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SBD Global/January 17, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Lance Armstrong Probe In Trouble As UCI Rejects Dopers' Amnesty Idea
Published January 17, 2013
CONCERNS RUN RAMPANT: REUTERS' Julien Pretot reported WADA said that it had "a number of serious concerns regarding the commission's terms of reference and its ability to carry out its role without undue influence." WADA said, "In particular, WADA is concerned that the scope of the inquiry is too focused on sanctioned former cyclist Lance Armstrong ... and will therefore not fully address such a widespread and ingrained problem." WADA also said that the commission's June deadline "would not offer enough time for a proper investigation" (REUTERS, 1/16). In London, Nick Hoult reported USADA joined WADA "in pulling out." USADA CEO Travis Tygart said, "UCI's refusal to agree to allow a limited opportunity for riders to come forward and be truthful without fear of retribution or retaliation from the UCI obviously calls into question the UCI's commitment to a full and thorough investigation and creates grave concern that the UCI has blindfolded and handcuffed this independent commission to ensure a pre-determined outcome" (TELEGRAPH, 1/16).
UNHOLY ALLIANCE: The LONDON TIMES' Jeremy Whittle commented the final hours before Armstrong’s mea culpa to Oprah Winfrey is broadcast "are the death throes of an unholy alliance between Armstrong and the International Cycling Union (UCI), founded on greed and opportunism." The likely conclusions will see "both Armstrong and the UCI eviscerated." Whittle: "One way of the American salvaging something of his honour would be by detailing the scale of his deceit not to Winfrey, but to the UCI’s self-appointed Independent Commission (UCI IC), set up to investigate the governing body’s role in the Armstrong affair." Whittle concludes: "Few within cycling doubt that, if the Texan chose to tell the whole truth, he could take the house down. The victims of an unbridled confession would stretch into the corridors of power, far beyond the peloton and the flotillas of team cars that follow the riders around Europe" (LONDON TIMES, 1/17).