UCI reacts to reports that Armstrong could testify against officials

UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle

UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle (Image credit: AFP)

The UCI has issued a brief statement after a report in the New York Times suggested that Lance Armstrong is ready to testify against "officials from the International Cycling Union, the worldwide governing body of cycling, about their involvement with doping in cycling, but he will not testify against other riders."

The NY Times base the story on "people familiar with his plans" suggesting Armstrong is considering supplying detailed evidence and accusations in an attempt to mitigate his lifetime ban so he can compete in triathlons.

The UCI did not reply to specific questions from Cyclingnews about the NY Times report, preferring to issue the statement and call on Armstrong to testify to the Independent Commission the UCI has instigated and is funding.

The terms of reference call on the commission to determine whether the allegations against the UCI set out in the USADA Reasoned Decision are well founded, if the UCI's anti-doping policies were inadequate and if payments were made by Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Team to the UCI between 1998 and 2012 and, if so, whether it was appropriate for the UCI to have accepted such payments, or to have accepted them on the basis (explicit or implicit) upon which they were made.

USADA suggested that the UCI was complicit in the way it dealt with Armstrong, allegedly helping with the covering up a suspect test for EPO during the 2001 Tour de Suisse and accepting donations of a total of $125,000 from Armstrong.

"The UCI will not be making any further comments on matters concerning Lance Armstrong until it has had the opportunity to view his much publicised interview with Oprah Winfrey," the UCI statement reads.

"The UCI notes the media speculation surrounding the interview and reports that he has finally come clean and admitted doping during his cycling career."

"If these reports are true, we would strongly urge Lance Armstrong to testify to the Independent Commission established to investigate the allegations made against the UCI in the recent USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service (USPS) team."

The UCI selected former British Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton to chair the commission. He will be assisted by House of Lords Peer and Paralympic Champion, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes QC.

The Commission will hold a hearing in London between 9-26 April. It then aims to submit its report to the UCI by 1 June.

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