Independent Armstrong verdict expected in June 2013

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Independent Armstrong verdict expected in June 2013

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Aigle (Switzerland), Dec 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) An independent panel will investigate the claims made by United States doping officials against disgraced US cyclist Lance Armstrong and deliver a report in June, the sport's governing body UCI said.

Last month, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accused Armstrong of running "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen."

The UCI stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles in the wake of the findings but has assembled a three-person panel to pick apart the USADA report.

The need for an independent commission has arisen from accusations in some quarters that the UCI might have been complicit in some of Armstrong's activities and those of his US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team.

The commission will be chaired by Britain's former Court of Appeal judge Philip Otton, who will be assisted by United Kingdom's House of Lords Peer and Paralympic Champion Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes.

"The appointment of these three eminent figures demonstrates clearly that the UCI wants to get to the bottom of the Lance Armstrong affair and put cycling back on the right track," the UCI said in a website statement Friday.

"Rather than simply attacking the UCI, our critics now have an opportunity to be part of the solution. I would ask them, therefore, to make their representation to the Independent Commission - and to start to put cycling first."

The verdict will be returned by June 1 after a hearing taken in April, the UCI said.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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