Cycling Australia chief calls for doping amnesty program

Klaus Mueller says his federation is still reviewing the USADA case file, but would embrace amnesty for confessed dopers

SYDNEY (AFP) — The head of Cycling Australia on Friday called for a doping amnesty following the far-reaching Lance Armstrong drugs scandal.

CA president Klaus Mueller has backed an amnesty program despite the UCI last month ruling out such a step for riders that took performance enhancing drugs during their careers.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency published its case file against Lance Armstrong on Wednesday, outlining a 14-year doping conspiracy that run throughout the Texan’s seven Tour wins and his comeback in 2009 and 2010.

Mueller said it would take time to digest USADA’s 202-page report.

“Until we’ve had a chance to do that, it’s impossible to say whether any Cycling Australia members are implicated,” Mueller said in a statement. “But it might now be time to consider a range of options including an amnesty for athletes who have cheated in the past to own up to any wrongdoing and have their confessions mitigate any subsequent penalties.

“This would be dependent on the nature and extent of any infraction.”

Mueller said his organization shared “the disappointment of cycling fans that feel let down when people they looked up to as sporting heroes turn out to be cheats.”

“We hope the magnitude and profile of this case will prove to be a turning point for the sport and an opportunity for everyone involved in cycling to reinforce their commitment and efforts to stamp out doping,” he said.

Australia has a number of links to Armstrong. He made his comeback to racing in January 2009 at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, and then in 2011, he raced professionally for the final time in the same event.