WADA back UCI inquiry despite Armstrong claiming cycling "not been served well" by delving into past

Monday, 11 November 2013
By Duncan Mackay at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg

Lance Armstrong has promised to cooperate fully with the UCI's proposed Independent Commission but does think it will help cyclingNovember 11 - World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officials here have backed plans by new International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson to hold an Independent Commission in the sport's past doping problems even though Lance Armstrong has questioned how much it will achieve.


The disgraced American, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life after being found guilty last year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of doping throughout his career, has promised he will testify with "100 per cent transparency and honesty" at any inquiry.

But he has cast doubt over the point of it.

"Do I think that this process has been good for cycling?" the 42-year-old Texan said in an interview broadcast today on BBC World Service.

"No. I don't think our sport has been served well by going back 15 years.

"I don't think that any sport, or any political scenario, is well served going back 15 years.

"And if you go back 15 years, you might as well go back 30."

Lance Armstrong has claimed he has been treated unfairly by receiving a life ban while others have been treated less harshlyLance Armstrong has claimed he has been treated unfairly by receiving a life ban while others have been treated less harshly

But WADA, whose top officials are gathered here preparing for the World Conference on Doping in Sport which is due to open tomorrow, continued to support the process, one of the main manifesto pledges made by Cookson before his election as UCI President in September.

"President Cookson and his team have spoken to WADA in relation to an Independent Commission," a spokesman told insidethegames.

"We all agree that this must be open, transparent and independent in order to advance matters, including those which were raised in the Reasoned Decision in the Armstrong case."

Armstrong also again claimed during the 20-minute interview that he is made a scapegoat for the sport's past.

"If everyone gets the death penalty, then I'll take the death penalty," he said.

"If everyone gets a free pass, I'm happy to take a free pass.

"If everyone gets six months, then I'll take my six months.

"I've paid a high price in terms of my standing within the sport, my reputation, certainly financially because the lawsuits have continued to pile up.

"I have experienced massive personal loss, massive loss of wealth while others have truly capitalised on this story."

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


Related stories
November 2013: Verbruggen appeals to Armstrong to help clear his name
October 2013: Cookson sacks UCI director general as opens talks with WADA over cycling's past
September 2013: Jaimie Fuller - Election of Brian Cookson as UCI President has given cycling a life line
September 2013: Cookson elected new President of UCI at chaotic Congress
September 2013: Exclusive - "I feel for Lance Armstrong" says Ben Johnson
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