x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Only USADA can lift Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban from the sport

Only the American anti-doping authorities can lift Lance Armstrong’s life ban from cycling, and any review of his case would require powerful reasons, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey said.

JOHANNESBURG // Only the American anti-doping authorities can lift Lance Armstrong’s life ban from cycling, and any review of his case would require powerful reasons, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey said Tuesday, adding that he felt the issue was “done and dusted”.

He said only the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) can reopen the case, “and it would have be a damn good reason”, Fahey said, adding that the UCI, cycling’s international governing body, also cannot intervene.

Speaking ahead of the World Conference on Doping in Sports, he said he was not aware of Armstrong’s recent comments nor of any offer to reconsider the lifetime ban in exchange for “substantial assistance in the understanding” of the doping.

“Will it happen? I have no idea,” Fahey said.

“Time marches on.

“You have to wonder with time just how valuable the information is that he may have or may not have.”

Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles last year after a USADA investigation, said on Monday he would testify with “100 per cent transparency and honesty” at an independent inquiry into doping in the sport and wanted to be treated justly in return.

However, Fahey said Armstrong had been fairly punished.

“Armstrong did what he did, we all know what that is,” Fahey said. “He did not cooperate, he did not defend the charges that USADA put out there last year and he was dealt with in a proper process and the recent decisions released by USADA were irrefutable.

“Now, does he wish to come and indicate to the world what he knows, not only about himself but about others? I don’t know what’s behind it.”

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