Updated: UCI queries reasons behind delay in USADA's delivery of Lance Armstrong report
No reason given for delay in report which agency's CEO had said would be issued by end of September
Updated: The UCI has this afternoon issued an angry response to news of a delay the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) sending it a full report on its decision last month to ban Lance Armstrong for life and strip him of results including his seven Tour de France victories. Earlier this week, USADA CEO Travis Tygart had said that the report would be sent to the UCI by the end of this month. Now, one of his colleagues has revealed it will no be delivered until mid-October.
In a statement issued today, the governing body said:
"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."
According to a report yesterday on the website Sport 24, no explanation was given for the delay in an email to Reuters from USADA’s Annie Skinner in which she said that the agency “is in the process of finalising the written reasoned decision in its US Postal Services pro cycling doping case.
"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," she added.
USADA imposed its sanctions on Armstrong after the 41-year-old announced that he did not intend to fight its charges through arbitration, although he continues to deny that he doped during his career.
In the days preceding his announcement, Armstrong lost a civil court case in which he had challenged USADA's jurisdiction and claimed that his constitutional right to due process had been violated.
While he is banned from all competitive sport sanctioned by the World Anti-Doping Code, he is continuing to compete in a variety of events not bound by those rules.
Earlier this month, UCI president Pat McQuaid told Reuters: “Unless the USADA's decision and case file give serious reasons to do otherwise, the UCI has no intention to appeal to CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] or not to recognise the USADA's sanctions on Lance Armstrong.
"The UCI assumes that the decision and file will also detail the sanction the USADA may wish to enforce upon the riders who have provided testimony in exchange for reduced sanctions," he added.
Despite the ban, Armstrong has continued to ride and run in non sanctioned races and, during a recent Montreal speech to a cancer conference, referred to himself as a seven times Tour de France winner.