Lance Armstrong: UCI no plans to appeal against Usada decision

Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban could be upheld after the International Cycling Union (UCI) said it had no plans to appeal against the US Anti-Doping Agency's (Usada) decision.

Usada stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles after he said he would no longer fight doping charges.

However, the UCI has yet to receive the case file from Usada.

UCI boss Pat McQuaid said they would not appeal "unless Usada's decision and case file give reason to do otherwise".

The background

Cycling's global governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), has challenged Usada's jurisdiction over doping in the sport, and has the option of appealing against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

It says it will not take any action or comment further until it has received evidence from Usada explaining why Armstrong must lose his titles. He won the Tour de France seven years in a row from 1999. He retired from cycling in 2005 but returned to the sport between 2009 and 2012.

Tour de France organisers said they would wait for the outcome of any stand-off between Usada and the UCI before taking action.

Armstrong says he is innocent and insists only the sport's governing body, the UCI, has the power to sanction him.

The American told reporters at a World Cancer Congress event in Montreal last week that he was "not afraid" of any report Usada might send to the UCI.

McQuaid sees no reason why an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) would be necessary but the Irishman did admit it is something that will be looked at stringently, possibly at the governing body's management committee on 19-20 September.

"The UCI has no reason to assume that a full case file does not exist. They [Usada] have a full case file so let them provide the full case file," he said.

"And unless the Usada's decision and case file give serious reasons to do otherwise, the UCI has no intention to appeal to Cas or not to recognise the Usada's sanctions on Lance Armstrong.

"We need to examine the decision and the file in order to deal with it properly and this is going to take some time. However, I can assure you that this will be prioritised.

"The reason the UCI is seeking the file is that we want to provide a timely response and not delay matters any further than necessary. The sooner we receive the full decision and case file the sooner we can provide its response."

McQuaid has also revealed that 215 tests during Armstrong's career, which ended in 2011, were overseen by the UCI, and reiterated that there was no cover-up of a failed test by the Texan in 2001 as had been alleged.

Lance Armstrong factfile

  • Born: Plano, Texas
  • Tour de France: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 (22 individual stage wins)
  • World Championships road race: 1993
  • Battle with cancer: Diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. The disease spreads through his body. Launches Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer. Declared cancer-free in 1997 after brain surgery and chemotherapy.
  • Retirement: Announces he will retire after the 2005 Tour de France, which he wins. Angered by drug allegations against him, Armstrong announces in September 2008 he will return to professional cycling. In June 2010, he reveals via Twitter that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last. On 16 February 2011, Armstrong announces retirement again.

"There are people who are saying the UCI helped Armstrong or was complicit with Armstrong in relation to those tests," he said. "That's absolutely untrue ... there's a lot of people very quick to make statements to the media which have no backup evidence."

McQuaid is also interested in the riders who allegedly have testified against Armstrong in exchange for a reduced sentence on past doping offences.

"The UCI assumes that the decision and file will also detail the sanction the Usada may wish to enforce upon the riders who have provided testimony in exchange for reduced sanctions," he said.

The UCI president, however, was not impressed by Tyler Hamilton, who rode with Armstrong on the US Postal team between 1998 and 2001 and released a book this week claiming again that his former team-mate had doped.

Asked if he believes Hamilton's evidence is now tainted, McQuaid added: "I think so... when people time the arrival of books to meet certain situations I question what their real motivations are. Is it to make money?"