Chief: Case could be as big as BALCO

Updated: October 13, 2010, 7:20 PM ET
Associated Press

MONTREAL -- The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency says he wouldn't be surprised if some BALCO-like revelations come out of the ongoing investigation into cycling that has Lance Armstrong as its apparent focus.

WADA general director David Howman said Wednesday that he suspects "some information will come out of the current inquiries that will be equally as significant as BALCO."

In addition to implicating athletes such as Barry Bonds and Marion Jones, BALCO opened a window into the methods that athletes used to dope.

Howman wouldn't get into specifics of what he thought might come out of the case being investigated by U.S. prosecutors in Los Angeles but said WADA has agreed to cooperate in passing along any information it has.

People who used to work with Armstrong have been called in front of the grand jury meeting in Los Angeles.

Armstrong, who won the Tour de France a record seven times, has repeatedly denied allegations he took performance-enhancing drugs.

Federal prosecutors have been taking a look at cheating in cycling for months, aided by Food and Drug Administration Agent Jeff Novitzky, who played a key role in BALCO.

Speaking about the general health of the sport of cycling, which has been hammered by anti-doping cases over the past decade -- including current allegations against three-time winner Alberto Contador -- Howman said, "I think that's a matter for the sport to address."

"Our job is to make sure the anti-doping program is OK," he said. "If, after that, we still find people who are cheating, they've got to sit back and say, 'What do we do now?'"


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press