Cycling needs tough love - Pound

Former world anti-doping chief Dick Pound has stood by his view that dropping cycling from the Olympics on a temporary basis may be the only way to drive drug-use out of the sport.

Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee, will be hoping for support for his view from within the IOC.

However, Sir Craig Reedie, a British IOC member, has stressed that axing cycling is "not currently on the agenda".

The cycling world is waiting to learn what Lance Armstrong tells Oprah Winfrey in his televised interview this week, as the man stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and labelled a drugs cheat prepares to disclose his side of the story.

Should there be a suggestion that cycling governing bodies were complicit in the doping scandal, which has affected a host of teams and riders of many nationalities, Pound believes there would be a strong argument for punishing the sport.

"It's going to depend on it being clear there's a significant number of riders and a significant number of teams, and also some involvement of the cycling authorities themselves," Pound said on BBC Radio Five.

"If you get that kind of a toxic mix together and you look at it from the perspective of the International Olympic Committee you think, 'Well hold it, this has the potential to take our entire goodwill at the Games'.

"Maybe the answer is to say to cycling, 'Look, you've got to sort this problem out. In the meantime you're an embarrassment to us. Why don't you take whatever time is required - four years, eight years - and when you've got it all cleaned up then come back and we'll welcome you back into the family?'. Right now it's not satisfactory."

Reedie, a former chairman of the British Olympic Association, recognised that the IOC would face a dilemma if cycling's problems turned out to be worse than already feared. He said: "There is clear evidence that cycling is a much cleaner sport than it was so the argument is: 'Do you punish all of the current clean riders on the basis people cheated a few years ago?'

"It's a tough call. I suppose it is one of the sanctions. The IOC have become involved with sports which have had problems and helped them resolve them. I think the IOC is more likely to take that route rather than just turn around automatically and say, 'You're out of the (Olympic) programme'."

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