Wednesday October 24, 2012
Cycling fraternity broadly welcomes ban on Lance
PARIS: European cycling federations, race organisers and former riders on Monday broadly welcomed a decision to ban Lance Armstrong (pic) for life and scrub his record for doping, including his seven straight Tour de France titles.
Tour of Spain organiser Javier Guillen said on Monday he believed the move by the International Cycling Union (UCI) governing body showed that no cyclist, not even one with Armstrong’s reputation, was above the law.
“I feel the reaction of the UCI sit properly with the seriousness of the facts,” said Guillen.
“We now have to stress that nobody is above the law and it is time to write a new page for cycling, as I hope this affair marks the turning of the page for the old cycling.”
Guillen noted that it was difficult to see how Armstrong’s wins could be re-attributed to another rider, as many of those who made the podium in the era when the Texan reigned supreme have also been implicated in the doping web.
But he said he was convinced that “cycling can and must come back from this affair“.
Belgian Cycling Federation head Tom Van Damme told broadcaster VRT that the ruling was “the only verdict” given the scope and scale of Armstrong’s doping, which the US Anti-Doping Agency called the biggest in the history of sport.
“For a good while now the UCI were accused from all sides - doubtless wrongly” of having somehow gone along with Armstrong, amid claims he donated cash to the organisation’s anti-doping effort to allegedly cover-up a positive test.
Van Damme said the UCI now had to bolster trust in its procedures to restore confidence.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme described the Armstrong affair as a “global crisis“, calling for all of Armstrong’s entourage to be punished and reaffirming that he should repay his estimated US$5mil of Tour winnings. — AFP