US anti-doping chief puts UCI in firing line

The head of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) yesterday lashed out at the UCI for failing to take decisive action to clean up the sport in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Travis Tygart said after meeting with European Union sports officials — which included UCI president Pat McQuaid — that “all those who cherish the Olympic values, particularly fair play and a level playing field, deserve more.”

After the discussions, chaired by Minister Michael Ring, Tygart listed only one measure taken by cycling authorities, which was to shut down an independent panel looking into the relationship between cycling chiefs and Armstrong, who has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. The independent commission had been established to examine claims the UCI had accepted financial donations from Armstrong as well as covering up blood samples.

“They disbanded the independent commission that was set up at the very time it began to actually act independent,” Tygart said.

“We want to draw attention to the fact that they are not getting to the culture that took over a sport for some time — they have yet to do something about it”

When the UCI shut down the panel two months after its start, they said they wanted an amnesty-style “truth and reconciliation” commission instead.

“We have seen nothing,” said Tygart. “It has been over seven months since our report and their declaration that they needed to take decisive action. So, of course, we are frustrated.”

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