Lance Armstrong made his comeback details more clear last week, saying he would begin racing at Australia's Tour Down Under, set for January 18-25. However, the Associated Press reported from the World Championships that the UCI is saying that might not be possible, per the six-month minimum notice requirement of their rules for un-retiring riders.
The UCI rule states: "A rider who has given notice of retirement from cycling to the UCI may not resume competing at international level unless he notifies the UCI at least six months in advance before he expects to return to international competition and is available for unannounced out of competition testing at any time during the period before actual return to competition."
At issue is when Armstrong notified the UCI. The AP reported on September 8 that Armstrong had already registered for the US Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) out-of-competition testing pool and said he would be eligible for elite competition on Feb. 1, 2009. However, it is unclear as to when he notified the UCI of his intentions.
UCI president Pat McQuaid told the AP at the World Championships, "We have to look into that. I am not sure what the exact dates are that he started the program."
By the numbers, Armstrong would have had to notify the UCI by July 20, 2008 to be able to start racing for the Tour Down Under on January 20, 2009.
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