UCI’s former anti-doping chief says she has full trust in USADA’s integrity
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

UCI’s former anti-doping chief says she has full trust in USADA’s integrity

by VeloNation Press at 6:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Urges UCI to work with USADA in Armstrong case, Parisotto wants impartial enquiry of UCI if evidence is there

USADAAs the file into sanctions against Lance Armstrong is being finalised, former UCI anti-doping chief Anne Gripper has given her backing to the US Anti Doping Agency and said she has full trust in its work.

There have been several signs of tension between the two bodies, with the most recent being a tense exchange over the delay in providing the reasoned decision. USADA has said that it will be with the UCI by October 15th at the latest.

The governing body previously questioned USADA’s jurisdiction but more recently Pat McQuaid has said that if the file is in order vis-a-vis the strength of the evidence, that the UCI is not likely to appeal Armstrong’s sanctions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Gripper, who ran the UCI's anti-doping department from 2006 to early 2010 and helped introduce the biological passport, has urged cooperation between the two bodies.

“My hope is that the UCI will support USADA. [They] have to support each other,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I would be very disappointed if the UCI continued to be concerned about what USADA was doing. I would really urge both to work collaboratively on this. It has to be the way to go.”

While she said that she wasn’t in a position to personally say if Armstrong had done what USADA alleges, she underlined her faith in the agency and its head Travis Tygart.

“I really can’t speak about [Armstrong's] guilt. I don't have enough information,” she said. “But I trust USADA's ability to investigate a case like that absolutely, implicitly. USADA is one of the best-resourced, best set-up national anti-doping organisations in the world. I know Travis Tygart personally. I would trust anything they decided was correct.”

There have been suggestions that the USADA file will include information about an alleged cover up of a positive test by the Texan during the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

The UCI disputes this, but Australian anti-doping scientist Robin Parisotto has said that if there is any indications that rules may have been broken, that the UCI’s leaders should step aside while an

“Any organisation that is the subject of allegations such as these … in normal circumstances you would probably step down while an investigation was happening, not be driving it,” said the Australian, who is part of the biological passport panel.

“You need to be impartial … [or] it will never go away. Pending what comes out of this report, if those allegations are substantiated to a degree, the investigation would have to take place and all parties would have to step aside.”

He sees the move as a temporary one while an investigation is taking place. “Let's have full access and do what we need to.”

Gripper believes the sport is far cleaner than before, but that there will continue to be ‘little eruptions’ from the sport’s past as it deals with what occurred in the past. “To be honest, the biggest one of those is Lance,” she said. “Until the Lance issue is resolved one way or the other, the sport can't move forward.”

She added that she was confident that no wrongdoing took place at the UCI during the period she was with the organisation.


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