ICU adopt a watching brief for now


Cycling:The International Cycling Union (UCI) have issued a cautious response to the US Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) intention to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and hand the American a lifetime ban.

Armstrong last night announced his decision not to contest the charges brought against him by the USADA, and described the process as a “witch hunt”.

The USADA quickly responded by stating their intended punishment for the retired cyclist, but there could yet be further twists to come in the saga.

The UCI have contended they should have jurisdiction over Armstrong’s case as they were responsible for carrying out doping tests while he competed. The American has been at pains to point out he has never failed a test.

The UCI could choose to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland against the USADA ruling, or to gain jurisdiction over the case. But for now they have chosen to wait for USADA to provide them with a required communication explaining its actions before making further comment.

A statement read: “The UCI notes Lance Armstrong’s decision not to proceed to arbitration in the case that USADA has brought against him. The UCI recognises 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 recognises the World Anti-Doping Code.

“Article 8.3 of the WADC states that where no hearing occurs the Anti-Doping Organisation with results management responsibility shall submit to the parties concerned (Mr Armstrong, WADA and UCI) a reasoned decision explaining the action taken.

“As USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case the UCI expects that it will issue a reasoned decision in accordance with Article 8.3 of the Code. Until such time as USADA delivers this decision the UCI has no further comment to make.”

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