Lance Armstrong (United States) on the podium for the time trial at the Sydney Olympics
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Any decision to come after Oprah/Armstrong interview
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) countered statements by its Canadian member Dick Pound, who suggested cycling could only be cleaned up by being removed from the Olympic programme, by stating that any such move is "highly unlikely".
Pound, a former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) made the comments in light of rumours that Lance Armstrong may implicate the UCI in his doping conspiracy as part of an effort to extricate himself from the lifetime ban imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
It is expected that in tomorrow's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong will confess to doping during his seven-year winning streak at the Tour de France, and he may address how he was able to avoid testing positive and what role the UCI may have played in that.
IOC communications director Mark Adams dismissed the notion of excluding cycling from the Olympics as premature, and reiterated the Committee's support of cycling's anti-doping efforts.
"In recent years the UCI has done more than most to fight doping," Adams said in a statement. "Its possible exclusion from the Olympic Programme is highly unlikely. Furthermore, it is premature to talk about such things as the interview has not yet been broadcast. Once it has - and once UCI and USADA have commented - we will have a clearer idea on what our next steps will be."
The UCI has been accused of inappropriately taking payments from Armstrong, purportedly for anti-doping efforts, in exchange for looking the other way on suspect doping controls, of leaking information on the timing of out-of-competition controls, and giving Armstrong's teams preferential treatment upon arrival of doping controllers at the Tour de France.
While the UCI has created an Independent Commission to examine its anti-doping efforts over the years, WADA and USADA have refused to take part, and have questioned the commission's impartiality.
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