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Armstrong Investigating Panel Nearer, Cycling Body Says

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Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Cycling’s governing body said the president of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport suggested members for a independent panel that will investigate doping in cycling and the influence of Lance Armstrong.

John Coates, the head of the ICAS, has suggested a senior lawyer to lead the probe, who will be joined by a forensic accountant and a sports administrator, the International Cycling Union, known by the French acronym UCI, said today in an e-mailed statement. The report will be published by June 1.

Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in August. The American won each edition between 1999 and 2005, and the USADA banned him for life and took away the victories following an investigation into doping throughout his career.

Colorado Springs, Colorado-based USADA cited a career “fueled start to finish by doping” by the 41-year-old Armstrong, revealing the results of its investigation in a 202-page summary that included sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with direct knowledge of doping activity on Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service pro cycling team.

Armstrong, who throughout his career denied doping and said he never failed a drug test, was banned after opting not to contest USADA’s decision before an arbitration board.

External Committee

Last month the UCI said it wouldn’t appeal the rider’s ban, and would ask an outside sports body to set up an external commission to look into allegations about how the cycling authority handled issues relating to Armstrong, which include accepting financial donations.

The commission will be asked to find ways to ban people caught doping from participating in any part of professional cycling, the UCI said at the time.

Coates is an Australian member of the International Olympic Committee. He is the head of ICAS, which oversees the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the world’s highest sports court. The UCI today didn’t give details of his nominees to the panel, saying they’ll have no connection to cycling.

The UCI also said it would form an advisory panel next year drawn from various participants in the sport to find ways to reform cycling and bring it to a wider audience.

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