Volume: 10 Issue: 8
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is considering appealing the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) decision to sanction Lance Armstrong for doping offences. It is understood the UCI contests USADA’s jurisdiction; argues sanctions were issued without first presenting its evidence to the UCI; and that USADA’s sanctions violated Article 17 of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), which allows action within eight years of the alleged offence. USADA banned Armstrong for life and annulled all results after 1 August 1998 on 24 August.
‘As a retired international cyclist responding to charges about international events he competed in pursuant to his UCI international license, Mr. Armstrong must follow the rules and decisions of the UCI’, reads a 23 August letter to USADA from Armstrong’s lawyers, Howry, Breen & Herman LLP. ‘Under all the applicable rules, USADA cannot proceed until it submits its evidence to UCI’s independent panel for review and adjudicates any disputes with that panel about jurisdiction, scope, the reliability of the evidence, and all related issues with UCI in CAS’.
Article 9(f) of the USADA Protocol requires it to provide evidence to the international federation concerned in cases where an athlete ‘may have committed an anti-doping rule violation as described in Annex A other than a positive test’. Article 16 of the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations indicates that the National Anti-Doping Authority (NADO) concerned has jurisdiction when a cyclist retires, however Article 17 indicates that where no sample collection has been taken and the NADO discovering the violation doesn’t have authority, then UCI has jurisdiction.
“This case demonstrates that further clarification is needed about the regulatory framework”, said Gregory Ioannidis, Lecturer in Law at the University of Buckingham. “USADA had no authority to strip Armstrong of his medals and no authority under the WADC to take such retrospective action. It also relied on five witnesses not licensed under US law to give evidence.”
Armstrong decided not to contest USADA’s charges after the US District Court for the Western District of Texas granted USADA’s motion to dismiss Armstrong’s appeals against its charges on 20 August (Case A-12-CA-606-SS). The judgment said ‘the deficiency of USADA’s charging document is of serious constitutional concern’, and labelled USADA’s decision to proceed ‘mystifying’.