international cycling union

UCI boss has ‘no remit to reduce’ Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban

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Lance Armstrong‘s cooperation with an independent reform commission’s probe into cycling’s doping culture has not helped his case to have his lifetime ban reduced. At least not yet.

Brian Cookson, the International Cycling Union president, said in January 2014 there was “the possibility of a reduction” in Armstrong’s lifetime ban if he assisted in doping investigations, but that it was in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s hands.

On Monday, Cookson repeated that it’s up to USADA, after an independent reform commission released a 227-page report on cycling’s doping culture Sunday. The investigation included interviewing Armstrong.

“I’ve got no remit to reduce the ban of Lance Armstrong,” Cookson told reporters Monday, according to VeloNews. “I have no desire to be the president that let Armstrong off the hook, or anything like that.”

USADA banned Armstrong for life in 2012. He was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and later admitted to doping during his cycling career in January 2013.

Armstrong’s name was prevalent in the 227-page report released Sunday, with no major new revelations from a 13-month investigation. As were the names of former UCI bosses Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, deemed ineffective at best in fighting doping during their reigns.

“The commission did not feel that anything that Lance Armstrong had told them was sufficient for them to recommend a reduction in his sanction,” Cookson said, according to VeloNews. “I have found no evidence to contradict that.”

Cookson reportedly added that the commission asked him to facilitate discussion between USADA and Armstrong.

“I am grateful to CIRC for seeking the truth and allowing me to assist in that search,” Armstrong said in a statement Monday. “I am deeply sorry for many things I have done. However, it is my hope that revealing the truth will lead to a bright, dope-free future for the sport I love, and will allow all young riders emerging from small towns throughout the world in years to come to chase their dreams without having to face the lose-lose choices that so many of my friends, teammates, and opponents faced. I hope that all riders who competed and doped can feel free to come forward and help the tonic of truth heal this great sport.”

In a statement Monday, USADA CEO Travis Tygart did not mention possible discussion with Armstrong.

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Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban could be reduced

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“There will be the possibility of a reduction” of Lance Armstrong‘s ban if he assists in doping investigations, the International Cycling Union (UCI) president said Thursday.

“It all depends on what information Lance has and what he’s able to reveal,” UCI president Brian Cookson said, according to The Associated Press. “Actually that’s not going to be in my hands. He’s been sanctioned by USADA.”

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) banned Armstrong for life in 2012 and would have to be the organization to approve scaling it back in the event Armstrong provides new information about doping cases.

“[USADA] would have to agree to any reduction in his sanction based on the validity and strength of the information that he provided,” Cookson said. “If they’re happy, if WADA are happy, then I will be happy.”

However, Cookson said he won’t be calling Armstrong.

“I am deliberately not speaking to anyone involved,” he said, according to VeloNews. “That’s the job of the [UCI’s independent] commission. Lance Armstrong will be able to contact them, just the same as everyone else.

“I am aware that Armstrong is keen to contribute, but I’ve kept one step backward from the process. I don’t want to be seen as interfering in any way.”

Armstrong has said he could be open to testifying with “100 percent transparency and honesty,” if he’s treated fairly compared to others from cycling’s doping era.

“If everyone gets the death penalty, then I’ll take the death penalty,” he told the BBC in November. “If everyone gets a free pass, I’m happy to take a free pass. If everyone gets six months, then I’ll take my six months.”

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Lance Armstrong to be invited to testify in UCI, WADA doping probe into cycling

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The International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency investigation into cycling’s doping history, likely to begin in early 2014, will hope to involve Lance Armstrong.

“I would like to see Lance Armstrong come and give evidence, if he has any evidence in particular on the kind of allegations being made about him buying support or collusion from UCI officials,” UCI president Brian Cookson told the Associated Press. “If those things are true, I’d like to hear about it and I’m sure the commission would like to hear about it as well.”

Armstrong has said he could be open to testifying with “100 percent transparency and honesty,” if he’s treated fairly with others from cycling’s doping era.

“If everyone gets the death penalty, then I’ll take the death penalty,” he told the BBC. “If everyone gets a free pass, I’m happy to take a free pass. If everyone gets six months, then I’ll take my six months.”

UCI and WADA released a statement announcing their joint investigation from the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“They agreed the broad terms under which the UCI will conduct a Commission of Inquiry into the historical doping problems in cycling,” the statement read. “They further agreed that their respective colleagues would co-operate to finalize the detailed terms and conditions of the Inquiry to ensure that the procedures and ultimate outcomes would be in line with the fundamental rules and principles of the World Anti-Doping Code. Both Presidents pledged that their organization would work harmoniously to help the sport of cycling move forward in the vanguard of clean sports.”

The UCI and WADA have said that they don’t have the power to reduce Armstrong’s lifetime doping ban.

“He’s been sanctioned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the penalties he got from that have been accepted by the UCI and by the wider sporting world,” Cookson said, according to the AP. “And really it’s in the hands of the United States Anti-Doping Agency whether they would look at any reduction in that for any further information that he might volunteer.”

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach does not believe Armstrong’s ban should be reduced.

“I would not feel comfortable with this because it is too little, too late,” Bach told the AP. “It was not even a real admission.”

Armstrong has remained in the news since being stripped of his record seven straight Tour de France titles and being banned for life from all competition last year. He admitted to prevalent doping during his career in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January.

He was stripped of his only Olympic medal, a 2000 bronze, in January but did not return it until September.

A documentary film, “The Armstrong Lie,” was shown at the Toronto Film Festival in September and has been released in the U.S. The film was originally supposed to be about Armstrong’s comeback out of retirement for the 2009 Tour de France.

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