WADA won’t appeal Armstrong sanction to CAS, seven Tour titles confirmed removed
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Friday, November 02, 2012

WADA won’t appeal Armstrong sanction to CAS, seven Tour titles confirmed removed

by Shane Stokes at 12:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Agency appears critical of UCI, saying it took USADA’s work to expose vast doping network

WADAThe final obstacle to the removal of Lance Armstrong’s seven previous Tour de France titles has evaporated with confirmation from the World Anti-Doping Agency that it does not intend to appeal USADA’s sanction imposed on the rider.

WADA has said that it has received confirmation that the US Anti Doping Agency’s scrapping of the statute of limitations in this case is acceptable, and also states that it considers the evidence gathered as being more than sufficient to determine that the American was guilty of the various charges put to him.

In a statement, it said that it had made its decision after conduction “a full and careful review of all elements of the case [which] includes an external independent opinion as to the application of the statute of limitations. That opinion is clear and confirms that the interpretation given by USADA is proper and supported by case law.”

WADA could have taken considerably longer to come to the decision but has been able to make a quick ruling on the case due to the amount of evidence which was gathered. Today’s news comes eleven days after the UCI said that it too would not appeal the loss of the seven Tour titles, plus the rest of Armstrong’s results from August 1st 1998.

While the UCI criticised USADA over certain aspects, appearing to put it to WADA that it should appeal on the statute of limitations aspect, WADA President John Fahey said today that the agency is satisfied with the initial sanctioning.

“WADA has no such concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence. Rather it is of the opinion that the actions of USADA have highlighted the need in all cases for athletes to be able to come forward with evidence that will help rid sport of doping cheats,” he stated.

As regards the independent inquiry that the UCI stated it would facilitate, Fahey said that WADA awaited the details ‘with considerable interest’. He said that while the UCI had not contacted the agency in relation to the matter, nor indeed in relation to the Armstrong reasoned decision nor the UCI management decision, that WADA would like to contribute to the review.

It seems clear from his comments that he believes an inquiry is not only necessary, but also that the UCI may not have done enough in its policing of the sport.

“It is important that there now be genuine independence and a complete examination of the scenario, with a panel that has full powers of inquiry and access to all required evidence and information,” he said. “Only with the necessary independence and terms of reference will the inquiry be able to properly address the systemic culture of doping that was allowed to develop in cycling during this time.”

Fahey said that USADA’s work should be ‘applauded’ and made clear that it did the work the UCI should itself have done in properly investigating doping in cycling. “This is not a situation in which just because the athlete did not return a positive test there was nothing more the governing body of cycling could do,” he stated, somewhat pointedly. “It has taken a major effort and undertaking from a national anti-doping organization to gather the compelling evidence following allegations raised by Floyd Landis in 2010.”

The UCI has yet to finalise details of the independent commission which will look into the Armstrong/US Postal Service situation and the UCI’s relationship with the rider.

It said last Friday that the composition of that commission would be determined soon.

“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,” it stated.

It remains to be seen what sports body the UCI was referring to, but WADA appears willing to fill that role if requested.


The full statement is as follows:



WADA confirms it will not appeal USADA reasoned decision in Lance Armstrong case


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) advises that it will not exercise its independent right of appeal following its review of the reasoned decision delivered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in the case against former cyclist Lance Armstrong.

This follows a full and careful review of all elements of the case and includes an external independent opinion as to the application of the statute of limitations. That opinion is clear and confirms that the interpretation given by USADA is proper and supported by case law.

WADA’s announcement comes less than a week after the International Cycling Union (UCI) also announced it would not be appealing, though on that occasion the governing body of cycling commented freely and critically against USADA.

Commenting on the decision, WADA President John Fahey said: “WADA has no such concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence. Rather it is of the opinion that the actions of USADA have highlighted the need in all cases for athletes to be able to come forward with evidence that will help rid sport of doping cheats.

“Following the UCI Management Committee’s announcement last week, WADA now awaits with considerable interest the details of the independent inquiry that is proposed, including its composition and terms of reference.

“It is important that there now be genuine independence and a complete examination of the scenario, with a panel that has full powers of inquiry and access to all required evidence and information.

“Only with the necessary independence and terms of reference will the inquiry be able to properly address the systemic culture of doping that was allowed to develop in cycling during this time.

“WADA has had no communication from the UCI with regards to their upcoming inquiry, nor indeed the Armstrong reasoned decision, nor the UCI Management decisions. WADA will want to contribute to the inquiry if it is established and resourced beyond reproach.

“This is not a situation in which just because the athlete did not return a positive test there was nothing more the governing body of cycling could do. It has taken a major effort and undertaking from a national anti-doping organization to gather the compelling evidence following allegations raised by Floyd Landis in 2010.

“This case has resulted in a right and proper sanction for the athlete in question and has served as a revelation to the world of sport. For this USADA must be applauded.”

 

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