• Cycling news

Cycling faces Olympic axe in wake of Armstrong guilt

ESPN staff
January 15, 2013
The consequences of Lance Armstrong's confession could be wide-reaching © PA Photos

Cycling could be ejected from the Olympic programme if Lance Armstrong's confession implicates the sport's governing body in a cover-up.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound has warned that they may be forced to take severe action if evidence emerges that the International Cycling Union (UCI) had acted improperly.

In an interview with TV chat show host Oprah Winfrey, due to be broadcast on Thursday, Armstrong has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs for the first time after he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year.

Pound, a former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, believes strong action may be the only way to force cycling to ensure it is completely clean of doping.

"The only way it is going to clean up is if all these people say, 'Hey, we're no longer in the Olympics and that's where we want to be so let's earn our way back into it'," Pound said. "The IOC would have to deal with it, the (UCI) is not known for its strong actions to anti-doping.

"It was the same in weightlifting a few years ago - all of a sudden when you get right up against it things go fuzzy and they say, 'well, we can't punish innocent athletes in these sports by dropping the sport from the programme.'

"We could say, 'Look, you've clearly got a problem why don't we give you four years, eight years to sort it out. And when you think you're ready come on back we'll see whether it would be a good idea to put you back on the programme'."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.