IOC: Cycling unlikely to lose Olympic status for Rio

An IOC spokesperson says it is unlikely, given the UCI's recent anti-doping actions, that cycling will miss the Rio 2016 Games

LAUSANNE (AFP) — The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday that is “very unlikely” cycling could be stripped as an event for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, despite the fall-out from the Lance Armstrong doping affair.

The fall of the disgraced Texan has thrown the spotlight on the sport’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which has been accused of covering up for the American and helping him evade positive tests.

“During the last years, the UCI have battled strongly in the fight against doping. An eventual exclusion of cycling from the Olympic program is very unlikely,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told AFP.

Armstrong was banned from cycling for life and stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins last year after revelations by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he was at the heart of the biggest doping program in the history of sport.

Cycling was plunged into crisis, amid allegations that the UCI turned a blind eye to widespread doping in the peloton in the 1990s and early to mid-2000s.

Armstrong is expected to confess to cheating in a television interview with U.S. chat show host Oprah Winfrey to be aired on Thursday and Friday.

“It is premature to discuss the subject until the interview has been broadcast,” Adams said. “Once it (the program) has and once the USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) and UCI make their reactions, we will have a better idea as to the next step in the process.”