Further to WADA’s announcement not to appeal the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) reasoned decision in the Lance Armstrong case, WADA also confirms that it will not appeal the decision to sanction six other individuals who willingly gave evidence that was of assistance in the matter.
George Hincapie, Michael Barry, David Zabriskie, Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer and Christian Vandevelde each received six-month sanctions following the substantial assistance they proffered to USADA in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code.
“The fight against doping benefits from evidence given voluntarily by athletes where it leads to the dismantling of conspiracies and the discovery of intentional doping – the Code itself supports the concept of reduced sentences for athletes in this situation,” said WADA Director General David Howman.
“We need to encourage athletes to come forward with information that is beneficial to anti-doping cases, as very often that information is most effective evidence and this furthers the rights of clean athletes.
“This is why WADA has reservations about the zero tolerance idea that is currently being suggested. We all want clean sport, but in order to achieve that there has to be some incentive for people to come forward and help the anti-doping authorities.
“There is no point asking anyone to fully disclose matters from the past that nobody knows of and possibly will never will know about, if the outcome for them is a long sanction or the loss of their job. That simply leads to a code of silence or a continuation of the ‘omerta’ that obviously ran rampant in cycling.
“WADA is always open to suggestions that enhance the fight against doping in sport, but there needs to be a thorough realization of how zero tolerance might effectively operate before embracing it as a principle.”