• Cycling

WADA accepts Armstrong sanctions

ESPN staff
November 2, 2012
Lance Armstrong's results have been erased from the record books © Getty Images

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will not appeal against the decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, it confirmed on Friday.

USADA handed the 41-year-old a lifetime ban from cycling and recommended that all of the American's results from August 1998 were removed from the record books after its evidence claimed that Armstrong ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

The International Cycling Union (UCI) ratified those sanctions and opted not to reallocate the wins to other riders, although Bradley Wiggins was awarded third place in the 2009 Tour.

"WADA has no such concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence," WADA President John Fahey said. "Rather it is of the opinion that the actions of USADA have highlighted the need in all cases for athletes to be able to come forward with evidence that will help rid sport of doping cheats."

Fahey welcomed the news that the UCI would launch an independent inquiry and said that WADA expected to be contacted to contribute to the report.

"Following the UCI Management Committee's announcement last week, WADA now awaits with considerable interest the details of the independent inquiry that is proposed, including its composition and terms of reference," Fahey said.

"It is important that there now be genuine independence and a complete examination of the scenario, with a panel that has full powers of inquiry and access to all required evidence and information.

"WADA has had no communication from the UCI with regards to their upcoming inquiry, nor indeed the Armstrong reasoned decision, nor the UCI Management decisions. WADA will want to contribute to the inquiry if it is established and resourced beyond reproach.

"This is not a situation in which just because the athlete did not return a positive test there was nothing more the governing body of cycling could do. It has taken a major effort and undertaking from a national anti-doping organisation to gather the compelling evidence following allegations raised by Floyd Landis in 2010.

"This case has resulted in a right and proper sanction for the athlete in question and has served as a revelation to the world of sport. For this USADA must be applauded."

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