Lance Armstrong faces a probable lifetime ban from competitive cycling… (Christophe Karaba / European…)
Lance Armstrong and his probable loss of his seven Tour de France titles is the topic most everyone is talking about Friday morning.
Everyone, that is, except the International Cycling Union (UCI), which released a statement Friday saying it would have nothing to say about Armstrong and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's decision to strip him of the titles until hearing from the USADA personally.
“The UCI recognizes that USADA is reported as saying that it will strip Mr. Armstrong of all results from 1998 onwards in addition to imposing a lifetime ban from participating in any sport which recognizes the World Anti-Doping Code,” the Switzerland-based organization said, noting the "USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case."
Citing the World Anti-Doping Code article that “states that where no hearing occurs, the anti-doping organization with results management responsibility shall submit to the parties concerned (Armstrong, WADA and UCI) a reasoned decision explaining the action taken,” the cycling union said it “expects that it will issue a reasoned decision in accordance with Article 8.3 of the Code."
It added: “Until such time as USADA delivers this decision the UCI has no further comment to make.”
Armstrong announced Thursday he will not pursue an arbitration hearing to fight contentions by U.S. anti-doping officials he used performance-enhancing methods while winning the Tour from 1999 to 2005. Nonetheless, he still maintains his innocence.
USADA wants to remove all of Armstrong's race results starting in August 1998 from the books.
Armstrong says USADA does not have the authority to overturn cycling results. His lawyers have asked a USADA attorney to turn the matter over to the International Cycling Union, which has disagreed with the USADA about which organization should prosecute doping allegations against Armstrong.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said the cycling union was “bound to recognize our decision and impose it.”
The International Olympic Committee said Friday it will await decision by the USADA and the International Cycling Union before deciding whether Armstrong should be stripped of the bronze medal he won in the road trial at the 2000 Games at Sydney.
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