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.