Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
John Fahey, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), speaks during a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Fahey says he is confident that cycling's new leadership will set up an independent commission "within weeks" to look at the sport's drug-stained past. Fahey says his agency has been in communication with new UCI President Brian Cookson since the Briton took over in September, and the UCI has indicated its wish to WADA "to get something going." (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Bach: ‘Too little, too late’ from Armstrong
First Published Nov 13 2013 08:44 am • Last Updated Nov 13 2013 11:49 am

Johannesburg • IOC President Thomas Bach opposes any lessening of Lance Armstrong’s lifetime doping ban, saying Wednesday that any appeals for leniency by the disgraced American rider are "too little, too late."

After urging the World Anti-Doping Agency to introduce tougher punishments for drug cheats, Bach told The Associated Press in an interview that Armstrong has not made a "real admission" and his ban should not be reviewed.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Armstrong has suggested he might cooperate with a cycling commission investigating doping in return for a reduction in his life ban from all organized sport. Speculation has increased after WADA said Tuesday an independent cycling investigation was imminent.

"I would not feel comfortable with this (reducing Armstrong’s ban) because it is too little, too late. It was not even a real admission," Bach told the AP after addressing delegates at the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

"Now trying to bargain a deal there after everything has been proven, and now that he realizes he doesn’t just get off the hook — this is not the best way, to lessen a sanction or to be lenient there in any way," he added.

Bach supported cycling’s move toward an open process with regard to its drug-stained past. Cycling and its dark doping history has become a key behind-the-scenes issue at the conference.

Bach told the AP he will meet with Brian Cookson, the new head of cycling governing body UCI, on Wednesday or Thursday in Johannesburg. The UCI has approached the IOC to "consult" on some of its doping issues, Bach said.

"I think cycling is taking the opportunity to strengthen their fight against doping," Bach said. "What I have seen and heard so far is that the UCI is really going in the right direction."

Bach, who was elected to succeed Jacques Rogge in September, voiced his support for doubling the standard suspension for serious doping violations from two years to four.

WADA is expected to approve the move to four-year bans later this week along with other revisions to the international anti-doping code. The new code will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and in time for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

story continues below
story continues below

The four-year bans will ensure doping violators miss at least one Olympics, an important factor for Bach. A previous IOC rule to that effect was thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport because it wasn’t included in the WADA code.

"It adds to the deterring factor of the sanction because until now there was something in between, they could still come back at the next edition of the games," Bach said. "And some may even have calculated with this comeback and therefore it is a very important step forward."

Bach said he once supported lifetime bans for a first offense, a move that has been ruled out because of human rights issues. Lawyers advised Bach that lifetime bans for first offenses wouldn’t be possible.

"It is a pity but you have to expect this," Bach said.

In his speech to the conference, Bach said the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will be the most drug-tested in Winter Games history.

There will be 1,269 pre-competition tests ahead of the games, up from 804 at the 2010 Vancouver Games. There will be a total of 2,453 tests around the games, up from 2,149 four years ago. The IOC will spend $1 million on pre-competition testing for Sochi and "many millions" on testing throughout the Feb. 7-23 games.

"To be clear ... To be very clear. These millions of dollars are not expenses. They are an investment in the future of our sports," Bach said.


Follow Gerald Imray at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.