team. The UCI has always been the first international sporting federation to embrace new developments in the fight against doping and it regrets that the anti-doping infrastructure that exists today was not available at that time so as to render such evasion impossible.

Many of the USPS Team riders have already acknowledged that the culture of cycling has now changed and that young riders today are no longer confronted with the same choices to use performance enhancing drugs. They are right to do so.

The UCI has recognized the problem of doping within the sport and taken significant steps to confront the problem and to clean up cycling. Today’s riders are subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport. Cycling has been a pioneer in the fight against doping in sport under the leadership of the UCI and this role has been recognised by WADA.

Today’s young riders do not deserve to be branded or tarnished by the past or to pay the price for the Armstrong era. Cycling has a future and those who will define that future can be found among the young generation of riders who have chosen to prove that you can compete and win clean.

Riders who were caught doping continue to do the sport a disservice by protesting that the UCI refused to engage with them. The reality is that these riders never contemplated such action until they were found positive by the UCI, and even then they refused to confess and co-operate with the UCI.

Those riders who made the choice to stop using performance enhancing drugs, and to share their stories to enable the new generation of riders to learn from the mistakes that were made in the past, can continue to support clean cycling.

The role that training and education has to play in discouraging doping at all levels is well recognised by the UCI. The UCI will engage with any rider that is willing to work with them in the fight against doping and interested in establishing what lessons can be learned and applied to its ‘True Champion or Cheat?” programme which is obligatory for all riders subject to anti-doping tests.

This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads or that it has had to begin anew and to engage in the painful process of confronting its past. It will do so again with renewed vigor and purpose and its stakeholders and fans can be assured that it will find a new path forward.

That process extends beyond the UCI and the anti-doping agencies including WADA, USADA, AFLD and CONI must contribute to it by also examining how many times they tested Lance Armstrong and by providing their own explanation for why he never tested positive in the tests that they respectively conducted.

The UCI tested Tyler Hamilton 40 times and found him positive. It tested Floyd Landis 46 times and found him positive as the winner of the Tour de France. The list of riders that it has found positive does not end there.

The UCI has tested Lance Armstrong 218 times. If Lance Armstrong was able to beat the system then the responsibility for addressing that rests not only with the UCI but also with WADA and all of the other anti-doping agencies who accepted the results.

The UCI supports WADA’s decision to create a working group to examine ‘The Ineffectiveness of the Fight Against Doping in Sport’ and proposes that it commence its work by examining the effectiveness of the system in place to detect the use of performance enhancing substances in cycling.

The UCI is committed to reviewing the environment upon which the sport operates in order to ensure that something like this never happens again. It has convened a special meeting of its Management Committee on Friday, October 26th to begin the process of examining the existing structures and introducing changes to safeguard the future of cycling.

--End

A full address of the Reasoned Decision is linked just below. Of note is that the UCI asserts the validity of the statute of limitations in the anti-doping code to be inconsistent with the USADA findings.

Read the decision here.

 
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