WADA back USADA sanctions
The World Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed they will not appeal against the United States Anti-Doping Agency's sanctions against Lance Armstrong.
USADA recommended 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".
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 added: "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 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.