UCI responds to French sports minister over Armstrong Tour wins

Following questions from the French Minister for Sport, Valérie Fourneyron, on why it has not yet upheld the USADA decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, the UCI responded to L'Equipe, saying it cannot do so until it has reviewed the dossier.

USADA is expected to disclose the reasoned decision to the UCI by the end of this month. It is anticipated that the evidence collected proving that Armstrong and his associates participated in a conspiracy of doping will be made public after that time. USADA CEO Travis Tygart indicated to L'Equipe earlier this week that the impact will be "terrible, 30 times greater than everything that has come out until now, through books or investigations."

Fourneyron said yesterday that she "would not understand it if the UCI doesn't strip Lance Armstrong from his seven Tour de France titles."

UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani responded today, telling L'Equipe, "Ms. Fourneyron is not supposed to be familiar with the case, since it is still in the hands of those responsible for USADA. And if she is not familiar with it, then such statements appear hasty or inappropriate."

"The UCI has always said that it would assume its responsibilities, that it did not intend to appeal the USADA's decision and that it would apply sanctions if everything has been done according to the rules. But before having our conduct dictated, the UCI wants to at least have the opportunity to review the file. And waiting for all the parties involved that they follow the same rule of conduct.

"We remember the position of Mr. Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, who had defended Alberto Contador before being contradicted by the facts and by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," he concluded.

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