USA Cycling applauds lifetime ban for Armstrong

Steve Johnson says sport is cleaning up with a number of technology developments in the anti-doping fight

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, USA Cycling president and CEO Steve Johnson applauded the UCI’s decision to hand Lance Armstrong a lifetime ban after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency uncovered a 14-year doping conspiracy surrounding the Texan’s seven Tour de France wins.

“Today’s announcement by the UCI to accept the sanctions imposed by USADA in the Armstrong case is an important step to reaching closure on the most extensive investigation of doping practices in the history of professional cycling,” said Johnson. “I remain hopeful that all parties involved, as well as everyone who participates in and loves the sport, will take this opportunity to review and consider what we have learned from this extended and extremely complicated investigation.”

Johnson, who is a friend and former teammate of U.S. Postal Service team owner and USA Cycling Development Foundation board member Thomas Weisel, said that cycling had made significant strides in its fight against doping.

“First and foremost, it should be clear to everyone by now that doping will not be tolerated in this sport, that dopers will be discovered and that a decision to engage in doping is senseless. Additionally, we should not lose sight of the fact that cycling has led the way in the battle against doping by introducing the most rigorous anti-doping protocols in the world of sport, starting with the introduction of the medical monitoring program in 1999 and progressing over the past decade with a variety of blood-based tests for blood doping, synthetic hemoglobin, EPO and, most recently, the innovative Biological Passport Program which launched in 2010,” said Johnson. “The simple fact of the matter is that the sport has made tremendous progress in its fight against doping since the events described in the Armstrong investigation, and we owe it to emerging and future generations of talented cyclists to do everything in our power to ensure this story is never repeated.”

USA Cycling removed Armstrong’s name from its national junior race series last week.