Cycling agrees to amnesty for ‘truth and reconciliation’
LONDON – Cyclists will be offered a chance to confess to past doping offenses without fear of retribution in an attempt to uncover the full scale of the Lance Armstrong scandal and drug use in the sport.
The UCI agreed Friday to introduce a “truth and reconciliation” commission with the World Anti-Doping Agency, cutting out the independent panel established to investigate the governing body’s links to Armstrong.
UCI President Pat McQuaid said he wants to ensure cycling has “drawn a line in the sand, finally – and for the last time” on doping scandals that have tarnished the credibility of the sport.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from Olympic sports after a report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that portrayed him as a longtime user of performance-enhancing drugs.
After years of denials, Armstrong admitted to doping in an interview last week with Oprah Winfrey.
‘I don’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth’
LONDON – Bradley Wiggins is convinced Lance Armstrong doped when the American returned to cycling in 2009 and claims he was robbed of finishing on the podium in the Tour de France that year.
Armstrong has confessed to doping during all seven of his Tour wins from 1999 to 2005, but insisted he raced clean when he made his comeback in 2009.
Wiggins, the current Tour champion, finished fourth behind Armstrong in ’09 and based his suspicions on observations he made while racing alongside the American in key mountain stages.
“I can still remember going toe to toe with him, watching the man I saw on the top of Verbier in 2009 to the man I saw on the top of Ventoux a week later when we were in doping control together,” said Wiggins, speaking at a Team Sky training camp in Mallorca.
“It wasn’t the same bike rider. You only have to watch the videos of how the guy was riding. I don’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth anymore.”
Sitting with his 7-year-old son, Wiggins watched Armstrong end years of denials by confessing to doping during a lengthy interview with Oprah Winfrey last week. Wiggins said he experienced a range of emotions – from sadness to anger and finally to satisfaction.
Greipel wins again, Stage 4 in the Tour Down Under
ADELAIDE, Australia – Germany’s Andre Greipel won the fourth stage of the Tour Down Under on Thursday, claiming his second stage win this year and 13th overall in the season-opening race.
The relatively flat 79-mile stage between Modbury and Tanunda in the wine-producing Barossa Valley favored sprinters, and Greipel was the overwhelming favorite. World road race champion Philippe Gilbert made the day intriguing with a two-man break with Australia’s Damien Howson that led until 5.5 miles from the finish.
World Cup Ski Racing
Svindal wins 3rd super-G for 20th career World Cup W
KITZBUEHEL, Austria – Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway became the first skier in nine years to win three World Cup super-G races in a season. Austrian standout Hermann Maier was the last to do it in 2003-04.
Svindal’s 20th career World Cup victory – and first in Kitzbuehel – left him one shy of the all-time Norwegian record by Kjetil Andre Aamodt.
In light snowfall and fog Friday, Svindal used a strong finish to win in 1 minute, 14.68 seconds on the Streifalm course. Matthias Mayer of Austria was 0.13 behind in second, and world super-G champion Christof Innerhofer of Italy took third.
Ted Ligety of the United States was 0.83 back in sixth for his best career result in Kitzbuehel. Ligety is third in the overall standings, trailing Marcel Hirscher by 199 points.
Svindal extended his lead in the discipline standings to 171 points over Matteo Marsaglia of Italy, and he closed the gap to Hirscher, who skipped the race, in the overall standings to 88 points.