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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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

39 comments

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lushmiester [191 posts] 4 years ago
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Hold on the implication of USADA statement is that they have taken action without reasoning that decision first. Therefore they are saying that their action is arbitrary as they are applying reason after action.

This does not alter the quality of the evidence against Armstrong or alter his guilt or otherwise. But does suggest that USADA is or can be erratic it the application of sanctions when athletes transgress. That its range of sanctions can be unjustly applied and applied disregarding consideration of the nature of the offence.

This certainly increases the power that USADA has over athletes, and could put into question the the faith we should have in its sanctions when applied.

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BigDummy [314 posts] 4 years ago
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Quote:

Hold on the implication of USADA statement is that they have taken action without reasoning that decision first

This isn't a reasonable leap to make. Delivering a full written judgment on something to publication standards takes much longer than coming to the correct conclusion in the first place.

(I am a lawyer, although no expertise in sports law.)

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drheaton [3318 posts] 4 years ago
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I agree with BigDummy, the 'reasoned decision' is the equivalent of a written report. They're saying that it takes time to prepare this in full (which is understandable) as it'll be tens of pages long to take into account all of the statements and evidence.

That's not the same as the USADA trying to find a reason for making a decision after making it.

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Paul J [908 posts] 4 years ago
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Also, in this case, the governing body, UCI, has shown itself to be hostile to the sanctioning body, USADA.

So USADA have to ensure that the report can with-stand not only challenges to the evidence and conclusions made about the athlete, but also to any challenges the UCI might make. E.g. UCI has challenged USADAs' jurisdiction in this matter. The report thus may have to cover grounds which other cases do not have to cover. Also, this case is unusually large in scope.

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Lacticlegs [124 posts] 4 years ago
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interesting that they mention they want to see details of the reduced sanctions offered to people who testified against LA...

wonder if the UCI plans to pull another vindictive PR disaster in the form of trying to toughen those reduced sanctions, or some kind of attack on the whistle-blowers?

I hope they do - their suit against Paul Kimmage reeks of petty personal animosity; if they try to go after the people who agreed to speak to USADA it may well be the final nail in the coffin of their credibility (a nail I can't believe hasn't been widely recognised already!).

What is it about these governing bodies for sports? FIFA, UCI etc - corrupt much?

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 4 years ago
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But surely USADA knew all along that they had to provide the documents to the UCI and WADA so shouldn't they have been in a pretty good condition as they went along? To me (the general public) once again no one involved in this cr*p comes out of it looking particularly good.

I have long since accepted that LA doped. My cynicism is now reserved for everything else that has gone on. Sadly some of the comments attributed to Mr Tygart (and I emphasize attributed) just leave me wondering what is really going on.

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Wakeywanderer [8 posts] 4 years ago
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If i was going after one of the biggest names in sport I'd have everything ready and prepared, including a well worked draft of a 'reasoned decision'. The delay in full disclosure is unacceptable and can only add fuel to the conspiracy fires. This must be exactly what LA wanted - the facts obscured by organizational incompetence and their internal processes and procedures left open to challenges from those that fund USADA.

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lushmiester [191 posts] 4 years ago
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Delivering a full written judgment on something to publication standards takes much longer than coming to the correct conclusion

I agree and therefore one would expect that one would not give any judgement until you could your publish judgement and one could demonstrate your thinking. Particulary where there are signifficant consequences concerned. To not do so leaves one open to the accusation of retrospective consideration and worse still leaves what should be done and dusted in the realms of conjecture and rumor. I stress I have no problem with the USADA role and the range of sanctions available to it, nore do I wish to defend Mr Armstrong.

But in the interests of cycling sport justice must be seen to be done at the time it is done and it's reasoning fully explained at that time.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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The situation is complicated in that three members of USPS have opted to go to arbitration. I would suggest that USADA would not wish to go public with all of its evidence while this process is ongoing, particularly in view of the fact that the UCI has acted more like a counsel for the defence than a sports governing body.

The sanctions against Armstrong were imposed not because he doped, but because he refused to go to arbitration AS HE WAS OBLIGED TO. You may think this unfair. I personally would have preferred to see sanctions imposed on Armstrong after the hearings, if only to prevent him from presenting himself as a victim.

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Paul J [908 posts] 4 years ago
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The process is fair. Armstrong sued USADA in federal court, just around the time when they were to notify him of their finding (I think shortly before), arguing it was unfair and didn't afford due process. The Texan federal judge ruled the USADA and WADA processes *were* fair. Leading up to / during that case, Pat McQuaid, on behalf of UCI, sent letters to USADA, effectively joining Armstrong's side, with arguments about jurisdiction (which WADA said UCI were wrong on).

These are all points which came up *after* USADA had finished its investigation into the question of Armstrong doping. These are complications which have been introduced by Armstrong and UCI. These complications have pretty much *nothing* to do with the question of Armstrong's doping, but of legal technicalities. All these arguments about technicalities from UCI and Armstrong have so far failed - though UCI may yet still try to go to CAS on the jurisdiction question.

tl;dr: If this is taking longer than it should, it's cause *Armstrong and UCI* have been trying to frustrate and block USADA from actually making its judgement, through legal technicalities.

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Paul J [908 posts] 4 years ago
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Rumpo kid: Armstrong was not under any obligation to go to arbitration. Arbitration exists to allow an athlete to appeal if they disagree with a finding. Armstrong chose not to exercise this option, as he is entitled to. WADA and UCI are also entitled to refer the case to arbitration via CAS. Which UCI might do on the jurisdiction question, if the federal case is a guide.

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bobinski [240 posts] 4 years ago
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BigDummy wrote:
Quote:

Hold on the implication of USADA statement is that they have taken action without reasoning that decision first

This isn't a reasonable leap to make. Delivering a full written judgment on something to publication standards takes much longer than coming to the correct conclusion in the first place.

(I am a lawyer, although no expertise in sports law.)

I am not sure I agree. It may interest Lances'/UCI'S Lawyers that the reasoning, which surely had been reduced to paper, was not in a disclosable format that revealed USADA's assessment of the evidence and its reasoning behind the conclusions or findings reached. 2 good examples here by way of counterpoint are the District Judges written decision when acquitting Mr Terry and perhaps more appropriately, the report issued promptly by the FA following its investigation of Suares. I am not holding a candle for Armstrong here just saying that this seems an at best an unfortunate way for a regulatory/disciplinary body to go about its business and at worse invites suspicions about decisions reached in advance, publicised then questioned and then the report delayed whilst rewritten before distibution.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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Paul J wrote:

Rumpo kid: Armstrong was not under any obligation to go to arbitration. Arbitration exists to allow an athlete to appeal if they disagree with a finding. Armstrong chose not to exercise this option, as he is entitled to. WADA and UCI are also entitled to refer the case to arbitration via CAS. Which UCI might do on the jurisdiction question, if the federal case is a guide.

Er, no. This arbitration was initiated by USADA. Armstrong, as a professional athlete, is obliged to enter into the process or accept sanction. He can of course appeal to the CAS, but has said he has no intention of doing so.

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Paul J [908 posts] 4 years ago
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Rumpo: I think you mean something else when you write arbitration.  1 This case has not been through any arbitration process yet.

Presuming you mean the USADA investigation, Armstrong could have chosen to co-operate with it and gotten lighter sanctions. Yes.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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Paul J wrote:

Rumpo: I think you mean something else when you write arbitration.  1 This case has not been through any arbitration process yet.

Presuming you mean the USADA investigation, Armstrong could have chosen to co-operate with it and gotten lighter sanctions. Yes.

Perhaps I should clarify :-
USADA's protocol is that before an athlete is sanctioned, an arbitration hearing should take place where members of the American Arbitration Association hear the evidence. This is independent of any USADA investigation, and it was this arbitration hearing that USADA wanted Armstrong to attend.
It is, I'll agree, confusing when so many arbitrations take place, or for that matter, dont.

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pwake [395 posts] 4 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

The situation is complicated in that three members of USPS have opted to go to arbitration. I would suggest that USADA would not wish to go public with all of its evidence while this process is ongoing, particularly in view of the fact that the UCI has acted more like a counsel for the defence than a sports governing body.

The sanctions against Armstrong were imposed not because he doped, but because he refused to go to arbitration AS HE WAS OBLIGED TO. You may think this unfair. I personally would have preferred to see sanctions imposed on Armstrong after the hearings, if only to prevent him from presenting himself as a victim.

I don't see the issue with USADA going public with their findings/evidence if other accused parties are going to arbitration. Surely, issueing the evidence to the accused is normal practise and allows them to prepare a defense. This, along with USADA's refusal to name their witnesses and, now, this delay, all reflect badly on them. This is looking more and more like the usual doping case clusterf*ck we have got used to. WADA seem to have been very remote on this case; you'd think that as the world authority, they might issue something like an 'ultimate' deadline for USADA to file their report, or else, drop the case.

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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Given the UCI's sudden interest in the Garmin trio, I personally would not blame USADA for keeping its cards close to its chest.

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 4 years ago
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But USADA cannot keep its cards close to its chest. It HAS to report to UCI and WADA with its decision's.

The continued delay and with them continuing to collect evidence shows they were not ready to make a decision on the Armstrong case. They should have complied their documentation firstly and made the decision secondly. It seems they have made a decision, knowing they had to justify it to the governing bodies and cannot get their papers in order to do that in a timely manner.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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WADA's John Fahey has already said that he considers Lance Armstrong's decision not to contest the charges against him to be nothing more than an admission of guilt:-
"He had the right to rip up those charges, but he elected not to. Therefore the only interpretation in these circumstances is that there was substance in those charges."
I'm sure many people here will disagree with his interpretation, I'm just telling you what he said.

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shay cycles [346 posts] 4 years ago
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Is it only me or would anyone else like to see a new photo at the top of the Lance Armstrong stories?

Or are we waiting for one where he finally looks a little less arrogant?

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Paul J [908 posts] 4 years ago
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Rumpo Kid: No, the USADA result management process is that an independent review panel forms a recommendation, based on the evidence, which may include sanctions. The athlete and others are notified of this. The athlete then has 10 days in which to request to go to arbitration, via AAA. The recommendation from that arbitration may itself be appealed to further arbitration at CAS, by the athlete, USADA, WADA, the national or international governing bodies concerned.

See pages 29 to 31 of the USADA athlete handbook. This USADA process follows the general outline for results management specified by the WADA Code.

Armstrong's case is at the stage where he has been notified of a recommendation, and he forewent arbitration. He is deemed to have accepted the recommendation - no arbitration involved. USADA now must send a full report to WADA, USCycling and UCI (they might also send one to USOC - they do so for the test results at least). At least WADA and UCI have the option to appeal the recommendation to CAS (not 100% sure USCycling also have that option, but I think they do - at least the WADA Code would allow it).

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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Paul J wrote:

Rumpo Kid: No, the USADA result management process is that an independent review panel forms a recommendation, based on the evidence, which may include sanctions. The athlete and others are notified of this. The athlete then has 10 days in which to request to go to arbitration, via AAA. The recommendation from that arbitration may itself be appealed to further arbitration at CAS, by the athlete, USADA, WADA, the national or international governing bodies concerned.

See pages 29 to 31 of the USADA athlete handbook. This USADA process follows the general outline for results management specified by the WADA Code.

Armstrong's case is at the stage where he has been notified of a recommendation, and he forewent arbitration. He is deemed to have accepted the recommendation - no arbitration involved. USADA now must send a full report to WADA, USCycling and UCI (they might also send one to USOC - they do so for the test results at least). At least WADA and UCI have the option to appeal the recommendation to CAS (not 100% sure USCycling also have that option, but I think they do - at least the WADA Code would allow it).

Mea culpa, Paul.
Lack of proper research on my part.
I took my information on the process from a website for American athletes rather than the USADA handbook, and despite claiming to cite the protocol, they seem to have missed out the early stage of the process!
Thanks for wading through the handbook which, as I'm sure you have gathered, is something I should have done!

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fatbeggaronabike [834 posts] 4 years ago
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Is it me ... but there are still a few days to go until the end of the month  39

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 4 years ago
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Announcing the result before the written case file is ready sounds like a PR step - was USADA merely showing it's teeth while cycling was so high profile globally, what with the olympics etc?

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thegibdog [103 posts] 4 years ago
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The sooner McQuaid is out of the sport the better.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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While I would love to see Pat McQuaid go, I cannot help but feel that the UCI would be exactly the same without him.

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 4 years ago
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McQuaid is a politician. Is Cameron/Clegg any better worse than Blair? I have to say every time I see PmQ I feel slightly queazy, just looks totally unreliable to me. Totally a superficial opition I know but nothing he does ro says allays my fears.

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hairyairey [300 posts] 4 years ago
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Are we seriously willing to accept that the USADA had evidence that they could provide to a court of law yet isn't in a form that can be published? For a case to be heard it would have to be written down for judges to read it in advance.

They basically haven't finished their witch-hunt against Lance and are looking for more evidence to bolster what was already a weak case. It'll all end in tears. I note that the above contradicts earlier reports that they'll publish at the end of the year.

I think the USADA will have a lot of "oeuf sur le visage" pretty soon.

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paulfg42 [393 posts] 4 years ago
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"interesting that they mention they want to see details of the reduced sanctions offered to people who testified against LA...

wonder if the UCI plans to pull another vindictive PR disaster in the form of trying to toughen those reduced sanctions, or some kind of attack on the whistle-blowers?"

They can hardly be considered whistle-blowers if they were willing participants in doping. I fail to see why some riders should escape relatively lightly for testifying against a big name in the sport. Is doping to be considered worse if the doper wins races?

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