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WADA criticises UCI for failure to investigate … and David Millar says Armstrong must not be forgotten

UCI criticised for failure to act over past doping offences, lessons must be learnt from Armstrong debacle says David Millar

John Fahey, president of the World Anti Doping  Agency (WADA), has welcomed the UCI's decision announced yesterday to back the United States Anti Doping Agency's lifetime ban on Lance Armstrong and strip him of seven Tour de France victories. However Fahey was critical of the UCI's handling of the case particularly before the World Anti Doping Code came into existence in 2004.

David Millar, who served a two-year doping ban that expired in 2004 and now serves on WADA's athlete's panel, said that UCI president Pat McQuaid was wrong to hope that "Armstrong deserves to be forgotten from cycling," cautioning instead that the Texan's fate should be remembered as a lesson for the future, and also hit out at the governing body over its treatment of journalist Paul Kimmage.

Fahey pointed out that WADA has 21 days from 31 October in which to decide whether to appeal the decision, although given the support it has expressed for USADA's stance that is highly unlikely to happen. But it does appear that part of the fallout from the Armstrong affair will be a battle between USADA and WADA not only over what happened in this case, but also between the two bodies' respective approaches to combating doping.

Potentially, that gives rise to the kind of turf war seen in previous years between the UCI and the French anti-doping agency the AFLD, which resulted in Tour de France organisers ASO excluding the UCI from involvement in the doping control process at the 2008 edition of the race.

The UCI was back working on the Tour in 2009, but was criticised by then AFLD president Pierre Bordry who accused it, among other things, of giving favourable treatment to Armstrong and his then Astana team - an accusation McQuaid described as "pure bullshit."

During yesterday's press conference at Geneva airport where the UCI announced its decision. McQuaid made it clear that the UCI viewed the period from 1998 to 2005 as the one in which Armstrong doped, and in effect rejected USADA's finding that he had continued to do so after he returned to the sport in 2009.

In a statement published last night, Fahey said that WADA took heart from the UCI's opinion that the Armstrong case could be used as "a catalyst to thoroughly clean up its sport and remove any remaining vestiges of the doping programs that have clearly damaged cycling over the last decade."

He continued: "For some time now WADA has made it clear that testing and analysis alone is not sufficient to expose the doping of athletes who have the support of sophisticated and unscrupulous individuals. The evidence gathered by USADA in the Armstrong case is proof of that, as it is almost entirely based on non-analytical data.

"It has always been incumbent on anti-doping organizations to undertake a more coherent approach to widespread allegations of doping, and it is not sufficient to claim that enough was done just because testing did not lead to analytical violations."

In its full decision on the Armstrong case published yesterday, the UCI, grudgingly accepted USADA's jurisdiction, which it had previously opposed, expressed concerns over the use of witness testimony, rejected evidence that it had helped the cyclist cover up a "suspect" test and said that if it had been handling the case it would have done so within the WADC's eight-year statute of limitations.

That might have resulted in only the 2004 and 2005 seasons coming under scrutiny, potentially allowing Armstrong to keep the five Tour de France titles he had won in previous years. and Fahey also struck out at the way the UCI had conducted itself in those early years of his reign in yellow.

"The fact the World Anti-Doping Code only came into force in 2004 is not a valid excuse for an organization failing to act on evidence of widespread doping, and nor is the Statute of Limitations contained within the Code an excuse not to investigate evidence of doping that dates back longer than eight years," he said.

Fahey concluded by saying that WADA "will continue to examine the evidence encouraged by the fact that the biggest doping scandal in the history of sport is close to reaching a correct conclusion."

Meaanwhile Millar, writing for, said that McQuaid's insistence that Armstrong should be "forgotten from cycling" as a result of the scandal "would be an absolute disaster."

The Garmin-Sharp rider, banned for two years in 2004 after confessing to using EPO,
continued: "Armstrong, and what he and his doping era stood for, should be at the forefront of minds constantly as this sport moves forward, as I firmly believe it is doing.

"The majority of people involved in our sport have been involved in some kind of doping incident and there are massive lessons to learn from that, and not just for cycling. We must record what actually happened, and why.

"Young professionals making their way need to be alerted to the horrors of the sport at its worst when the doping culture took over and nearly consumed a generation.
Yes, eradicate Armstrong from the record books but we should never forget. It is the story of our recent past and should be retold time and time again."

Millar also urged to McQuaid to drop the defamation case that he, his predecessor as UCI president Hein Verbruggen, and the governing body itself have brought against the Irish journalist and former pro cyclist, Paul Kimmage.

Yesterday, McQuaid attempted to explain to an audience composed of members of the press that the pursuit of Kimmage had no relation to allegations the writer had previously made against the UCI that touched on aspects of the Armstrong case. No-one was convinced, and the impression many were left with is that the lawsuit has aan air of personal vendetta about it.

Millar expressed his disappointment "that McQuaid missed an open goal by not dropping his libel case against the journalist Paul Kimmage.

"In doing so, McQuaid is aligning himself with Verbruggen, they are standing together in this in a joint action against a man who had been trying to expose the doping culture.

"Just how bad does this look to the outside world questioning how cycling is dealing with doping?

"The president and honorary president of a big worldwide sporting body going to court at a time like this to, trying to protect their name in what everybody knows was a legitimate fight by the journalist involved to expose what actually happened."

A defence fund set up by fans to help Kimmage pay his legal costs in the action, due to go to court in Switzerland in December, now stands at more than $60,000.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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skippy | 11 years ago

As stated above :
" Millar and WADA are spot on with their comments. "

"Just how bad does this look to the outside world questioning how cycling is dealing with doping?"

" I don't want someone to replace McQuaid. I want something to replace the UCI."


" Realising an error and subsequently making an effort to ensure others don't make the same error does not make a hypocrit."

ALL valid comments but ACT to achieve change by signing on to " Petition ":

JulesW | 11 years ago

There seems to be some wriggle room for USADA. They claim that part of the doping regulations allows the investigating DA to apply their national laws. In a previous case thye had extended beyond statute of limitations for a sprinter or hurdler who had either been fruadulent or perjured himself. I found the reference a few weeks ago but cannot find a link to it now.

So they are using that precedent to say that because Lance made 'false and misleading' statements in 2005 case this allows them to throw away the statute of limitations. Usada says his statements in court were false and consequently "subject to the penalties of perjury.

But I guess if Lance sees himself as innocent of any claims he would say that wouldn't he? So now we have no physical evidence with a lot of sworn statements from people who have largely been given short sentences after plea bargaining. Is it a witch hunt? Are the investigators allowed to cheat to catch a cheat or have they gone too far to try and pursue someone beyond the statutes just because they are pretty sure he has cheated? Was their an agenda to pursue LA no matter what as the Texan Federal Judge hinted?

No wonder WADA are reviewing their statute of limitations. I think the best position will come from the Italian authorities and their investigations. That is rumoured to involve 30m euro. That may make Lance look like small fry if it delivers on the hype.

izzi green replied to JulesW | 11 years ago

Re: JulesW post. I think the case you're looking for is the Hellebuyck decision. Eddie Hellebuyck was sanctioned for doping in 2004 and this was upheld by an arbitration panel and CAS. At these tribunals he claimed that he had never doped before 2004. However, later he admitted in an interview that he had doped since 2001.

USADA then brought another case and extended the sanction period back to 2001 on the basis that Hellebuyck had perjured himself at the arbitration hearings. The arbitration panel agreed that the usual eight-year limitation period could be suspended in view of his 'perjury'.

However, what's also interesting (co-incidence?) was that the second case was brought during the US Postal investigation by USADA and was used as a precedent to sanction Armstrong. It wasn't appealed to CAS (why?) even though the arbitration panel said they were stepping into uncharted legal territory.

brakesmadly | 11 years ago

"...and nor is the Statute of Limitations contained within the Code an excuse not to investigate evidence of doping that dates back longer than eight years,"...

Confused. No particular opinion on this point but what IS the statute of limitations for then?

monty dog | 11 years ago

At least Millar has a backbone and admitted to the error of his ways and is actively trying to change things.
Meanwhile, spineless Armstrong hides behind his legions of lawyers and acolytes in a damage limitation exercise trying to weasel his way from ending up in jail and continue to take money from Livestrong on the pretence that he's some sort of force for good.
Much that I loathe Pat and Hein, if enough of the national federations give a vote of no confidence, then it should be possible to change the board.

Fran The Man | 11 years ago

Hooray for David Millar!!! No-one should ever forget what Armstrong has done. Ever. Not forever. Youngsters coming into the sport should be told his story and be warned of the consequences of not just dope but deceit. Armstrong must have an army of followers who must be wondering what kind of leader they were following and who they can look to now.

notfastenough | 11 years ago

Of course Karbon Kev, bet you've never made a mistake in your life have you?

Realising an error and subsequently making an effort to ensure others don't make the same error does not make a hypocrit.

road slapper replied to notfastenough | 11 years ago
notfastenough wrote:

Of course Karbon Kev, bet you've never made a mistake in your life have you?

Realising an error and subsequently making an effort to ensure others don't make the same error does not make a hypocrit.

Millar doping was hardly a mistake. It isn't like he accidently sat on a syringe full of EPO or whatever. He made a concious decision to dope and got caught!

Karbon Kev | 11 years ago

good grief, pi$$ off David Millar, such a damn hypocrite.

The Rumpo Kid | 11 years ago

I don't want someone to replace McQuaid. I want something to replace the UCI.

drheaton | 11 years ago

Yeah yeah, McQuaid is evil etc etc...

My question to everyone who wants him to go. Who will replace him? The UCI decides on who runs the UCI, not the fans or anyone else. That means that whoever ends up replacing McQuaid would basically be one of the other people running cycling in the background. Someone like Igor Makarov (Russian cycling federation) or the like would go for the job and no doubt would win.

What makes you think they'd be any better than McQuaid?

Read this about how difficult it is to replace McQuaid. It basically means he doesn't have to fear the shove, he can wait and jump when/if he wants or more likely he'll see out his term and pass the reigns onto one of his cronies

Roberj4 | 11 years ago

With the growing public support for UCI heads to roll,(Cow)Pat McQuaid should be bombarded with email via the UCI, he and Verbruggen need to leave.

JulesW replied to Roberj4 | 11 years ago
Roberj4 wrote:

With the growing public support for UCI heads to roll,(Cow)Pat McQuaid should be bombarded with email via the UCI, he and Verbruggen need to leave.

Have you not noticed that on the UCI webpage they have removed the Contact Us or any email references?

Try admin @ though.

They were the ones tampering with rules about skinsuits and overshoes and how level the seat was when they had overlooked their Golden Boy and his team who was doing a sterling job at increasing cycling's popularity, therefore its salaries and therefore their own income. I wonder how vocal British Cycling will be with UCI. I hope it is better than FA against FIFA. The UCI webpage is noticeably lacking anything prominent about something which they say is the biggest doping ring in sports history. Oh yes they (USADA) have dealt with it and it is all in the Armstrong era...

Head in sand, weather the storm, I see no ships or a hundred and one other appropriate phrases.

Well done on David Millar. Perhaps he is the best example of why there should be no automatic life ban. Just as the most vehement anti-smoker is a previous smoker, he has put his head well above the parapet whilst others have been noticeably quieter. He is outraged perhaps because he knows far more of the inside story.

jarderich | 11 years ago

Pat McQuaid? Pat Blatter more like.

Colin Peyresourde | 11 years ago

I feel now that if McQuaid and Verbruggen do not go then all the work done by USADA will be wasted.

Another false dawn for cycling.

The sponsors should cancel their deals and walk away until this man is removed from his untenable position.

Stumps | 11 years ago

Armstrong should never ever be forgotten. The things he did have shown how far people will go to win and its important that future generations are aware of this so we dont slip backwards.

Millar and WADA are spot on with their comments.  41

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