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

by Simon_MacMichael   September 27, 2012  

Lance Armstrong (pic courtesy Photosport International)

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.

39 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

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.

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
27th September 2012 - 14:44

like this
Like (2)

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.

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
27th September 2012 - 14:53

like this
Like (0)

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.

bobinski

posted by bobinski [106 posts]
27th September 2012 - 15:09

like this
Like (2)

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.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
27th September 2012 - 16:47

like this
Like (2)

Rumpo: I think you mean something else when you write arbitration. Smile 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.

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
27th September 2012 - 17:13

like this
Like (3)

Paul J wrote:
Rumpo: I think you mean something else when you write arbitration. Smile 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.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
27th September 2012 - 18:35

like this
Like (2)

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.

posted by pwake [280 posts]
27th September 2012 - 19:14

like this
Like (1)
Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
27th September 2012 - 20:07

like this
Like (2)

Given the UCI's sudden interest in the Garmin trio, I personally would not blame USADA for keeping its cards close to its chest.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
27th September 2012 - 21:06

like this
Like (2)

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.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
27th September 2012 - 22:12

like this
Like (1)

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.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
27th September 2012 - 22:45

like this
Like (2)

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?

Shay

posted by shay cycles [210 posts]
27th September 2012 - 22:59

like this
Like (2)

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).

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
27th September 2012 - 23:27

like this
Like (1)

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!

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
27th September 2012 - 23:48

like this
Like (3)

Is it me ... but there are still a few days to go until the end of the month Thinking

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [570 posts]
28th September 2012 - 7:57

like this
Like (2)

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?

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2940 posts]
28th September 2012 - 10:06

like this
Like (2)

The sooner McQuaid is out of the sport the better.

thegibdog's picture

posted by thegibdog [72 posts]
28th September 2012 - 12:25

like this
Like (1)

While I would love to see Pat McQuaid go, I cannot help but feel that the UCI would be exactly the same without him.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
28th September 2012 - 14:01

like this
Like (0)

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.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [386 posts]
28th September 2012 - 14:12

like this
Like (3)

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.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [278 posts]
28th September 2012 - 17:51

like this
Like (2)

"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?

posted by paulfg42 [369 posts]
28th September 2012 - 19:31

like this
Like (1)

Thinking Surely this is the USADA just treating the UCI with the contempt they deserve. Why should they bother to keep the UCI informed beyond what is absolutely necessary? UCI can bleat all they like, but it looks like the USADA is the body cleaning up a sport which they have mismanaged for years.

posted by ElCynico [15 posts]
29th September 2012 - 4:15

like this
Like (2)

ElCynico wrote:
Thinking Surely this is the USADA just treating the UCI with the contempt they deserve. Why should they bother to keep the UCI informed beyond what is absolutely necessary? UCI can bleat all they like, but it looks like the USADA is the body cleaning up a sport which they have mismanaged for years.

They have to provide not just the UCI, but also the IOC, WADA, US Cycling and Armstrong with their "Reasoned Decision" for their Aug 24th judgement under Article 8.3 of the WADC.
The fact that they have been so far unable/unwilling to do that raises serious questions!

posted by alun [44 posts]
29th September 2012 - 13:01

like this
Like (1)

Accoridng to the latest update this is whats been happening:

The long-awaited report into Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban from cycling should be sent to the sport's governing body, the UCI, by 15 October.

Cycling's governing body, the International Cycling Union, is awaiting the report before deciding whether or not to confirm Armstrong's ban.

UCI president Pat McQuaid admitted it was likely to be a case of rubberstamping Usada's decision though.

"Unless the Usada's decision and case file give serious reasons to do otherwise, the UCI has no intention to appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport or not to recognise the Usada's sanctions on Lance Armstrong," he said

Thats a straight lift from the BBC website. Thinking

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2665 posts]
29th September 2012 - 19:45

like this
Like (3)

Now that IS intriguing. Over the last two days Travis Tygart has got more confrontational as Pat McQuaid has got less...Lets hope the show lives up to the hype, as the saying goes.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
29th September 2012 - 23:59

like this
Like (1)

shay cycles wrote:
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?

This'll be the image you're looking for...

image.jpg
Low Speed Wobble's picture

posted by Low Speed Wobble [137 posts]
30th September 2012 - 2:53

like this
Like (3)

What a great picture from Low Speed Wobble! I love it!!

I used to really respect this guy. Now I think he's such an arse.

That he doped, regularly and serially, is now beyond any reasonable doubt and he deserves all the vilification and every punishment that the cycling world seems ready to mete out to him - his (former) fans especially.

The only decent thing this once all-powerful gobshite can do now is own up to it, confess and humbly apologise to all and everyone that he has fooled, insulted, duped and successfully sued.

Armstrong - you're nothing to no one anymore.

And if you want his books in pristine hard cover, pls write me and I'll send them to you. I want nothing more to do with anything Armstrong, says, writes or thinks.

Disgusted of Berkshire!!

posted by comm88 [72 posts]
30th September 2012 - 14:00

like this
Like (2)

It's been over 13 years since Armstrong tested positive for corticosteroids in the '99 TdF. It's been over 7 years since L'Equipe revealed that a WADA accredited lab in '04 had found EPO in 6 samples taken from Armstrong in the '99 tour. It's been over 6 years since David Walsh and Pierre Ballester published "L.A. Confidentiel" which included eye-witness testimony that Lance doped. It's been more than 2 years since Floyd Landis came out with detailed allegations of Armstrong doping, including a revelation that UCI made a '01 EPO positive result go away - a result which the head of the lab concerned, Dr Martial Saugy, has since described as a "suspicious result" which he notified the UCI of. etc. etc.

And yet the greatest injustice in all this, according to some, is that USADA is taking 2 months to write up the report on this (indeed, it'll be just 1½ months if they deliver it mid-October)?

And that despite the fact they were sued by Armstrong immediately before giving a finding, and got nastygrammes from McQuaid, effectively backing up Armstrong. Which almost certainly requires an extra level of legal argument to go in to the report, and double-checking of everything, to ensure its reasoning is water-tight against UCIs' jurisdiction claims.

There's more than a decades worth of allegations against Armstrong. None of which have been properly investigated by a body with sanctioning power, because the UCI has ignored them, dismissed allegations out of hand and, worst of all, even sued those making allegations. It's possible that it's only because Floyd Landis emailed USADA that an independent body, without a vested interest in Armstrong but with authority over him, was able to investigate him.

Regardless of the result of an investigation, it is right that allegations be properly investigated. Indeed, it is crucial for the integrity of the sport. USADA ultimately found against him, but had Armstrong been innocent, it would have been as important to investigate so as to clear him.

It's not USADA that has delayed this investigation, delayed the results, or delayed justice. It's the UCI.

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
30th September 2012 - 14:42

like this
Like (2)

Paul J wrote:
It's been over 13 years since Armstrong tested positive for corticosteroids in the '99 TdF. It's been over 7 years since L'Equipe revealed that a WADA accredited lab in '04 had found EPO in 6 samples taken from Armstrong in the '99 tour. It's been over 6 years since David Walsh and Pierre Ballester published "L.A. Confidentiel" which included eye-witness testimony that Lance doped. It's been more than 2 years since Floyd Landis came out with detailed allegations of Armstrong doping, including a revelation that UCI made a '01 EPO positive result go away - a result which the head of the lab concerned, Dr Martial Saugy, has since described as a "suspicious result" which he notified the UCI of. etc. etc.

And yet the greatest injustice in all this, according to some, is that USADA is taking 2 months to write up the report on this (indeed, it'll be just 1½ months if they deliver it mid-October)?

And that despite the fact they were sued by Armstrong immediately before giving a finding, and got nastygrammes from McQuaid, effectively backing up Armstrong. Which almost certainly requires an extra level of legal argument to go in to the report, and double-checking of everything, to ensure its reasoning is water-tight against UCIs' jurisdiction claims.

There's more than a decades worth of allegations against Armstrong. None of which have been properly investigated by a body with sanctioning power, because the UCI has ignored them, dismissed allegations out of hand and, worst of all, even sued those making allegations. It's possible that it's only because Floyd Landis emailed USADA that an independent body, without a vested interest in Armstrong but with authority over him, was able to investigate him.

Regardless of the result of an investigation, it is right that allegations be properly investigated. Indeed, it is crucial for the integrity of the sport. USADA ultimately found against him, but had Armstrong been innocent, it would have been as important to investigate so as to clear him.

It's not USADA that has delayed this investigation, delayed the results, or delayed justice. It's the UCI.

Well said mate, its been to long in coming and i for one will not miss the constant "is he or isnt he" arguements. You never know it might actually be the straw that breaks the UCI backs. If the report outlines their involvement in hiding or making results disappear it will make the likes of McQuaid's position untenable (is that the right word ?)

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2665 posts]
30th September 2012 - 15:40

like this
Like (2)

Thanks stumps. Smile Stuck a slightly edited version, updated with links to sources at http://t.co/q6lHk1zj .

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
30th September 2012 - 18:30

like this
Like (1)