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Debate infiltrates Capitol Hill
On Friday, United States Senator John McCain has backed the United States Anti-Doping Agency's investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates.
The move follows Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner's letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) querying the $9million dollars of tax payer funding given to the Agency on Thursday.
"While the charges are serious, and I expect the process to be fair, I fully support USADA and its right to undertake the investigation of, and bring charges against, Lance Armstrong," former Presidential candidate McCain said via a statement.
"USADA is authorized by Congress and provides assurances to taxpayers, fans and competitors that sports in America are clean. USADA's rules and processes, approved by America's athletes, the United States Olympic Committee and all U.S. sport federations, apply to all athletes regardless of their public profile or success in sport. This process is the proper forum to decide matters concerning individual cases of alleged doping violations."
In a lengthy letter to R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of ONDCP, Congressman Sensenbrenner puts forth a number of queries that relate to the way the tax-funded money is used by USADA and how the ONDCP oversees their spending. More specifically, the letter focuses on the current case against Lance Armstrong and suggests the ONDCP has little "oversight" of whether these funds are being spent appropriately.
Sensenbrenner acknowledges, in his letter, that the US Congress has no jurisdiction to handle sport doping matters but is extremely interested in the actual case of Lance Armstrong and questions the authority to impose possible sanctions, bans and striping of titles on the former seven-time Tour winner.