Cycling Panel Considers Amnesty For Witnesses

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LONDON (AP) - An independent panel preparing to investigate the International Cycling Union's links to Lance Armstrong is fighting back against the governing body's resistance to offer amnesty to potential witnesses.

The three-member panel says it will soon hold a public hearing in London to examine if "truth and reconciliation" should be offered to riders and officials who testify in April.

The panel believes amnesties are "desirable" and "in the interests ... of professional cycling."

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency submitted a truth and reconciliation proposal after the release of its report last October into doping by Armstrong and his teams.

However, the UCI described USADA's proposal as "unacceptable" to the commission.

USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency have withdrawn from the process until the panel's terms of reference are widened.