As tensions ahead of the release of the US Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) file of evidence on the Lance Armstrong and US Postal Service Team doping conspiracy has grown to a peak, the UCI has issued a public statement from president Pat McQuaid questioning why the dossier of information has yet to land on his desk.
The USADA stated earlier this week that the file, which had been expected to be sent to the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency by the end of September, would now be provided no later than October 15.
McQuaid made his impatience known today, stating, "It is over a month since USADA sanctioned Lance Armstrong. We thought that USADA were better prepared before initiating these proceedings."
A source close to the case told Cyclingnews Wednesday that "information kept coming in, hence, the delay in getting the dossier to the UCI." USADA would not comment when asked if they were still gathering evidence.
The UCI reiterated this information in the press release, stating, "Reports state that its decision has been delayed because it is continuing to gather evidence and that it has yet to complete its case file."
McQuaid expressed his anxiety over the lack of finality. "The UCI had no reason to assume that a full case file did not exist but USADA's continued failure to produce the decision is now a cause for concern.
"It is at very least unusual that USADA would still be gathering evidence against a person after it has found that person guilty."
The president then suggested, "It seems that it would have been more useful for USADA to have used the time of the Tour de France, the Olympic Games and the Road World Championships to prepare their case in full rather than to make announcements."
Insinuating that the USADA was having "difficulty in putting the evidence together", McQuaid also claimed they only learned of the delay through the media "and not by any official communication from USADA".
However, Cyclingnews understands that USADA and the UCI have been in contact as recently as last week.
"It is not surprising that UCI would send a press release out attempting to undermine and question the substance of our case," USADA CEO Travis Tygart stated. "It is also troubling that they would claim to have had no contact with us which is inaccurate. As they know we will be providing them the 'reasoned decision' no later than October 15 through the process and at that time the questions contained in their publicly released statement today will be answered."
The UCI stated this week that it would uphold the lifetime ban of Armstrong and disqualification of his results back to August 1998 if, when it gets the dossier, it determines that the USADA had followed all applicable rules in coming to the decision.
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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