(Reuters) - Cycling could be dropped from the Olympic program if Lance Armstrong implicates the sport's governing body of covering up a widespread doping scheme, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound told Reuters on Tuesday.
Pound said the IOC might be left with no choice other than to take drastic action if Armstrong proved the International Cycling Union (UCI) had acted improperly.
"The only way it is going to clean up is if all these people say 'hey, we're no longer in the Olympics and that's where we want to be so let's earn our way back into it,'" Pound said in a telephone interview.
Pound made his comments after talk show host Oprah Winfrey confirmed media reports that Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview that was taped on Monday and will be broadcast on Thursday and Friday.
"The IOC would have to deal with it, the (UCI) is not known for its strong actions to anti-doping," said Pound, the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
"It was the same in weightlifting a few years ago, all of a sudden when you get right up against it things go fuzzy and they say, 'well, we can't punish innocent athletes in these sports by dropping the sport from the program.'"
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Julian Linden)