Under pressure: Pat McQuaid. Photo: AFP
AS SPECULATION continues over how far Lance Armstrong's confession to doping in his interview with Oprah Winfrey will go, questions are being raised as to who else will pay for their sins.
Much will hinge on who Armstrong names - if he does name anyone else in the interview, to be aired on Foxtel's Discovery Channel at 1pm (AEDT) on Friday - and the outcomes of independent hearings to be heard into three other names on the United States Anti-Doping Agency's initial charge letter that included Armstrong, his former US Postal Services team sports director Johan Bruyneel, trainer Jose ''Pepe'' Marti and team doctor Pedro Celaya.
Of course, many are also waiting to hear if this will lead to the Union Cycliste Internationale and certain officials being made accountable for their roles in the Armstrong case and the doping crisis that plagued the sport in the 1990s and early 2000s - and at what cost to cycling.
On Wednesday, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound resurrected suggestions that cycling could be taken off the Games program if the UCI is proven to have been culpable of any wrongdoings in both the Armstrong investigation and the general handling of anti-doping.
However, how fair would that be to those aspiring Olympic cyclists who would also pay the price - and all for the UCI's wrongdoing and those of a generation of riders ostensibly shown as dirty?
Not at all. Hence the need for investigators to get to the bottom of this issue with efficacy and transparency to ensure the guilty individuals pay the price - not the sport.
The UCI is on the nose, or those leading it are - UCI president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor, honorary UCI president Hein Verbruggen. They are rightly sitting in the hot seat.
Calls have been rampant for their heads to roll. And while they have remained defiant in their denials of any wrongdoing, they surely must have felt the temperature beneath them rise on Wednesday when WADA announced that it would not participate in the UCI's independent inquiry into its handling of doping - citing ''serious concerns'' over the terms of reference.
The WADA decision, announced by its Australian president John Fahey, came after USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said the UCI's rebuttal of proposals for limited amnesty to witnesses who testify before the committee ''calls into question'' its commitment for a thorough inquiry.
Fahey said WADA doubted the independence of the inquiry, headed by former England and Wales appeals court judge Philip Otton, and that enough time had been set aside to conclude it.