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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) is "expected to give" its reaction on Monday to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's ruling that seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong doped throughout his career, according to Julien Pretot of REUTERS. In a statement, the UCI said, "On this occasion, UCI President Mr. Pat McQuaid will inform on the UCI position concerning the USADA decision on the Armstrong case." The UCI can either "confirm Armstrong's life ban and strip him of his Tour titles or take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport." While Armstrong has "elected not to contest the charges, his mentor Johan Bruyneel has chosen to go to arbitration." Bruyneel said in a statement, "I will continue to be involved in legal proceedings relating to USADA's proposed charges as long as I believe that I am still able to receive a fair hearing and that my defense has not been permanently prejudiced by USADA's act" (REUTERS, 10/19).

ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY: The AFP reported that backing USADA would "boldly underline the UCI's ongoing commitment to the fight against drugs cheats as well as highlight its desire to confine the drug-fueled successes of the past well behind it." Although McQuaid is "credited with introducing the much-heralded blood passport programme -- a proven deterrent for cheats -- he has often come in for criticism in his years in charge of the UCI" (AFP, 10/21). The AP's Jim Vertuno reported that Armstrong greeted 4,300 cyclists at his Livestrong charity bike ride Sunday. Armstrong told the crowd he has faced a "very difficult" few weeks. He "did not otherwise mention" USADA's report detailing evidence of doping or the possible sanctions. Armstrong wore a black T-shirt instead of the charity's signature yellow jersey, given to the winner of the Tour de France (AP, 10/21). In Sydney, David Walsh opined that "as important as this moment is for Armstrong, it is also important for UCI's leadership as it too has many questions to answer." The UCI "should accept the sanctions imposed on Armstrong and its leaders." McQuaid and UCI Honorary President Hein Verbruggen should then "accept responsibility for the poisonous years and resign as president and honorary life president." Anything less "leaves the sport in a kind of limbo" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/22).

Former Australian Labor politician Mark Arbib will "present his review into the governance" of Australian rugby to the Australian Rugby Union board Monday, according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. Initiated by retiring ARU CEO John O'Neill 12 months ago, the Arbib Report will be "the biggest shake-up in the history of Australian rugby and will bring the game into the 21st century." Arbib is expected to recommend the ARU "move away from its antiquated, federated model of governance toward an AFL-style independent commission." Cricket, rugby league and football have "all considered or followed" the same format. If the ARU approves an independent commission, it will "have to be ratified at an extraordinary general meeting of the member unions." Any constitutional change "requires a 75% majority of the member unions" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/21).

Cricket South Africa suspended CEO Gerald Majola "has been dismissed for concealing bonus payments made to himself and staff three years ago," according to Colin Crompton of the London INDEPENDENT. CSA Disciplinary Chair Karel Tip found Majola guilty of all nine charges against him following a hearing that Majola "refused to attend." The CSA issued a statement that said Majola, suspended since March, was sacked "with immediate effect." He was found guilty of "receiving and failing to disclose bonuses" from South Africa's hosting of the '09 Indian Premier League, and "misusing his travel allowance." Majola paid 4.7M rand (£544,000) in bonuses to CSA staff without approval and paid himself 1.7M rand (£197,000). Tip wrote, "Mr. Majola failed to disclose the bonus when he had a clear and ongoing duty to do so. Even worse, Mr. Majola expressly lied about it, vowing more than once that he 'had not received a cent'" (INDEPENDENT, 10/20). The SOWETAN reported that Majola withdrew from the hearing last week, "questioning the legitimacy of the process and arguing that the CSA board had already cleared him of any wrongdoing in respect of the charges levelled against him." Majola's lawyer, Pumezo David, said that he had "set aside the disciplinary hearing and had formally opposed it through the Labour Court." David confirmed that all the respondents in their Labour Court application, which included CSA and President Jacob Zuma, "had been furnished with papers and had until Oct. 29 to respond" (SOWETAN, 10/19).