WADA back USADA sanctions
The World Anti-Doping Agency will not appeal against the United States Anti-Doping Agency's sanctions against Lance Armstrong.
USADA recommend that all Armstrong's results from August 1, 1998 were expunged from the record books, including his seven consecutive Tour de France 'wins' from 1999 to 2005, as well as handing the 41-year-old a life ban from cycling.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) last week ratified the sanctions imposed by USADA, who concluded Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
But while the UCI did highlight some criticisms of USADA, WADA appear unequivocal in their support of the findings.
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."
Fahey went on to reference the UCI's suggestion that an independent inquiry would be convened to investigate further, though confirmed WADA had yet to be contacted about taking part.
His words appeared to betray some distance between the bodies but Fahey insisted WADA must have a role if any such inquiry was to carry the required weight.
"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," said Fahey.
"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 organisation 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."
It was confirmed only on Thursday that the International Olympic Committee had opened their own investigation into Armstrong, with the possible result of the rider being stripped of the bronze medal he won at the Sydney Games in 2000.