UCI acknowledges USADA doping action, Armstrong responds
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

UCI acknowledges USADA doping action, Armstrong responds

by Shane Stokes at 5:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Texan accuses anti-doping agency of being ‘motivated by spite’

Lance Armstrong Floyd LandisAlthough the UCI doesn’t name Lance Armstrong, a communication from the governing body released a short while ago essentially confirms the Washington Post’s claims that USADA has launched formal doping charges against the rider and others.

Cycling’s governing body acknowledges the action referred to, and states that it is waiting for further information on the matter.

The statement reads as follows:

“The UCI confirms that it has been informed by USADA of its decision to open anti-doping cases against a number of rider support personnel and a rider.

This is the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject.

The UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved in the proceedings opened by USADA.

The UCI will follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them.”

It concluded by stating that it would make no further comments at this point in time.

The Washington Post stated that USADA sent a fifteen-page letter to Armstrong and others yesterday, laying out charges that they were involved in what the Post termed a ‘massive doping conspiracy’ between 1998 and 2011. Amongst the claims made are that Armstrong, team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctors Michele Ferrari (Italy), Pedro Celaya (Luxembourg), Luis Garcia del Moral (Spain) and the Spanish trainer Pepi Marti, who currently coaches Alberto Contador, were involved.

The Post states that there are more then ten cyclists amongst the witnesses.

Armstrong has responded by blasting USADA and accusing it of bias and vendettas. Although he said last month that he was tired fighting suggestions that he had used banned drugs, a prepared statement was combative.

“I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned,” he wrote.

“These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation. These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA’s malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.

“I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence.”

USADA is yet to comment on the Washington Post story, and so it remains to be seen if other athletes will be charged. However it is worth noting that Armstrong was more than just a rider; he was a leader, and part-owner of the team, and so had a greater position of authority, influence and responsibility for the running of the US Postal Service team than the domestiques who served under him.

VeloNation will continue to report on this story as it unfolds.


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