UCI president Pat McQuaid questioned the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s plan to deliver the Lance Armstrong case file on Thursday, issuing a press release in which the Irishman suggested that the agency was continuing to gather evidence against the deposed seven-time Tour de France champion.
“The UCI had no reason to assume that a full case file did not exist but USADA’s continued failure to produce the decision is now a cause for concern,” said McQuaid. “It is over a month since USADA sanctioned Lance Armstrong. We thought that USADA were better prepared before initiating these proceedings.”
Travis Tygart, USADA CEO, hit back immediately on Thursday.
“It is not surprising that UCI would send a press release out attempting to undermine and question the substance of our case,” said Tygart in an email to VeloNews. “It is also troubling that they would claim to have had no contact with us which is inaccurate. As they know we will be providing them the ‘reasoned decision’ no later than October 15 through the process and at that time the questions contained in their publicly released statement today will be answered.”
USADA issued Armstrong a lifetime ban and ruled that his results from August 1998 through his final comeback, which ended in 2010, should be annulled. Those results include his seven Tour titles, earned from 1999-2005. The agency’s spokesperson Annie Skinner told VeloNews this week that the UCI would receive its case file by October 15.
“USADA is in the process of finalizing the written reasoned decision in its U.S. Postal Services pro cycling doping case,” said Skinner. “We will provide the reasoned decision addressing the lifetime bans and disqualifications imposed to the UCI and WADA as provided for under the world rules. We expect it to be sent no later than October 15.”
The UCI release on Thursday was of a conversational style, pointing to questions over the USADA case. Here it appears in its entirety:
The UCI wonders why it is taking USADA so long to provide its reasoned decision and case file.
Reports state that its decision has been delayed because it is continuing to gather evidence and that it has yet to complete its case file.
“The UCI had no reason to assume that a full case file did not exist but USADA’s continued failure to produce the decision is now a cause for concern,” said Mr McQuaid, UCI President.
“It is over a month since USADA sanctioned Lance Armstrong. We thought that USADA were better prepared before initiating these proceedings” said Mr McQuaid.
It seems that it would have been more useful for USADA to have used the time of the Tour de France, the Olympic Games and the Road World Championships to prepare their case in full rather than to make announcements.
It is at very least unusual that USADA would still be gathering evidence against a person after it has found that person guilty.
The UCI assumes that the reasons for any difficulty in putting the evidence together will be explained in USADA’s decision.
The UCI has requested USADA to provide its decision and case file and has learnt of the reported delays through the media and not by any official communication from USADA. The sooner UCI receives the decision and case file the sooner UCI can provide its response.