Count me among those glad to see UCI (the International Cycling Union) stepping in to call on the carpet everyone involved in last month’s allegations that an old urine specimen of Lance Armstrong’s might contain erythropoietin. In the UCI’s own words:

We have substantial concerns about the impact of this matter on the integrity of the overall drug testing regime of the Olympic movement, and in particular the questions it raises over the trustworthiness of some of the sports and political authorities active in the anti-doping fight.

By making public and of the urine results, a whole slew of rules were broken, the most important of which are that no samples can be retested without an athlete’s consent and that no results of a doping test can be revealed without the ability to verify the truth of those results on a second sample. In this case, tests were run on what is claimed to be Armstrong’s backup specimen from 1999, but the primary sample was disposed long ago, meaning that there’s no ability to validate (or invalidate) the results, and thus no ability for Armstrong to defend himself. (In addition, there are very real questions about the validity of results obtained from six-year-old samples, questions that are hard to answer given the fact that the test for erythropoietin didn’t exist in 1999, a fact that makes it hard to know how results from the test change over time.)

Given that the UCI now finds its focus shifting from the athletes to the anti-doping authorities themselves, its press release ends with pretty wise words:

Finally, the UCI wishes to express the wish that governments, sports authorities and anti-doping authorities, which rightly expect honest and irreproachable ethical behaviour from sports men and women, themselves respect the fundamental obligation of fair play and examine possible sanctions which could be adopted, should infractions be discovered on the part of any of those bodies.