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World cycling body considers doping amnesty

BRANDS HATCH, England--World cycling's governing body is considering an amnesty for riders and officials to confess to doping offenses, and says there would have to be serious flaws in the case to challenge the decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid said he will this month propose an amnesty to help clean up cycling after an era tarnished by doping.

“There's room for it and the UCI could do well to (introduce it),” McQuaid said. “It's a subject I will bring up myself at the management committee of the UCI and it's something which we would look into possibly doing.”

The meeting on Sept. 19 and 20 will consider whether offenders would respond to any amnesty.

“It would need to be examined as to how it could be introduced, what would be the parameters of it, what would be the framework in which it's worked, what would be the results afterwards,” McQuaid said. “We have to work in the world anti-doping rules and sanctions.”

The UCI is still waiting to receive the evidence that resulted in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripping Armstrong of his Tour titles, a move the American is not challenging.

In a related matter, a senior International Olympic Committee member told the AP that Armstrong could keep his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games even if he is stripped of his Tour victories. Denis Oswald said the matter could turn on different interpretations of the eight-year statute of limitations stipulated in the World Anti-Doping Code.

Also Friday, the Lance Armstrong Foundation announced that Armstrong will not be allowed to run in next month's Chicago Marathon. Marathon organizers have little choice, given that the race is sanctioned by USA Track and Field and Armstrong's ban prevents him from entering any events organized, authorized or sanctioned by federations that follow WADA rules.

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