USADA's Travis Tygart says UCI obstructed Armstrong and UCI probes
The International Cycling Union (UCI) did all it could to stall its doping investigation into Lance Armstrong, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said Wednesday.
"At every turn, the UCI attempted to obstruct our efforts to reveal the truth," Tygart told a special hearing of the Bundestag sports committee in Berlin, Germany.
He added that the International Cycling Union still "appears to be irresponsibly trying to script a self-interested ending to this affair." Earlier this week the UCI prematurely stopped an independent commission it had set up to look into the UCI's role in the Lance Armstrong doping scheme and accusations pertaining to corruption and cover-ups of positive doping test results.
Tygart said the UCI's actions highlighted the need for doping agencies to have "true independence" to avoid any conflicts of interest arising from running the sport.
USADA fulfills its duties to catch drug cheats because "it does not have a conflicting duty to also protect the image of the sport it serves, or of commercial factors such as obligations to sponsors, owners or investors," he explained.
"I was shocked that (sporting) federations here still handle doping cases. It's what we call the fox guarding the hen house."
Germany's National Anti-Doping Agency is headed by politicians responsible for sport, along with members of the German Olympic Sports Confederation and other sporting groups.
Tygart also called for greater international cooperation in the fight against doping, thereby voicing his support for the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA.
"Those that defraud sport through illegal drug use do not let international borders stop them from perpetuating their fraud. Some U.S. athletes went to Spain, for example, and other parts of the world, to live, to train, and to dope, specifically in locations where they thought they would not be tested, or where they were less likely to be the subject of an investigation," he explained.
"Given this, it is critical that anti-doping agencies also don't allow borders to prevent us from detecting the doping schemes wherever they may exist."