Letter from USA Cycling included in Armstrong case

It's still about the bike: Lance Armstrong back in the saddle

It's still about the bike: Lance Armstrong back in the saddle (Image credit: Trent Bona Photography)

USA Cycling is the next governing body to step into the fold regarding Lance Armstrong’s case against USADA. Included in the "additional information" requested and provided by Armstrong’s lawyers to US District Judge Sam Sparks was a letter from USAC lawyer Stephen Hess. The letter was addressed to the William Bock, General Counsel of USADA, notifying USADA of USAC’s stance with regard to jurisdiction in the case.

The letter opens with a statement on the commitment of USAC in the fight against doping and gives support to initiatives such as the Biological Passport program - developed by the UCI before further reinforcing their goal to eliminate doping from the sport of cycling. After this brief introduction, the letter outlines their position in the Armstrong case, that is, USAC believes UCI has the appropriate jurisdiction to handle the matter.

"USAC is not only a National Governing Body recognized by USOC with obligations in that capacity, but it is also a National Federation recognized by UCI, whom the IOC in turn recognizes as the International Federation that governs cycling," wrote Hess.

"In UCI’s capacity as the IOC-recognized International Federation for cycling, USAC believes that UCI has power to express its interpretation of WADA’s Anti-Doping Code, its application to international cycling events and the Code’s jurisdictional provisions in matters within the scope of its authority."

The letter continues to outline that USADA’s authority is not valid when the UCI has a vastly opposed opinion on how the Armstrong case should be handled. USADA states it has authority whilst acting under UCI and through USAC however, UCI’s interpretation of the WADA code suggests otherwise.

"USADA’s assertion that it is acting on behalf of UCI (through USA Cycling) is not consistent with UCI’s own interpretation of the meaning and effect of UCI’s anti-doping commitments and responsibilities. When acting as a National Federation of the UCI, USAC is bound by that interpretation in matters involving international cycling doping control."

The letter concludes with a understanding that USAC does not have comments regarding matters which fall outside their and UCI governance and that much of the dispute is in relation to the actual discovery of possible violations. Judge Sam Sparks is expected to make his decision within the next week.


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