Saturday 19 April 2014

Cycling could be out of Olympics if ruling body is implicated

Cycling could be dumped from the Olympic programme if Lance Armstrong implicates the sport's governing body of covering up a widespread doping scheme, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound said last night.

Mr Pound said the IOC might be left with no choice other than to take drastic action if Armstrong was able to prove the International Cycling Union (UCI) had acted improperly.

"We could say, 'look, you've clearly got a problem, why don't we give you four years, eight years, to sort it out'," Mr Pound said.

A former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Mr Pound said it was clear the IOC needed to take matters into its own hands.

"The only way it (cycling) is going to clean up is if all these people say 'hey, we're no longer in the Olympics and that's where we want to be'," Mr Pound said.

"It was the same in weightlifting a few years ago, all of a sudden when you get right up against it things go fuzzy and they say, 'well, we can't punish innocent athletes in these sports by dropping the sport from the programme'."

Mr Pound made his comments after talk show host Oprah Winfrey confirmed reports that Armstrong admitted to using drugs in an interview that was taped on Monday.

Full details will not be known until the interview is broadcast tomorrow and Friday.

But the Canadian lawyer said any possible changes to cycling's status were unlikely to happen until after the next IOC presidential election, in August this year.

"I don't think under the current administration, that has only a year left, that anything that drastic would happen but maybe under a new president (it would)."

Irish Independent

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