Cycling’s world governing body will say next week whether it agrees with findings that seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong violated anti-doping rules for more than a decade.
The International Cycling Union said it would hold a news conference in Geneva on Oct. 22 to announce if it accepts the 1,000-page report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency or plans to appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“On this occasion, UCI President Mr. Pat McQuaid will inform on the UCI position concerning the USADA decision on the Armstrong case,” the Aigle, Switzerland-based federation, which goes by its French acronym, said in a statement.
It gave no indication on its decision. The International Olympic Committee and top officials of the Tour de France have said they would wait for the federation to act before deciding what to do with Armstrong’s results. The American cyclist won a bronze medal in the road time trial at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
USADA, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said on Oct. 10 that Armstrong, a 41-year-old Texan, was a “serial cheat” who used banned drugs and forced teammates on the U.S. Postal Service team and other squads to do likewise.
It said the actions started before and lasted beyond the period when Armstrong won the Tour, cycling’s most prestigious race, from 1999 through 2006. USADA stripped him of those titles and banned him from all Olympic-related sports.
“The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” USADA said in a statement the day the report was released.
Armstrong has consistently denied using banned substances and has said he never failed a drug test. He declined to take USADA’s findings to arbitration, saying the process was weighted overwhelmingly against him.
Armstrong stepped down two days ago as chairman of Livestrong, the foundation he started to help people live with cancer. The retired cyclist won his Tour titles after surviving testicular cancer that spread to his head and lungs.
Minutes after he resigned as foundation head, Armstrong was dropped as an endorser by Nike Inc. (NKE:US), which said it could no longer support him because of the “seemingly insurmountable evidence” of his drug use and cover-up. It had sponsored Armstrong since 1996.
Other sponsors, including Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), quickly followed in dropping Armstrong while saying they would continue to support the Livestrong foundation.’’
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