David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has said that Lance Armstrong has not done enough have his lifetime ban reduced. Speaking during a WADA symposium in Lausanne, Howman said that they are not currently considering reducing the American’s ban.
"If he satisfied the criteria to go forward and ask for suspension of his ban, the criteria will be carefully looked at, but so far he has not," Howman said in an interview with Associated Press. "There is no consideration being given to it."
Armstrong has often likened his lifetime ban to a life sentence and has criticised USADA - who handed him the ban for his part in what they called “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” – for their inconsistency in the lengths of bans meted out to the others involved.
Despite looking to have his ban reduced, Armstrong refused to speak to the authorities for some time. Armstrong did finally speak to the UCI’s CIRC investigation but no changes were made to his ban and Howman believes that he had plenty of opportunity to do so beforehand and waiting until the UCI had launched an investigation was too little too late.
"I'm not sure why he has not done anything. He certainly had plenty of opportunities, including talking to us, but he has not come forward with substantial information that might be helpful to the cycling fraternity,” said Howman. “He did not do it before the independent commission that was established by the UCI. He did not do it with USADA. He has not done it with us. It's almost too late.
"If he had been given a harsher treatment, then one would have expected an appeal. There was no appeal. Everybody would hope that he would sit down and explain the whole regime and what they did. He had that chance.”
Howman also talked about the recent announcement that Armstrong would be riding with former footballer and cancer sufferer Geoff Thomas in a charity ride at the Tour de France. Armstrong is set to ride a number of stages of this year’s Tour route ahead of the race its self. UCI president Brian Cookson has been heavily critical of the move, calling it “completely inappropriate,” and Howman agreed.
"Mr. Cookson is the correct judge of that, and I think his statement reflected what was probably the position from their perspective, which is damaging. I think there is probably going more attention on what he is doing than on the Tour, and that's a little bit sad."
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