Interview: UCI reacts to investigators dropping Armstrong/US Postal Service case
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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Interview: UCI reacts to investigators dropping Armstrong/US Postal Service case

by Shane Stokes at 1:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Doping
 
“What happened in the past happened in the past. We prefer looking into the future”

Following yesterday’s news that the federal investigation into the US Postal Service team and Lance Armstrong had been dropped, the UCI has said that it doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but rather move forward with the future of the sport.

“What is behind us doesn’t interest us any more,” UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said today. “We had a lot of bad articles related to this story as Lance Armstrong is a very popular former rider. Cycling has suffered for quite a long period, and now it is over, we are extremely happy.”

VeloNation spoke at length to Carpani, and also sought a UCI reaction to yesterday’s announcement by US Anti Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart that it would continue to investigate the issue.

VeloNation: There was an announcement yesterday that the US federal investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team won’t go further. What is the UCI’s reaction to that?

Enrico Carpani: For us, it is very good news to learn that the investigation has been closed without any charge against Armstrong. The only thing we can say is that once again this situation shows that before getting in any allegations and polemics, we always have to give the investigator and authorities the chance to finalise their work. We always have to wait for the conclusion of any case before making any comments.

We are very happy [with the decision] as it is a period which has not been very easy for cycling. We had a lot of bad articles related to this story as Lance Armstrong is a very popular former rider. Cycling has suffered for quite a long period, and now it is over, we are extremely happy.

We don’t want to make any specific comments on this, we only seek to look forward and to go forward. What is behind us doesn’t interest us any more.

We think that cycling didn’t deserve to go through such stories; not only this one, but we had a lot of stories which affected the popularity of cycling. Cycling doesn’t deserve that. Our feeling today is that we are happy and the most important thing is we are now free to go forward.

VN: Does the UCI consider that what was said about the team to have been completely false?

EC: Once again, we think that too often people have an opinion on a lot of things. For us, what is important is the conclusion of investigations. We wait until the conclusion of every affair. We can only express our happiness learning this news. The past is behind us. We don’t want to turn and look into the past now, we want only to go forward and look forward. That is the message that Pat wants to give to the cycling family; we only want to look and go forward.

VN: Yet the US Anti Doping Agency has said that they will take the evidence they have, they will seek the evidence that the federal investigators gathered, and that the federal investigators could only consider what was a crime in America. They have said that they will continue to examine the case from an anti-doping point of view…

EC: I can’t give any comment on this as I am not aware today of their opinion.

Today, what we want to say is that one investigation – a very important one, a very serious one – has been concluded without any other charge against Lance Armstrong or any other people in this investigation. That is it for us.

That is a point from where we want to start looking forward. We don’t want to live with a very difficult relationship with the past. What happened in the past happened in the past. We do prefer looking into the future.

For sure, cycling has a bright future. We have to be ready and have to understand that we need to make this future as our main priority. Maybe the past has been priority for some time, and we want the future to become our priority.

VN: Yet the reason why USADA wants to continue is because the federal investigators were simply looking at crimes in America; doping isn’t a crime in America, it is not banned [by the authorities], they are looking for fraud. USADA could yet decide there is doping.

While taking on board what you said about moving forward for the future, there is a manager involved with that team who is still involved in running a team at the highest level… does that not make it [the past] relevant?

EC: Yes, but we can’t…that is a very bad habit, to make trials [in the press]. You talk about the involvement of people like Bruyneel, but we don’t like to express something right now, even before they could start with a further investigation or whatever. That is something that we would really like to change.

So, let them go through a new investigation, then in one month or one year they will reach a conclusion. In that case, we will express ourselves.

But today, the only fact which counts is that on a criminal level the investigation has been closed and there is nothing. Pat would like to bring this message to the people: the future is much more important than the past.

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