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Report: Armstrong unlikely to benefit by testifying to UCI Commission

Cycling News
January 8, 16:06,
January 9, 00:50
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration

Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration

  • Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration
  • Lance Armstrong liked to control the media
  • Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong in the good old days

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Armstrong: "We've had no contact from any of their side"

Lance Armstrong's chances of securing a reduction to his life-time ban for doping appear to have taken a blow as a consequence of the UCI announcing the creation of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) to investigate how doping became so prevalent in the so-called 'EPO-era'.

Armstrong has tried to swing public opinion in a series of interviews in recent months, claiming he would be 'first through the door" at any investigation but he has demanded he is given a similar treatment to other riders who have confessed to doping. "My punishment is a thousand bigger than the ‘crime’ I committed," he told Gazzetta dello Sport when in Rome in December.

However the UCI has moved away from creating a full blown 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' and only said it was 'in the final stages of discussions with WADA to agree how best to incentivise people to co-operate with the Independent Commission."

According to the Telegraph newspaper, the Commission will have the powers to give 'a free pass' to people who testify but not those who have already been convicted of doping offences.

The British newspaper suggests Armstrong could eventually be contacted by the Commission and perhaps get his ban reduced to eight years but only with the approval of USADA, who has always questioned Armstrong's motives and conviction to fully revealing what he knows about doping in the sport.

Armstrong told Cyclingnews via email that "We've had no contact from any of their side, so I have no idea what this is about."

On Twitter he wrote: "my position remains unchanged. I plan on cooperating openly & honestly w/ ANY UCI commission that contacts me."

"I can also confirm that neither myself nor anyone on my team has been contacted by the UCI or the independent commission."

However USADA has always claimed they gave Armstrong numerous opportunities to speak to them about what he knows of the 'EPO-era' but he always refused to fully co-operate.

The Telegraph reported that USADA has now suggested that Armstrong has missed his chance, with any useful information he may have been able to provide, having already been uncovered.

"Despite Mr Armstrong publicly claiming he wants to help, privately since June 2012, he has repeatedly rejected the opportunity to do so and has shut the door on his chance," USADA said.

"Much of the information we understand that Mr Armstrong could have provided is of little, if any, value now, as it has already been uncovered through other avenues or soon will be."

In an email to Cyclingnews, USADA CEO Travis Tygart commented on the commitment to end a culture of doping in cycling. "“From day one our investigation into cycling has been focused on dismantling the culture of doping that infiltrated the sport, so we are glad the new UCI leadership is now moving forward to attempt to unshackle itself from this corrupt culture for the good of the sport and clean athletes," Tygart said.

"We are pleased to see the named commissioners come from appropriate and distinguished backgrounds, and we are hopeful they will continue the effort to uncover the system of doping that took over this sport so that this level of dangerous fraud never happens again."

UCI President Brian Cookson said the Cycling Independent Reform Commission has been created to understand the past and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

“This Commission will investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past — allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport,” Cookson said in a UCI statement.

“Their work will also be focused on understanding what went so wrong in our sport and they will make recommendations for change so that as far as possible those mistakes are not repeated.”

Dan Vella 8 months ago
I don't doubt Cookson's sincerity at this stage, but there must be many people still at UCI who don't want the Armstong stories investigated. Sure McQuid and Verbruggen are the visible figures but it is unlikely they operated without the administration. Investigating doping and a mea culpa for not doing enough is one thing but investigating that the UCI actively covered up and in such facilitated the whole thing, is quite another
Myles Alexander 8 months ago
If he were truly dedicated to the sport as he was to winning the tour, he'd contact them, help them, regardless of what the consciences would be on his current punishment.
sbroaddus 8 months ago
he wasn't "truly dedicated to winning the tour", he was truly dedicated to stealing the tour, 7 times, and the poor guy had to give them all back (cue violin).
Tom Torrance 8 months ago
I'm no Armstrong fan. He's actually rather disgusting and a huge a$$hole, but who exactly did he steal those seven tours from? Let's see, he stood on the podium with Zulle, Escartín, Ullich, Beloki, Rumsas, Vino, Kloden and Basso. Which one of those guys was robbed?
Matthew Franks 8 months ago
Actually, which one of the 200 who started was robbed, want an honest answer? NOT ONE! I wonder if said fools watch the World Series, World Cup or Super Bowl? Never even thinking who steals what from who. Doping was and still is prevailent in Pro Sports and ALWAYS will be. You will never get it clean. Soccer players dont even give Blood Tests.... pretty wild would you say?
wfaulconer 8 months ago
whether it's one or 200, they cheated the better people and potentially better racers left to sit at home when they were actually who we were looking for…
ianfra 8 months ago
Not true at all. There is no evidence that 100% of the peloton cheated; This is mere speculation and posted without evidence which is what seems to happen around here all the time. Perhaps we could call it libel. Far better to use your energies to offer something useful? As far as Armstrong is concerned, the sociopathic manner of dealing with things is to shift the blame to others. Armstrong could never testify truthfully because his mental health condition would not allow him to do so. It is best to investigate, as the UCI propose, in an independent manner so that lessons of history can be applied to the future.
CyclingsChanged 8 months ago
I'm with you Mathew Franks. Will never get sorted still as filthy as back then just more sophisticated. And yes it would be hard to find any clean riders from that era.
socalvelo 8 months ago
Don't buy the "everyone was doing it so it's ok" argument. That just sounds like an excuse or justification to do the wrong thing ethically and legally. Armstrong got caught. He deserves the ban. Do you tell your kids drugs are ok as long as everyone else is doing it? Armstrong perverts what sport is about. He not only cheated, he destroyed the lives of honest people. That is unspeakable, and he kept it up for DECADES. That is truly one of the blackest hearts I've heard of in sport.
Manuel Schoel 8 months ago
I agree that he cheated and that he should be punished but I doubt that his intention was to "destroy the lives of honest people". He was a cyclist who wanted to win the tour. and nothing more! A cheater, plain and simple. He did not do it, because he has a "black heart". He did it, because it was necessary at the time. And this is no legitimation but you are going too far with you accusation. And btw: Decades? It was one.
azureskies 8 months ago
socalvelo, How naive you are about professional cycling, and professional sports. Or maybe, watch the NFL games this weekend with Mr. Tygart and go yahoo, we have cleaned up sport. Then again Armstrong deserves this becausde hwe was a bully, puleeze, go have a long talk with the rest of the haters of cycling, and toast the cleaning, by crucifying, "Cancer Jesus."
Silver Bullet 8 months ago
NFL not a WADA sport. guess some people are just told this until they are dumb in the face.
Anonymous 8 months ago
He stole them from the first clean rider down the list.
Tom Torrance 8 months ago
That sounds nice and all, and i'd love to agree with you. Unfortunately, it has become completely apparent that if you wanted to win the tour then, you doped. It's the way it was. I agree, it doesn't make it right, but that was the situation. Armstrong didn't make it that way. It was that way long before he got there. Until it is shown that Armstrong and the USPS team were on something that others weren't, saying that he was truly dedicated to stealing the tour is not at all accurate.
Celeste 8 months ago
You are assuming that the first clean rider down the list was capable of winning the tour, even if no-one doped. It takes an exceptional athlete (doped or clean) to win the tour. He has to be super fit, good at climbing mountains and time trialing and have the mental resolve to cope with the pressure. All that and a team dedicated to getting him to the finish. Very few riders can fill the bill even with doping so there is no guarantee that your first clean rider would have won.
sbroaddus 8 months ago
oh please, Tom. the game wasn't to dope and win the Tour. the game is always to just win the Tour. if you dope and win 7 Tours, guess what, those victories get taken away and you become a famous cheat know all over the world. and celeste, there is an absolute guarantee that the first clean rider down the list would win the tour, because the penalty for doping is expulstion from the race. doesn't matter if the first clean rider down the list is mark cavendish and he would never have otherwise had a chance to win it.
neineinei 8 months ago
Celeste: That is like saying you deserve your Strava KOM even if you sat in your car going up the mountain rather than on the bike. Of course the the best non cheater is the worthy winner.
sbroaddus 8 months ago
anonymous answered it for me, it's that simple. and no, not every single rider was doped.
Celeste 8 months ago
sbroaddus, you completely missed my point. Even if everyone was clean there would be no guarantee that the first clean rider (of a doped peloton) would be good enough to win. You could disqualify all the people above him but would that make him a worthy winner? Who do you know, with 100% accuracy, was the real winner of any of the Tours or other races over the years. Armstrong has said that no-one appears to be in a hurry to claim his seven titles so it may be that all the riders have something to hide. It's a hopeless task trying to figure out who was/is clean and who should have won what. What happened in the Armstrong years happened in the previous decades going back to the year dot. Was the "Badger" 100% clean and LeMond etc? We can speculate and have our likes and dislikes but I don't think anyone knows who were the first clean riders over the line of any race.
Spuddieblue 8 months ago
Celeste, I think you're the one missing the point. If all the dopers were disqualified then the first clean rider would be the winner, and most certainly would be a worthy winner.
wigvelo 8 months ago
What a stupid comment. He cheated and broke the rules. While others did dope, its still wrong esp to those clean riders who got destroyed daily. He stole it from these honest, clean riders.
Karl Von Drais 8 months ago
The clean riders who never got to the world tour at all were robbed by LA and Co. long before they competed in the TDF.
perico 8 months ago
A fair point, but quite a few of these riders got to the world tour clean, and then started their programs when they were already a pro tour rider. Take Floyd, for example- if you buy his testimony, he didn't dope until he was already a member of USPS and had top ten GC results in major races. It wasn't until he was set to debut in the Tour that he was put on Bruyneel's program.
Cooper 8 months ago
I think LA has plenty of information that the authorities do not know about or get out formally. They don't want him to talk for sure.
Raoul Duke 8 months ago
He has always had the freedom to speak out publicly about what he knows. He has chosen not to do it. Don't blame 'the authorities'
NashbarShorts 8 months ago
Score another one for 'cancer'. We'll never be able to beat the disease now. :(
sbroaddus 8 months ago
funny comment fail.
Scott Miner 8 months ago
Made me laugh.
Silver Bullet 8 months ago
me too. shame such a worthy cause has sunk to the butt of global jokes. well done LA. just show how crucial due dilligence is for charities who lend their cause to those of zero character.
ducNColnago 8 months ago
apparently the only people who care what he has to say anymore are those trying to sell "news" papers. bulls**t texan
jvajda 8 months ago
Now that we have convicted and blamed every doping problem in cycling on LA. I'm sure lot of other people who were involved with the sport would like to just close the book and look no further. I'm absolutely sure it's lot more guilty person walking around.Whats going on with J.B's hearing? Are we still on the "Witch Hunt" ?
kurti_sc 8 months ago
I don't get why the committee can grant amnesty for people coming forward that have NOT been charged v. not granting amnesty for those that HAVE been charged. Maybe 'amnesty' is the wrong term, but a chance to renegotiate the terms of a ban to comply with the committee would be in order, I believe. it's a good compromise for getting the honest info they need. I don't care for LA, but if he came clean on every detail to this committe and got a reduction to 8-10 years, i'd be fine with it. I still see the need to keep his term at a higher level b/c he was so prolific and so bullyish about the whole thing. Denegrating people, ruining careers (not as a bystander, but by directly attacking)... okay, so bring on the hate responses.
Lightening Toke 8 months ago
I think you're safe. No worries. The day it was provocative and courageous to malign Armstrong in public are long, long, gone.
CyclingsChanged 8 months ago
I've done it for years and still do. Problem is that still here where I cycle many still find that attitude wrong. It makes me wonder what dudes at club level are doing because they don't seem to think LA did anything wrong. Makes my skin crawl.....
Chuck_T 8 months ago
"a chance to renegotiate the terms of a ban to comply with the committee would be in order, I believe. it's a good compromise for getting the honest info they need" That option has been left open for quite some time, only Armstrong would have to talk to USADA not a "committee" as you refer to it. Seems the biggest thing standing in the way of that is LA's pride.
killermeter 8 months ago
Why should he talk to USADA? And yes Tygart's pursuit was a witch hunt, he doesn't really care about cleaning up his sport either, case in point, who has Tygart busted/suspended/gone after since Lance?.......the silence is deafening I could care less one way or another what happened/happens to Lance, but I wouldn't talk to Tygart either, UCI/WADA maybe
SeventhSon 8 months ago
Over and over and over again you have to have this explained to you?
reubenr 8 months ago
Let sleeping dogs lie, that is to continue in a supine position, in this case. Mr. Armstrong got off the train a long time ago, and now he wants to get back on, but the train has left the station. The fact that his followers are as ignorant and easily misled as they are, is his only chance for survival, and he's working it as hard as he can. I don't think the authorities are that easily persuaded. If he wanted to come clean as a result of a true catharsis to do so, he would have done it, already, but this guy is so manipulative and calculating, he can not help but to continue to try to exploit any possible opening that he can create. At this point, I truly hope that the door is closed. We don't really need to hear from this guy anymore. If he wants to prosecute those that were complicit, like some of the UCI people, then go do it in court.
Silver Bullet 8 months ago
as the director of the Armstrong Lie said, LA is stuck between the court of law and the court of public opinion. he cant recover the latter without handing is thoroughly reamed @ss to floyd and the us govt. for the next 12 months, imho, it really boils down to being that simple. recent court action (eg the hearing on tuesday) suggests the judges are rejecting the arguments of la and the tailwind cronies. its poetic justice at its finest.
Chuck_T 8 months ago
Summed up nicely reubenr.
Edward Winkler 8 months ago
This panel is not the USADA, meaning they have no way to lift any ban, lifetime or otherwise. I would think based on my limited past knowlege of Mr. Armstrong that he would only testify if he benifited from it in some way. I can not see him giving up any information "just for the good of the sport". I don't expect him to give up anyinformation that would help, until he can sell it in a book. Further this is the same man that testified under oath, in arbitration, several times, that he had never used PED's. Now for some reason we are interested in what he might say to a simple panel? I would expect we should just wait for the book, that he will sell on all the US talk shows for any posibble "true or made up" information.
Steve Hougom 8 months ago
He cant be allowed to compete at any level because he might actually be doping in that too. How do we know he wasnt doing something to win at triathalon in recent years. He is the type that would continue doing it obviously even after all this.
CyclingsChanged 8 months ago
No doubt he was....