May 31, 2006
UCI clears Armstrong, but deplores report
The UCI report on allegations that Lance Armstrong used EPO in the 1999 Tour is in, and it “exonerates Lance Armstrong completely.” Unfortunately, the UCI itself is jumping up and down and declaring the report “premature:”
The International Cycling Union has learned with great surprise de declarations conveyed to the Dutch press by Mr. Emile Vrijman, independent investigator within the frame of the urine sample analysis during the 1999 Tour de France case.
The UCI firmly deplores the behaviour of Mr. Vrijman, who has prematurely voiced, offending the agreements that foresaw that all parties implied would be informed before any public comment on the report content would be done.
Still waiting the receive the definite version of the said report written by Mr. Vrijman, the UCI underlines its deep displeasure with regards to the regrettable development of this case.
Upon reception of the document, the UCI will study in details the content before publishing it in its whole.
Talk about bipolar. It reads as if they couldn't even wait for the translator.
The report results from stories in L'Equipe last year, which claimed that samples from Armstrong's first Tour win were among those tested as a baseline when the UCI started testing for EPO use, and that some had tested positive.
The samples were labeled with only numbers, but the newspaper matched those numbers to IDs used on riders' daily doping control forms, which were mistakenly provided by the UCI. A UCI doctor was suspended for releasing the forms.
The preliminary report also called for further investigation into who leaked the test results, and for possible sanctions against the World Anti-Doping Agency.
WADA itself has responded, saying it wasn't provided with the report, but that the organization “continues to stress its concern that an investigation into the matter must consider all aspects — not limited to how the damaging information regarding athletes' urine samples became public, but also addressing the question of whether anti-doping rules were violated by athletes.”
Update 3 p.m.: Armstrong has released a statement, showing no love to WADA head Dick Pound:
"I am pleased that they confirm what I have been saying since this witch-hunt began: Dick Pound, WADA, the French laboratory, the French Ministry of Sport, (French sports daily) L'Equipe, and the Tour de France organizers (ASO) have been out to discredit and target me without any basis and falsely accused me of taking performance enhancing drugs in 1999.
"Today's (Wednesday) comprehensive report makes it clear that there is no truth to that accusation."
Great to get the full story... I've been hearing bits and pieces!
Posted by: Alyson Wilson at May 31, 2006 6:18:40 PM