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Old 05-31-2006, 12:13 PM   #1
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Lance Armstrong cleared of doping

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Report clears Armstrong of doping in 1999 Tour de France

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- Dutch investigators cleared Lance Armstrong of doping in the 1999 Tour de France on Wednesday, and accused anti-doping authorities of misconduct in dealing with the American cyclist.

A 132-page report recommended convening a tribunal to discuss possible legal and ethical violations by the World Anti-Doping Agency and to consider "appropriate sanctions to remedy the violations."

The French sports daily L'Equipe reported in August that six of Armstrong's urine samples from 1999, when he won the first of his record seven-straight Tour titles, came back positive for the endurance-boosting hormone EPO when they were retested in 2004.

Armstrong has repeatedly denied using banned substances.

The International Cycling Union appointed Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman last October to investigate the handling of urine tests from the 1999 Tour by the French national anti-doping laboratory, known by its French acronym LNDD.

Vrijman said Wednesday his report "exonerates Lance Armstrong completely with respect to alleged use of doping in the 1999 Tour de France."

The report also said the UCI had not damaged Armstrong by releasing doping control forms to the French newspaper.

The report said WADA and the LNDD may have "behaved in ways that are completely inconsistent with the rules and regulations of international anti-doping control testing," and may also have been against the law.

Vrijman, who headed the Dutch anti-doping agency for 10 years and later defended athletes accused of doping, worked on the report with Adriaan van der Veen, a scientist with the Dutch Metrology Laboratory.

EPO, or erythropoietin, is a synthetic hormone that boosts the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Testing for EPO only began in 2001.

Armstrong had challenged the validity of testing samples frozen six years ago, and how they were handled.

Vrijman said a further investigation was needed regarding the leaking of the results to the French paper.

He said a tribunal should be created to "provide a fair hearing" to the people and organizations suspected of misconduct and to decide on sanctions if warranted. Vrijman's statement did not specify what the alleged violations were.

The UCI said it was upset with Vrijman for commenting on the report before all parties involved in the case were informed.

"Upon reception of the document, the UCI will study in details the content before publishing it in its whole," the UCI said in a statement.

WADA chief Dick Pound said he hadn't received the report yet but, based on what he had read in news accounts, was highly critical of Vrijman's findings.

"It's clearly everything we feared. There was no interest in determining whether the samples Armstrong provided were positive or not," he told The Associated Press by telephone from Montreal. "We were afraid of that from the very beginning."

Pound reiterated his claim that the UCI had leaked the forms to a reporter from L'Equipe and was responsible for the doping samples being linked to Armstrong.

"Whether the samples were positive or not, I don't know how a Dutch lawyer with no expertise came to a conclusion that one of the leading laboratories in the world messed up on the analysis. To say Armstrong is totally exonerated seems strange," Pound said.

In a separate statement, WADA expressed "grave concern and strong disappointment" over Vrijman's reported comments.

"Elementary courtesy and professionalism would have dictated that WADA should have been provided with a copy of the report before interviews were given to the media," the statement said.

"WADA 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."

The anti-doping lab at Chatenay-Malabry has been accused of violating confidentiality regulations.

Mario Zorzoli, the doctor who gave copies of Armstrong's doping control forms to L'Equipe, was suspended by the UCI for one month earlier this year. He has since been reinstated.

The full report was sent to the UCI, the LNDD, the French sports ministry, WADA and Armstrong's lawyer. The International Olympic Committee also had requested a copy.

The accusations against Armstrong raised questions about how frozen samples, routinely held for eight years, should be used.
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:19 PM   #2
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The World Anti-Doping Agency head's name is "Dick Pound". Clearly not a man to be trusted.
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:43 PM   #3
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Originally posted by speedracer
The World Anti-Doping Agency head's name is "Dick Pound". Clearly not a man to be trusted.


definitely with a name like that....
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:26 PM   #4
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I have never believed Armstrong took doping, and I hate when there come some out who want to throw shit and mud over the professionalism of an athlete like Armstrong
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Old 05-31-2006, 05:28 PM   #5
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Mr. Pound doesn't sound convinced:

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"Whether the samples were positive or not, I don't know how a Dutch lawyer with no expertise came to a conclusion that one of the leading laboratories in the world messed up on the analysis. To say Armstrong is totally exonerated seems strange," Pound said.
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:57 PM   #6
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:42 PM   #7
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Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways
Mr. Pound doesn't sound convinced:

Dick Pound is an idiot.

Apparently the UCI must not know what they are doing either, since they are the ones who appointed that Dutch lawyer in the first place...

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Old 05-31-2006, 11:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by phanan


Dick Pound is an idiot.

Apparently the UCI must not know what they are doing either, since they are the ones who appointed that Dutch lawyer in the first place...

I don't believe Dick Pound is an idiot. Apparently this lawyer spoke out of turn. I'm not saying that Armstrong blood doped but Dick Pound is saying that there is no evidence to say that he did or he did not.
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:48 PM   #9
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Well, Dick Pound seems to be operating under the assumption that this Dutch lawyer is a total windbag, when this report states that he was working with another scientist.

Perhaps Pound didn't know about this, but his denunciation doesn't sound very robust.

And it's a more than a little bit ironic for Pound to be complaining about the lawyer spewing prematurely, given the way the Armstrong blood doping allegations were initially leaked to the French press.
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:27 AM   #10
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"In the 130-page report, Vrijman stated that there was no proof that Armstrong had used EPO, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone that increases oxygen-rich red blood cells, because there was no way to prove that Armstrong's urine samples had not been tampered with or tainted. In turn, Vrijman wrote that the cycling union should "refrain from initiating any disciplinary action whatsoever.""

This report was funded by the International Cyclists Union so of course it says Armstrong is exonerated. They don't want the legendary Tour de France winner to be tainted which would be another black mark on their already tainted sport.

Pound is right in that this report does not "prove" Armstrong's innocence. It argues that the lab acted unethically and inappropriately which it probably did. But to state that "there was no way to prove that Armstrong's urine samples had not been tampered with or tainted" is silly, can he prove that they did tamper with them, no, he can't. He even admits the lab and WADA did not cooperate with him for this report. This report has no merit, just like Cadbury funding a report that tells people to eat more chocolate. The ICU wanted a piece of paper to save their champion so they hired a guy with "credentials" to write a favourable report.

Is Armstrong guilty of doping, possibly, but it's a moot point now anyway. He doesn't compete anymore so I could care less now. Also, WADA position is to be skeptical in these situations because of the history of doping in all sports, not just cycling. Unfortunately, this position angers supporters of athletes who are under suspicion. And Lance will continue to earn huge money in endorsements anyway since average people don't give a crap about this issue anyway. Doping in cycling isn't a sport on the tip of everyone's tongue.
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by babyman
I have never believed Armstrong took doping, and I hate when there come some out who want to throw shit and mud over the professionalism of an athlete like Armstrong
You live in Disneyworld ?
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:30 AM   #12
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The truth is, we'll probably never know if he did or not. But Armstrong was the most tested athlete over the last decade, and he never came back with a positive once. And now this investigation has cleared him of anything.

I for one am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt...
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