Games unlikely to drop cycling

2013-01-16 17:06

Lausanne - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday that is "very unlikely" cycling could be stripped as an event for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, despite the fall-out from the Lance Armstrong doping affair.

The fall of the disgraced Texan has thrown the spotlight on the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), who have been accused of covering up for the American and helping him evade positive tests.

"During the last years, the UCI have battled strongly in the fight against doping. An eventual exclusion of cycling from the Olympic programme is very unlikely," IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told AFP.

Armstrong was banned from cycling for life and stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins last year after revelations by the US Anti-Doping Agency that he was at the heart of the biggest doping programme in the history of sport.

Cycling was plunged into crisis, amid allegations that the UCI turned a blind eye to widespread doping in the peloton in the 1990s and early to mid-2000s.

Armstrong is expected to confess to cheating in a television interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey to be aired on Thursday.

"It is premature to discuss the subject until the interview has been broadcast," Adams added.

"Once it (the programme) has and once the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) and UCI make their reactions, we will have a better idea as to the next step in the process."