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Report: Olympics could drop cycling

 
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Only Oprah Winfrey and her crew have heard the words directly from Lance Armstrong, but his interview this week could result in his sport being bounced from the Olympics, according to a report.

News agency Reuters reported Tuesday that a member of the International Olympic Committee would consider dropping cycling from the Olympics if the sport's governing body were implicated in doping.

In an interview with Reuters, IOC member Dick Pound said the drastic action could be considered if the International Cycling Union has acted improperly, particularly in covering up suspicious drug-test results.

"The only way it is going to clean up is if all these people say, 'Hey, we're no longer in the Olympics and that's where we want to be, so let's earn our way back into it,'" Pound told Reuters.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year after a report by the US Anti-Doping Agency in October concluded he and his teammates cheated by using steroids, the blood booster EPO and blood transfusions. After years of denials, Armstrong reportedly admitted his transgressions to Winfrey in an interview on Monday at his home in Austin, Texas.

That interview will air Thursday and Friday on Winfrey's cable network, OWN.

The USADA report raised suspicion that the cycling union acted in concert with Armstrong to protect him from allegations of cheating. There have been media reports that Armstrong is considering testifying about his interaction with the ICU.

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That governing body on Tuesday called for Armstrong to testify to an independent committee formed in November in the wake of the USADA report.

"We would strongly urge Lance Armstrong to testify to the Independent Commission established to investigate the allegations made against the UCI in the recent USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service team," the federation said in a statement.

It is that issue, rather than Armstrong's reported admission of cheating, that could lead to action from the IOC, Pound suggested. He is the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"The IOC would have to deal with it; the (UCI) is not known for its strong actions to anti-doping," Pound told Reuters.

"It was the same in weightlifting a few years ago. All of a sudden when you get right up against it, things go fuzzy and they say, 'Well, we can't punish innocent athletes in these sports by dropping the sport from the program.'"

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