The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) advises that it will not exercise its independent right of appeal following its review of the reasoned decision delivered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in the case against former cyclist Lance Armstrong.
This follows a full and careful review of all elements of the case and includes an external independent opinion as to the application of the statute of limitations. That opinion is clear and confirms that the interpretation given by USADA is proper and supported by case law.
WADA’s announcement comes less than a week after the International Cycling Union (UCI) also announced it would not be appealing, though on that occasion the governing body of cycling commented freely and critically against USADA.
Commenting on the decision, WADA President John Fahey said: “WADA has no such concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence. Rather it is of the opinion that the actions of USADA have highlighted the need in all cases for athletes to be able to come forward with evidence that will help rid sport of doping cheats.
“Following the UCI Management Committee’s announcement last week, WADA now awaits with considerable interest the details of the independent inquiry that is proposed, including its composition and terms of reference.
“It is important that there now be genuine independence and a complete examination of the scenario, with a panel that has full powers of inquiry and access to all required evidence and information.
“Only with the necessary independence and terms of reference will the inquiry be able to properly address the systemic culture of doping that was allowed to develop in cycling during this time.
“WADA has had no communication from the UCI with regards to their upcoming inquiry, nor indeed the Armstrong reasoned decision, nor the UCI Management decisions. WADA will want to contribute to the inquiry if it is established and resourced beyond reproach.
“This is not a situation in which just because the athlete did not return a positive test there was nothing more the governing body of cycling could do. It has taken a major effort and undertaking from a national anti-doping organization to gather the compelling evidence following allegations raised by Floyd Landis in 2010.
“This case has resulted in a right and proper sanction for the athlete in question and has served as a revelation to the world of sport. For this USADA must be applauded.”