WADA won't appeal Lance case
Lance Armstrong (AFP Photo)
Paris - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Friday said that it would not appeal against a decision to strip US cyclist Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France victories and ban him from the sport for life for doping.
The organisation said it would "not exercise its independent right of appeal" after considering the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dossier that placed the Texan rider at the heart of what it said was the biggest doping programme ever in sport.
WADA said it had made a "full and careful review" of the case, including whether the US body had ignored a statutory time limit on bringing cases alleging doping code violations.
It said that based on an independent assessment "that opinion is clear and confirms that the interpretation given by USADA is proper and supported by case law", the organisation said on its website wada-ama.org.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) last month announced that it would not contest the USADA findings at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as the revelations sent shockwaves through the sport.
WADA President John Fahey said in the statement: "WADA has no such concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence.
"Rather it is of the opinion that the actions of USADA have highlighted the need in all cases for athletes to be able to come forward with evidence that will help rid sport of doping cheats."
Fahey said that WADA were awaiting for an independent inquiry to be established into how a "systemic culture of doping... was allowed to develop in cycling during that time" and said it was willing to contribute to the hearing.
He applauded the work of USADA and said the punishment meted out to Armstrong was "right and proper".
"This is not a situation in which just because the athlete did not return a positive test there was nothing more the governing body of cycling could do," he said.
"It has taken a major effort and undertaking from a national anti-doping organisation to gather the compelling evidence following allegations raised by (Armstrong's former team-mate) Floyd Landis in 2010."