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Cycling union not planning to oppose Lance Armstrong penalties

September 07, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • UCI President Pat McQuaid greets cyclist Mark Cavendish before the men's road race during the London Olympics this summer.
UCI President Pat McQuaid greets cyclist Mark Cavendish before the men's… (Bryn Lennon / Getty Images )

International cycling's governing body is not planning to challenge the decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, the organization's president said on Friday.

While Pat McQuaid said the UCI will not stand in the way of stripping Armstrong of his victories, he did mention that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has yet to turn over its files on the Armstrong investigation that led to the penalties and that his governing body could go to the Court of Arbitration to remove the imposed lifetime ban if there was "serious reason" to do so.

"It does seem slightly unusual," McQuaid told Associated Press reporters of the delay in receiving USADA's file. "Our only thoughts on it would be that maybe they didn't have a full file or they don't have a full file. ... We are assuming they do have a full file because they have already announced a life ban on Lance Armstrong."

USADA ordered the punishment of Armstrong following an investigation that the organization said tracked the champion cyclist's use of banned substances, including steroids and blood doping, to 1996.

Armstrong, who has vehemently denied cheating in any form, lost a court battle that sought an injunction against USADA on the grounds that it didn't have jurisdiction. He then gave up his last chance to appeal through arbitration.

McQuaid also said Friday that he will propose amnesty for riders and team members who confess to doping offenses.

"I think there's room for it and I think the UCI could do well to" introduce it, McQuaid told the AP reporters. "It's a subject I will bring up myself at the management committee of the UCI and it's something which we would look into possibly doing."

One problem would be dealing with anti-doping organizations.

"It would need to be examined as to how it could be introduced, what would be the parameters of it, what would be the framework in which it's worked, what would be the results afterwards," McQuaid said. "We have to work in the world anti-doping rules and sanctions."

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