UCI president says that there is a potential way back for anyone in cycling if they're willing to cooperate

UCI president Brian Cookson has said that there is a possible route to redemption for Lance Armstrong, which depends on how he has cooperated with the Cycling Independent Reform Commission’s (CIRC) investigation into past doping in the sport.

“I think that there is potential for redemption for him [Armstrong] and anyone, really” Cookson told VeloNews.

“I think it all depends on what he said to the commission and if he was prepared to talk about his or other people’s involvement and whether he’s genuinely contrite and deserving of redemption.”

Armstrong was stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won between 1999 and 2005 and received a lifetime ban from the sport in 2012, after a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation which used sworn testimony from former teammates of the Texan.

Armstrong subsequently admitted to prolific doping through his career in early 2013, while it was reported in July 2014 that he had sat down for talks with the CIRC panel.

“I think it has to be said that what Lance did, not that he was the only one or only one involved, but it all depends on what Lance said to the commission and what they come up with,” said Cookson.

“We have to acknowledge and approve of any redemption in the sentence in the sanctions that he got. I think that [USADA CEO] Travis Tygart has been saying the same sort of thing anyway and I don’t think there is any conflict there between USADA, but let’s see what Lance has been saying to the commission.”

The CIRC panel is due to release a report on its findings in January 2015, and Cookson says that the aim is to expose the wider culture of doping in that era beyond just what the US Postal Service Team were doing.

“Armstrong and US Postal weren’t the only team involved in doping,” he said.

“All of the information that comes out of that [the CIRC report] will be helpful going forward. We need to have a mechanism that can look at the sport and decide who can stay in the sport and who needs to be thrown out.

“And when we have that mechanism, it needs to be robust and sustainable in court, and I can guarantee that if we excluded someone from their main source of income, that they’ll challenge it. So we need to make sure that what we do is truly defensible.”

UPDATE: Armstrong confirmed to CyclingNews on Tuesday that he would be sitting down with the CIRC panel once again in the coming weeks to help with their investigation.

He said: “I’ve always said I will make myself fully available to an international commission tasked with helping our sport heal and move forward after multiple generations of rampant doping.”

Armstrong will be hoping to have his lifetime ban reduced, with the UCI having offered to give reduced bans to those who confess and cooperate with their investigation.

  • Unfrickingbelievable

    Funny. Two months to reply? Nice effort there little buddy…

  • disqus_5RzQb3V5JB

    Unfrickingbelievable is a wanna be punk with a bad taste in his mouth that won’t claim himself unfuckingbelievable because he wants to be proper in his judging somebody whom he has zero chance at riding anywhere close to in his abilities, if and if he can even take the training wheels off his tricycle, be a man, be quiet and absolutely what is good for one is good for all. Hey wanna be, did you ever lay on a bed near death from a disease or does your mommy get your Nyquil when you cry ?

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    Thankyou Lynn

  • Lynn Pounian

    This sums up the real issue perfectly.

  • Unfrickingbelievable

    When Lance was big dog, few dared to challenge him. He ran the show for his benefit only. “Wanna ride with me? Get on the program!” He had power and millions to let his legal team take care of his dirty work. At least Betsy and Paul had the ‘balls’ to hold Lance accountable. If they got 15 minutes of fame, then good for them. Let’s not forget the Mennonite who stands to win big for ratting out the cheater. I’m sure he’s thrilled with the concept of treble charges.

  • JCJ Bike

    I don’t have energy to focus… I’m not in the UCI. If Ullrich actually had something to lose, I wonder how he would have responded to the criticism (as a doper just like armstrong) that Armstrong received. It’s not like he doped.. and the first time he was called out on it, admitted to it and quit cycling. No one went after him because he wasn’t winning. Helps also that he wasn’t an American competing in a sport full of Euros not happy a gringo was winning. (and beating their dopers)
    Clearly he didn’t treat everyone like s$$t. Just the people like Kimmage and Andreau’s wife who were trying to make their 15 minutes of fame on Armstrong’s back.

  • Unfrickingbelievable

    Uh….I don’t think doping makes you a sociopath. Lance’s dysfunctional psychopathy goes way beyond his doping practices. He did whatever it took to win – illegal, unethical, immoral and otherwise. We can’t forget all the people he took to court.
    Your point has been made. The UCI is a bunch of hypocrites. Perhaps you should focus all of the energy you’ve wasted here and make a change where few think it matters.

  • JCJ Bike

    To my point, if you are going to use the word “sociopath” to describe Armstrong, then you have to call Ullrich and all the other guys who doped sociopaths as well. (unless you fail to understand the definition of the word)
    Either you know about the world of professional cycling and you have an accurate context to Armstrong and still hate him, or you have no clue about the world of pro cycling and you think everyone else is innocent BUT Armstrong.
    “Lifting the ban,” is not about Armstrong being able to race again. It’s about the UCI treating him the same way they have treated all the other dopers and even you Steph Durant, can respect the idea of being treated fairly. Or leave the ban on but do the same to Ullrich and all the other dopers from pro cycling.
    I’m fine either way… I just just hate hypocrisy and I also hate the “selective outrage” that too may people like you put forth.

  • Steph Durant

    Hey …. more of the Kiss-Lance’s-Ass crowd.

    Smooch his poster.

    Lance is a sociopath. He cares about no one but himself.

    “Lift his ban” …. Lance is too old to compete at the top in anything, and anyways it would have to be clean adn he never accomplished anything clean, even when younger.

    He can move to the other side of the world and go for a bike ride there. And take his 5 billion yellow plastic bracelets to the local dump there; not ours here..

  • JCJ Bike

    What “sh**” did he get away with? How is he the greatest of dopers?? Greatest because he won?? Ullrich doped his entire career and won one year and then because he didn’t get off his butt in the winter and spring, came in second to a guy who trained harder. Does that make him any better or does that simply mean he was a doper to but didn’t work as hard? See my point?
    Most all cyclists leave for home in the late summer and just hang out. They ride (or they don’t) and do very little outside of cycling. Armstrong took his results and did the uniquely American thing and turned it into a big opportunity. He survived Cancer and he started one of the best Cancer charities on the planet. He got in front of as many TV cameras as he could to promote those efforts. Did he enjoy the ride?? Clearly… Did he profit from that ride?? Looks like it… So how come that cycling reporter Paul Kimmage didn’t go after Ullrich all those years? He was banging out serious results and because he didn’t train in the winter, he was out of shape every spring. If there was anyone worthy of questioning about doping, it was Ullrich. Why didn’t Kimmage go after him?? Because he had nothing for Kimmage to gain from. Armstrong wasn’t just the TDF winner… he was a big white whale because of all the other things he was involved in.
    To your point… the UCI isn’t going to go after all the other top racers. If they were, they would have done it already. They want to continue to make Armstrong their poster boy because it’s easy. They are lazy and political and he is an American. If you were right (and you aren’t) then Ullrich would be banned forever and his 97 tour victory erased. Riis… Contador… Merckx… Ullrich… Pantani.. Roche… As long as their names are on the board as past TDF winners, the UCI is a group of hypocrites. (Roche.. BTW was implicated in EPO several times and Kimmage carried his water and said he didn’t dope… how Kimmage knew Roche didn’t take EPO is a mystery but there he was being an “objective” journalist) (couldn’t be because Kimmage is an irishman like Roche… Nah… not possible as he is an objective journalist)
    What has come from the Armstrong mess is we find that doping was prevalent and there is a lot of hypocrisy from groups like the UCI to scramble and cover their backsides.

  • Unfrickingbelievable

    Couldn’t agree with you more on the hypocrisy issue that has plagued the governing bodies. So what is more fitting to set an example, by completely bringing down the greatest of the dopers? He being sued because he deserves to be sued. Doping aside, Armstrong got away with more s&*t than any cyclist ever and now his time is up. No free pass, dude.
    When the UCI is done holding Lance accountable,they can continue with every TdF winner since the race was conceived.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    Armstrong isn’t a pariah just because he doped, which was the norm then, but because of the way he tried to destroy anyone who got in his way.

  • JCJ Bike

    First off.. “good ol Lance” isn’t fully cooperating because he is getting sued by groups who got great exposure but are now trying to slime that money back out of him (including the federal government). Jan Ullrich didn’t start a half a billion dollar charity so he had nothing to lose. He spent his down time in the clubs taking “ex” and chasing chicks. And to the best of my knowledge, he isn’t doing much cooperating because he doesn’t have to. Jan Ullrich gets a two year ban after he left cycling and they have left him alone after announcing the ban. He won the TDF and placed second a lot all while doing dope and they invite him back with all the other winners but don’t invite Lance???

    “The CAS has partially upheld the appeal filed by the UCI (International Cycling Union) and has found Jan Ullrich guilty of a doping offense,” CAS said.
    “As a consequence, Jan Ullrich is sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility starting retroactively on August 22, 2011. Furthermore, all results achieved by the athlete on or after May 1, 2005, until his retirement are annulled.”

    So, they ban his results AFTER 2005 where all of his real results were BEFORE 2005. That’s pretty much the same thing Lance got… right? (that’s sarcasm)

    The UCI has killed Lance… and they want him to cooperate more?? If they want another pound of flesh from Lance, they should show they AREN’T staggering hypocrites and put the same punishment and ask for the same “cooperation” from Ullrich and all the other guys who doped.

    Had the UCI been consistent with their punishment, then Lance would be able to say, “after I get thru with litigation, then I will be happy to work with you towards a solution.”

    The UCI hasn’t been consistent, so they have nothing Armstrong wants so they can sit and stew in their hypocrisy.

    And if you don’t want to be considered a hypocrite as well, you would demand the same thing of the UCI.

  • Unfrickingbelievable

    Funny how the Armstrong clan still defend him because everybody was doping. I agree with the doping stance, but good ol’ Lance is the only one who hasn’t fully cooperated, thus making authorities less inclined to give him a break. Cookson doesn’t have to GIVE anything. He is only obligaed to hold cheaters accountable. Lance’s punishment is directly proportional to his crime and when he finally comes clean and rights his wrongs, then and only then will he regain any respect. He deserves to lose absolutely everything he has gained from his fraudulent cycling career.

  • JCJ Bike

    Lance has already paid the ultimate price and is still in the process of losing more. Fine… But Cookson has finally said what is the truth and that is a lot of other cyclists doped before, during, and after Armstrong. Treating him like the only guy who did it… punishing him like the only guy who did it… is a level of hypocrisy that is nothing short of staggering.
    Lance isn’t racing anymore and he has clearly moved on with his life. If Cookson wants more, he is now in the position of having to GIVE more. He has to back off of Lance’s punishment and start publicly admitting doping in cycling was and perhaps still is a widespread problem and Armstrong was only one of many.
    If I were Lance, I would say, “you want more out of me… start with either taking an even bite out of everyone else who doped like you did me, or lift my ban and maybe we can talk about a larger solution.”
    Otherwise, why would Armstrong let the UCI beat him up even more?
    I’m not a fan of doping, but I’m also not a fan of hypocrisy…