By Duncan Mackay

Lance Armstrong on TV screen during Oprah showJanuary 18 - Lance Armstrong has been accused by the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of telling lies about the extent of his doping during his career in his interview with Oprah Winfrey

John Fahey, President of WADA, alleged that it is "absolutely certain" that the disgraced American cyclist continued to take drugs after his comeback, even though Armstrong claimed to Winfrey last night that he had stopped following his seventh consecutive Tour de France victory in 2005

But Fahey claimed that the case the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had built against Armstrong included evidence that he had also doped during this period, including at the Tour de France in 2009 when he finished third.

"The evidence from USADA is that Armstrong's blood tests show variations in his blood that show with absolute certainty he was doping after 2005," he said.

"Believe USADA or believe Armstrong?

"I know who to believe.

"It struck me that the statute of limitations under US law might be revelant and Armstrong would not want to admit to anything in regards to his comeback [in 2009] that might be picked up under the US criminal code."

Lance Armstrong Tour de France 2009Lance Armstrong denies that he used banned drugs during his comeback in the the 2009 Tour de France - but WADA President John Fahey claims he is lying

Fahey also resumed his attack against the International Cycling Union (UCI) over its handling of the Armstrong case.

He accused cycling's world governing body of setting up a "useless" independent commission into the case, avoiding its responsibilities, blaming others, and missing a previous opportunity to deal with accusations of Armstrong's doping.

"After careful review of the terms of reference and the Commission's proposed work programme, WADA reached the conclusion that the UCI was not allowing the commission to conduct a proper and independent investigation," said Fahey.

"Therefore, WADA has decided not to take part and invest its limited resources into such a questionable and useless exercise.

"It has again become apparent that rather than deal with the obvious problems that exist within the sport of cycling, the UCI once again would like to avoid its responsibilities and instead seek to blame WADA and others.

"It has become typical of the UCI to point fingers at others when yet another doping controversy hits the sport of cycling.

"For the UCI to say it knew nothing about the systemic doping in its sport and could do nothing more is precisely what the Independent Commission should be inquiring into, provided all the evidence is made available to it. Wada has no confidence that this will occur."

Fahey's allegations keep the pressure on the UCI's President, Pat McQuaid, and Honorary President, Hein Verbruggen, who have been accused of not doing enough to stop Armstrong during his career even though he appeared to clear the governing body during the interview with Winfrey by claiming that they had never covered up any positive drugs tests involving him. 

"Lance Armstrong's decision finally to confront his past is an important step forward on the long road to repairing the damage that has been caused to cycling and to restoring confidence in the sport," said McQuaid.

"Lance Armstrong has confirmed there was no collusion or conspiracy between the UCI and Lance Armstrong.

Pat McQuaid with Hein VerbruggenUCI President Pat McQuaid (right) and Honorary President Hein Verbruggen (left) claim they have been exonerated by Lance Armstrong during his interview with Oprah Winfrey

"There were no positive tests which were covered up and he has confirmed that the donations made to the UCI were to assist in the fight against doping.

'It was disturbing to watch him describe a litany of offences including among others doping throughout his career, leading a team that doped, bullying, consistently lying to everyone and producing a backdated medical prescription to justify a test result.

"However, Lance Armstrong also rightly said that cycling is a completely different sport today than it was 10 years ago.

"In particular the UCI's introduction of the biological passport in 2008 - the first sports federation to do so - has made a real difference in the fight against doping.

"Finally, we note that Lance Armstrong expressed a wish to participate in a truth and reconciliation process, which we would welcome."

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