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Agency claims that it would be "like the fox guarding the henhouse"
The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has rejected a push by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to hand over evidence from the Agency's doping case against Lance Armstrong and his associates.
Correspondence between the two bodies came to light on Friday in the New York Daily News, with the UCI claiming jurisdiction over the case. Paperwork filed in a U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas, USADA opposed Armstrong's attorneys' request for an extension on a key motion deadline with the athlete attempting to block the case against him.
"The UCI wants that the whole case file, with all the evidence, is assessed by an independent panel who shall then decide if the respondents have a case to answer," wrote UCI boss Pat McQuaid in a letter to USADA lawyer William Bock.
USADA argues that turning over their evidence from the two-year investigation which culminated in Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Dr. Pedro Celaye, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, Dr. Michele Ferrari, and soigneur Pepe Marti all being charged with doping offences, would be like "the fox guarding the henhouse".
The paperwork reveals that the UCI first opposed USADA's jurisdiction on July 13, two days after McQuaid told Cyclingnews:
"I've read what they've said but as they're not licence holders so I don't know how they can ban them or what they can be banned for," in reference to the lifetime bans handed down to Celaye, Del Moral, Ferrari and Marti.
"I don't want to comment. The UCI has already said that we're not involved in this investigation and our last press release we said we would not comment. So don't ask me. If you want to talk about it ask USADA, not me."
According to Bock in a letter in response dated July 26: "Many could legitimately contend that UCI's involvement in the results management of the case would suffer from a structural concern sometimes referred to colloquially as 'the fox guarding the henhouse.'
"In numerous instances the inability of a sports organization to effectively police doping within its sport has been noted."
USADA also claim that McQuaid's arguments are the same used by "Armstrong's lawyers and public relations consultants."
In a statement released by USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, he argues that the sport's governing body and those involved in the United States Postal Service alleged doping conspiracy "have a strong incentive to cover up what transpired."
"The participants in the conspiracy have lashed out in the press, gone to Congress and filed a lawsuit to avoid a public display of the evidence before neutral judges," he said
"Efforts to intimidate, scare or pressure us to conceal the truth will not stop us from doing the job we are mandated to do on behalf of clean athletes and the integrity of all sport."
The UCI was forced to go on the offensive when Floyd Landis claimed that the governing body of taking bribes, conducting cover ups and manipulating test results. The UCI then threatened to sue the former Armstrong teammate.
"By our count, of the 21 podium finishers at the Tour de France during the period from 1999-2005, only a single rider other than Mr. Armstrong was not implicated in doping by a subsequent investigation," said Bock. "Yet, only a single one of these riders had a positive test with the UCI."
USADA demands in a letter to the UCI that a "Truth And Reconciliation Commission to clean up the sport of cycling once and for all," be set up.