WADA will not appeal USADA decision on Lance Armstrong

The World Anti-Doping Agency announced on Friday that it will not exercise its right to appeal the decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency to ban Lance Armstrong and strip him of his competitive results from August 1, 1998.

The WADA decision follows suit with the International Cycling Union, which announced last week that it also would let the USADA decision stand.

Importantly, WADA said it had an external, independent review of the application of the statute of limitations, and said, "that opinion is clear and confirms that the interpretation given by USADA is proper and supported by case law".

"WADA has no such concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence," said WADA president John Fahey. "Rather it is of the opinion that the actions of USADA have highlighted the need in all cases for athletes to be able to come forward with evidence that will help rid sport of doping cheats."

The agency is also awaiting an announcement of the details regarding the independent inquiry into the UCI's anti-doping practices that was recommended by the UCI's Management Committee.

"It is important that there now be genuine independence and a complete examination of the scenario, with a panel that has full powers of inquiry and access to all required evidence and information.

"Only with the necessary independence and terms of reference will the inquiry be able to properly address the systemic culture of doping that was allowed to develop in cycling during this time."

Fahey went on to praise USADA for its efforts in pursuing the doping charges against Armstrong.

"This is not a situation in which just because the athlete did not return a positive test there was nothing more the governing body of cycling could do. It has taken a major effort and undertaking from a national anti-doping organization to gather the compelling evidence following allegations raised by Floyd Landis in 2010.

"This case has resulted in a right and proper sanction for the athlete in question and has served as a revelation to the world of sport. For this USADA must be applauded."

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