7 August 2012

WADA confirms USADA jurisdiction in US Postal Service cycling case

WADA has followed with interest the recent communication from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) questioning the latter’s jurisdiction in the pending case against Lance Armstrong and five other individuals involved with former American cycling teams.

WADA can confirm that it has written to UCI President Pat McQuaid stating that it disagrees with the comments made by the UCI in its statement of August 4, and that as the independent agency responsible for leading the fight against doping in sport WADA has urged the UCI to reconsider its position and provide “all support to USADA in the conduct of this case, including all documents required by them”.

In a letter of August 7, WADA Director General David Howman explained that article 15.3 of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) gives USADA the jurisdiction to bring a case against the six individuals involved, and that the UCI had misinterpreted its own rules in light of the Code.

As clarified in the WADA letter, Article 15.3 states that the Anti-Doping Organization (ADO) “which discovered the violation” must have results management authority, and not the ADO which discovered the first shred of evidence which then led to the discovery of violations.

The letter highlighted the fact that as a signatory to the Code, USADA has adopted in its protocols substantive anti-doping rules from the Code, as has the United States Olympic Committee, the umbrella body of both USA Cycling and USA Triathlon under which Mr. Armstrong competed.

It was also pointed out that there is no provision within the Code that allows the UCI to interfere with the USADA case based on the UCI’s own rules.

The letter also confirmed that WADA regularly reviews USADA’s processes and has consistently found them to be compliant with the Code, and that the UCI has in the past been satisfied with USADA’s results management and its due process, citing the cases of Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.

Furthermore, Mr. Howman points out that nowhere in the Code is an ADO required to “turn over its witnesses and evidence in advance of the arbitration process”, as the UCI claimed in its letters.