Armstrong scandal could see cycling dropped from Olympics

Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:35pm EST
 

By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - Cycling could be dumped from the Olympic program if Lance Armstrong implicated the sport's governing body of covering up a widespread doping scheme, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound told Reuters on Tuesday.

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," Pound said.

"And when you think you're ready come on back we'll see whether it would be a good idea to put you back on the program."

A former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Pound said it was clear the IOC needed to take matters into its own hands in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

"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 so let's earn our way back into it,'" Pound said in a telephone interview.

"The IOC would have to deal with it, the (UCI) is not known for its strong actions to anti-doping.

"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 program.'"   Continued...

 
Cyclist Lance Armstrong is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas, in this January 14, 2012 handout photo courtesy of Harpo Studios. REUTERS/Harpo Studios, Inc/George Burns/Handout