UCI set to decide on Armstrong doping case
GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
Cyclist Lance Armstrong speaks before the annual Livestrong Challenge. AFP PhotoThe fate and legacy of global cycling icon Lance Armstrong could take a decisive turn when the International Cycling Union (UCI) meets to decide on the American’s spectacular fall from grace today.
For some, the credibility of the sport’s governing body, the UCI, may also be on the line.
Armstrong’s reputation as the cancer survivor who claimed a record seven consecutive Tour de France victories is now in tatters after he was handed a life ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The USADA have also stripped Armstrong of his wins after finding him guilty of being at the centre of the biggest doping programme in sporting history.
Today, the UCI, whose president Pat McQuaid succeeded Dutchman Hein Verbruggen only in 2006 is expected to give its official ruling having spent weeks studying the thousands of pages of the USADA report.
If the UCI does not support USADA’s recommendations, the case could be decided by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It was during Verbruggen’s stewardship that Armstrong and his teams were, according to the USADA report, able to cheat their way to triumph without being caught despite the American undergoing doping controls.
However Armstrong’s subsequent successes, and admission that he had been working with an Italian sports doctor, Michele Ferrari, notorious for his work with banned substances, would go on to raise eyebrows.
Having been deserted by his major sponsors in the wake of the revelations, Armstrong has since stepped down as chairman of his Livestrong foundation.
He said on Oct. 19: “People say, man how are you doing? And I say this every time - and I mean it - I say, I’ve been better but I’ve also been worse.”
If found guilty by the UCI today, the financial ramifications for the American are likely to put the shame of being named the world’s biggest doping cheat into the shade.