(ATR) The IOC says it “unreservedly condemns” the actions of Lance Armstrong.
Lance Armstrong during the 2005 Tour de France. (Getty Images)
“There can be no place for doping in sport and the IOC unreservedly condemns the actions of Lance Armstrong and all those who seek an unfair advantage against their fellow competitors by taking drugs,” the IOC said Friday in a statement.
Armstrong confessed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his seven Tour de France victories. He won a bronze medal at the Olympics during that time but was ordered to return the medal on Thursday.
“The IOC and its partners continue to wage a strong, sophisticated and continually evolving battle against doping in sport. While not perfect, the methods are ever improving, with blood passports and the ability to test athletes 24/7 in and out of competition proving to be effective deterrents. But as this case highlights, the fight against doping requires the cooperation and involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, including public authorities.
“This is indeed a very sad day for sport but there is a positive side if these revelations can begin to draw a line under previous practices. It is the IOC’s firm expectation that all parties involved will draw the necessary lessons from this case and continue to take all measures to ensure a level playing field for all athletes," the statement said.
The IOC urged Armstrong to present all evidence he has with the hopes of moving forward.
Thursday's segment was also streamed online. (Getty Images)
Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), welcomed Armstrong’s confession.
“Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to confront his past is an important step forward on the long road to repairing the damage that has been caused to cycling and to restoring confidence in the sport,” he said in a statement.
McQuaid added: “Lance Armstrong has confirmed there was no collusion or conspiracy between the UCI and Lance Armstrong. There were no positive tests which were covered up and he has confirmed that the donations made to the UCI were to assist in the fight against doping.
“It was disturbing to watch him describe a litany of offences including among others doping throughout his career, leading a team that doped, bullying, consistently lying to everyone and producing a backdated medical prescription to justify a test result.
“However, Lance Armstrong also rightly said that cycling is a completely different sport today than it was 10 years ago. In particular the UCI's introduction of the biological passport in 2008 – the first sports federation to do so - has made a real difference in the fight against doping."
UCI President Pat McQuaid. (Getty Images)
UCI said it would welcome Armstrong’s participation in a “truth and reconciliation process” regarding doping in the sport.
Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, said this was only the start of Armstrong’s process to clear his name.
“Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit,” a statement said.
“His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
Written by Ed Hula III.
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