Whilst we are still guessing about the hard evidence that USADA may have on Armstrong, we do know a lot about some of the allegations that have been made – and generally dismissed – in the past. One of these allegations implicates not just Armstrong but a whole army of people, including the governing body, the UCI. Now let me stress it’s just hearsay, really, but the story goes that Armstrong did fail a test, or at least return a result that was “questionable”, in 2001. And that subsequently, either through mishandling or something much more corrupt, all questions were dropped. The fingers are naturally pointed at the rider but also at those who decided to bury the case, if indeed the case ever existed. Unless the USADA has firm evidence of the conspiracy then it’s a non-starter anyway, as well as being somewhat time-expired. So do they have evidence, or indeed something completely different, and perhaps more recent to pursue?
USADA Case Against Armstrong Could Damage UCI, Ashenden Says | Cyclingnews.com
Ashenden’s concern does not relate to the alleged use of banned substances such as EPO or human growth hormone, but an alleged cover up of a doping control at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.
Armstrong took part in the race and, according to USADA, several witnesses have given testimony that Armstrong told them that a positive test had been covered up. Two former teammates, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, have both gone on record to substantiate the claims.
USADA’s letter of notification also includes reference to their own interview with the Lausanne lab director, Dr Martial Saugy, who conducted the tests in 2001. Saugy told USADA that Armstrong’s samples were indicative of EPO use. In May 2011 Saugy admitted to attending a meeting with former US Postal sports director Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong to discuss details of the early EPO test method.
“For me the thing that has the most far-reaching consequence is that several witnesses said that Armstrong talked about having a test result covered up,” Ashenden told Cyclingnews.
“That has enormous implications. If the evidence supports that charge it’s likely to descend cycling, which is already fending off a fair bit of criticism, into chaos. It’s hard to understate the ramifications. If Armstrong believed that he had a test that was covered up then that story doesn’t just end with him being sanctioned or not because other people must have been complicit with Armstrong.”
Bassons and Simeoni, 2 peope with a negative view of Lance Armstrong’s personality and, uh, life choices. Bitter? Probably. Informed? Well… shall we say Armstrong denies all – and at this stage that’s all we truly know, other than our personal feelings on the man. We can be sure that there’s a lot riding on this. Reputations to be lost, past race results overturned, personal fortunes lost and team sponsorships destroyed at the very least. Doping is but one aspect of sporting fraud.
Bassons And Simeoni Say Armstrong Probe Is Overdue | Cyclingnews.com
Bassons said that USADA’s action was “important” but also long overdue. “It’s a shame now that it’s coming 15 years after it all happened. It’s a shame because the evidence was there for years. I knew all along what was happening, so this doesn’t change anything for me. I don’t need fifteen pages of documents to tell me what I knew already,” Bassons told Cyclingnews.
Simeoni had similarly mixed feelings. The Italian said the possibility of Armstrong being condemned for doping left him “cold”. Simeoni also “can’t understand why suddenly now they’re investigating him, when for years he was allowed to do whatever he wanted.”
Yes, Schleck is out with a broken pelvis, and that’s a shame – even if he hasn’t actually shown good form of late anyway. But the big news is about… Lance Armstrong.
When a 7-time winner of Le Tour is named and shamed like this it must mean something. Either it’s simply the latest shot in a wide-ranging vendetta – nay, global conspiracy – against Armstrong, or it’s umm, a real doping charge with sufficient evidence to back it up? Now beating cancer yet winning Le Tour 7 times is a story in itself, but then falling in total dishonour would be just staggering. Will he get off? Will he lose the case? Will the case actually get off the ground? Do we care anymore?
Oh, yes, he denies everything by the way. And his loyal lieutenant Hincapie announced his retirement the other day, too, in an unrelated story.
The movie rights will be in hot demand. Expect another book – or 5.
Armstrong Charged With Doping By USADA | Cyclingnews.com
Lance Armstrong has been formally charged with doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) according to the Washington Post. The seven-time Tour de France winner has been banned from competition effective immediately, including triathlons which he has been racing since he retired from pro road cycling in 2011.
Armstrong Charged With Doping By USADA | Cyclingnews.com
“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.”
Missouri fan on team plane in federal drug probe
Hincapie retires — Five-time Olympian and Tour de France veteran George Hincapie will retire from cycling after the 2012 season. Hincapie, 38, is expected to ride his 17th Tour de France later this month, breaking the record he had shared with Dutch rider Joop Zoetemelk for the most Tour starts in history. (AP)