WADA won't take part in doping probe
- Published: 16/01/2013 at 07:45 AM
- Online news:
The World Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday it won't take part in an independent probe into the International Cycling Union's handling of doping in the sport, fearing it's too focused on Lance Armstrong.
Head of the World Anti-Doping Agency John Fahey takes part in an anti-doping conference on November 12, 2012 in Paris. The World Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday it won't take part in an independent probe into the International Cycling Union's handling of doping in the sport, fearing it's too focused on Lance Armstrong.
WADA president John Fahey made the announcement just as US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the UCI's refusal to allow limited amnesty for witnesses who testify before the commission "calls into question" the union's commitment to a thorough investigation.
Fahey said Montreal-based WADA had shared serious concerns about the commission's terms of reference and whether the body, headed by former England and Wales appeals court judge Philip Otton, can be truly independent.
"In particular, WADA is concerned that the scope of the inquiry is too focused on sanctioned former cyclist Lance Armstrong -- especially as his case is closed and completed with there being no appeal -- and will therefore not fully address such a widespread and ingrained problem," Fahey said.
The WADA chief said his agency was also concerned that the time allotted to conclude the probe by June is "wholly insufficient" and the requirement that the commission's report be submitted first to the UCI is "unacceptable."
"Finally, because the commission does not offer immunity, there is no incentive for witnesses to come forward, or to even give witness statements," Fahey said.
Tygart, of USADA, expressed the same concern.
The cycling union's refusal to grant immunity "obviously calls into question the UCI's commitment to a full and thorough investigation and creates grave concern that the UCI has blindfolded and handcuffed this independent commission to ensure a predetermined outcome," he said.
The twin statements questioning the UCI's motives came after Armstrong, whose sensational fall from grace included the loss of seven Tour de France titles and a lifetime ban for doping, was said to have admitted to using performance enhancing drugs in an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
USADA put Armstrong at the center of what it called the most sophisticated doping program in sports and the UCI last year upheld the sanctions against him, the scandal sparking the creation of the independent commission.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency