In another key and convoluted example of the power struggle in professional cycling, the International Cycling Union (UCI) wants to reign over the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s doping charges against Lance Armstrong.
The UCI, the Swiss-based international governing body, notified the Colorado-based U.S. Anti-Doping Agency it wants USADA to forward to UCI the materials from USADA’s two-year investigation that culminated with the charges against Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner.
The UCI first claimed jurisdiction in a July 13 dated letter attached to a brief USADA filed Friday at U.S. District Court in Austin, according to an article published Aug. 3 in the New York Daily News.
“The UCI wants that the whole case file with all the evidence is assessed by an independent panel who shall then decide if the respondents have a case to answer,” said the letter signed by UCI boss Pat McQuaid.
USADA rejected the argument in its own letter, also attached to Friday’s brief, which opposed Armstrong’s attorneys’ request for an extension on a key motion deadline.
The newspaper explains “has historically been friendly with Armstrong. The union was openly hostile to Floyd Landis, whose accusations in 2010 have put Armstrong on the legal defensive like never before. Landis accused UCI officials of complicity in cover-ups of Armstrong’s alleged doping.”
The UCI has denied its officials covered up positive drug tests.
The latest chapter in the Armstrong fiasco further magnifies cycling’s expanding problem — what cycling organization has what jurisdiction?
In June, just prior to the announcement of the Olympic team, USA Cycling, the sports national governing body, announced George Hincpaie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriske — all former Olympians and strong candidates for this year’s ream — opted out of consideration. All four are former Armstrong teammates, but none of the cyclists nor USA Cycling would further comment.
With the USADA charges came lawyers’ postering and now UCI’s desire to be involved.
Nothing is certain except hat the situation is likely to get more ugly with Armstrong’s deadline to respond to USADA’s charges required, at least under the current deadline, within the next 10 days.