Ban on lance armstrong may be reduced

Brian Cookson, the Union Cycliste Internationale president, has remarked that the lifetime ban for doping imposed on Lance Armstrong may be reduced if the disgraced cyclist offers information that is useful in doping investigations.

In September, Cookson became the president of the world governing body of cycling (UCI) and he then established the Cycling Independent Reform Commission to examine the history of doping in professional cycling. The UCI President remarked that the terms of reference of the commission might include an agreement with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to reduce sanctions on cyclists who come forward clean to cooperate with the inquiry. Cookson remarked there will be the possibility of a reduction in the case of Lance Armstrong if the cyclist offers information to assist any investigation but also remarked the world governing body of cycling does not have the power to make such a deal as Lance was sanctioned by USADA. Cookson said USADA has to agree to any reduction in his sanction based on the validity and strength of the information that he provided.

The Union Cycliste Internationale president added that he will not call Armstrong, who was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Cookson added he would encourage everyone to tell all of the truth and added it will be better and less painful for everyone if people tell the truth and all the truth.

In another development, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s Travis Tygart kicked off the Triathlon Business International conference and said the Lance Armstrong doping scandal highlighted the win-at-all-costs culture that exists in almost every aspect of society. Tygart said it is this culture that not only permeates sports but that every other institution in this country and around the world is facing. He added cycling is not alone and doping exists in everything from inline roller skating to youth soccer, and at all age and sport levels. Tygart encouraged leaders in the sports world and race organizers to speak up and remarked the worst anyone can do is sit on information and not do anything.

Tygart added that the United States Anti-Doping Agency works to protect those who offer reliable information. He said the decision to move forward against a global icon and team that won seven Tours is a difficult decision and it would have been far easier if his duty to the sport is to raise revenues and have world titles remain intact but if that’s his duty as a sports leader, his duty to police himself is impossible. Tygart added that USADA became conscious of the depth and breadth of the doping culture in professional cycling after meetings with individuals to gather information in the Lance Armstrong doping case. He said the agency took quick action as it had evidence that athletes set to be on the U.S. Olympic cycling team were doping and remarked it would have been a shame if those athletes had gone to London and their doping came out and that would have tainted the entire U.S. Olympic team. The USADA CEO said that was one set of urgent facts and our other goal was to dismantle the system and we’re still heavily pursuing that goal.

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