Friday, November 2, 2012
WADA backs sanctions in Lance Armstrong case
MONTREAL -- The World Anti-Doping Agency accepted the decision that stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, saying Friday it was the "right and proper sanction" for the disgraced American cyclist.
Last week, the International Cycling Union also accepted the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's sanctions, wiping Armstrong's name from the Tour winner's list, banning him for life and asking him to return millions of dollars in prize money.
WADA had 21 days to decide whether to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the Montreal-based agency announced Friday it would not appeal.
"This case has resulted in a right and proper sanction for the athlete ... and has served as a revelation to the world of sport. For this USADA must be applauded," WADA President John Fahey said in a statement.
WADA also said it was waiting with "considerable interest" for details of UCI's proposed independent inquiry into the cycling body's handling of the Armstrong case.
"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.
Fahey also took a shot at the UCI, while praising USADA.
"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 said. "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."
Once considered one of the greatest names in sports, Armstrong's reputation has been sullied and he has lost a slew of sponsors over the doping scandal, including Nike. He has also stepped down as chairman of Livestrong, the cancer charity he set up.
Besides losing his Tour titles, Armstrong could also be stripped of his 2000 Olympic bronze medal in the time trial after the International Olympic Committee opened an investigation Thursday into his role in the doping scandal.