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UCI would ask repentant Armstrong to testify

Lance Armstrong waves to the crowd following a run with his fans at Mount Royal park in Montreal August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
Lance Armstrong waves to the crowd following a run with his fans at Mount Royal park in Montreal August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

PARIS (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong would be asked to testify to the commission investigating allegations made against the International Cycling Union (UCI) if reports about his doping confession are true, world cycling's governing body said on Tuesday.

The American - stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life - has finally admitted using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be aired on Thursday, USA Today reported.

The UCI set up an independent commission after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report which led to Armstrong's fall from grace said the 41-year-old had told former team mates he made a positive test go away with a payment to the UCI in 2001.

The UCI acknowledged it received a $100,000 donation in 2002 but has denied the money was part of covering up a positive test.

"The UCI will not be making any further comments on matters concerning Lance Armstrong until it has had the opportunity to view his much publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey," the body said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The UCI notes the media speculation surrounding the interview and reports that he has finally come clean and admitted doping during his cycling career.

"If these reports are true, 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."

The independent commission, chaired by former International Court of Appeal judge Philip Otton, is set to hold a hearing on the matter in London in April and will submit its report to the UCI by June 1, 2013, or shortly afterwards.

(Writing by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Mark Meadows)

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