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Lance Armstrong hit by doping allegations (08-23-05)

Old 08-23-05, 03:01 PM
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Lance Armstrong hit by doping allegations (08-23-05)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050823/...g_armstrong_dc

By Patrick Vignal
Tue Aug 23, 9:53 AM ET

PARIS (Reuters) - Seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has denied ever taking performance-enhancing drugs following a report in French newspaper L'Equipe that he had used the blood-boosting drug EPO.

Tour de France executive director Jean-Marie Leblanc said he felt let down by Armstrong after L'Equipe alleged the American had taken the banned drug in 1999, the year he first won the world's greatest cycle race.

Armstrong, who recovered from testicular cancer to become the most successful rider in the Tour's history, has been forced to rebut several doping allegations during his career and he repeated on Tuesday that his sporting successes were 'clean'.

"I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs," the 33-year-old, who retired in July, said in a statement on his personal website.

L'Equipe, saying it had access to laboratory documents, reported on Tuesday that six of Armstrong's urine samples collected on the 1999 Tour de France showed "indisputable" traces of EPO (erythropoietin).

L'Equipe published what it claimed to be a results sheet from the laboratory which appeared to show six figures revealing traces of EPO. The newspaper also published documents from the French cycling federation showing exactly the same figures under Armstrong's name.

The Chatenay-Malabry lab said in a statement that the samples they tested did not have names attached and they could not confirm if any of the samples were Armstrong's.

TEST RESULTS

The lab said all test results had been sent to WADA, the agency in charge of the fight against doping in world sport, on the condition they did not use them to take disciplinary action.

Despite the lack of proof and Armstrong's denials, cycling officials expressed disappointment.

"I remain cautious and slightly circumspect but this is troubling and I feel disappointment inside me, like many sports lovers must do," Leblanc told French radio station RTL

Asked if he felt let down by Armstrong, Leblanc said. "Yes."


International Cycling Union (UCI) president Hein Verbruggen told Reuters: "We have to wait and see if this is true.

"Only then will we be able to ask ourselves whether there should be any legal action and whether this is a further blow for cycling.

"I have to say this is not pleasant but, for the moment, it only involves Lance Armstrong and France."

There were no tests to detect EPO, a drug that increases the level of red blood cells and endurance, in 1999.

However, samples from the 1999 Tour were kept and have been recently retested by the specialist anti-doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry outside Paris.

The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA)-accredited lab, which developed the test to detect EPO, started retesting last year samples that had been taken between 1998 and 1999 and frozen. The new tests were part of a scientific research programme.

CANCER FIGHT

A spokesman for WADA said the latest research results from the French laboratory had arrived at the Montreal-based organization on Monday.

He said that like the lab, WADA had no means of matching names to the samples and this could be done only by the French cycling federation, the French sports ministry or the UCI.

Despite being in a class of his own in recent years, Armstrong could never win over French fans or journalists. "LA Confidential," a book on his life containing accusations of doping, was published on the eve of the 2004 Tour.

The leader of the U.S. Postal team, which became the Discovery Channel team this year, he lost a Paris court case in 2004 when his request that the controversial book should include his denial of drug-taking was turned down.

"To all the cynics, I'm sorry for you," Armstrong said after his final Tour triumph in July. "I'm sorry you can't believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event and hard work wins it."

Armstrong said in his statement of denial on Tuesday: "Unfortunately, the witch hunt continues and (L'Equipe's) article is nothing short of tabloid journalism.

"The paper even admits in its own article that the science in question here is faulty and that I have no way to defend myself.

"They state: 'There will therefore be no counter-exam nor regulatory prosecutions, in a strict sense, since (the) defendant's rights cannot be respected."'

The American retired after winning his record seventh Tour de France in July. Before winning his first Tour in 1999, Armstrong won a battle against testicular cancer, undergoing two operations and four bouts of chemotherapy.

Since retiring the Texan has concentrated on supporting the fight against cancer, pressing President Bush to boost spending on research.


I know that this sounds like a repeat of the same old story, but it seems this time that people are taking this a little more seriously than usual.

But I wish they would finally find out the truth of these allegations. Did he or did he not take performance enhancing drugs? And why did they withhold any type of disciplinary action back in 1999?

Chris
Old 08-23-05, 03:03 PM
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050823/...ng_indurain_dc

France out to get Armstrong for years, says Indurain
Tue Aug 23,12:54 PM ET


MADRID (Reuters) - Five-times Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain says the accusations of doping made by sports newspaper L'Equipe against Lance Armstrong are part of a campaign designed to discredit the American rider.

"They have been out to get him in France for a number of years," Indurain was quoted as saying on the website todociciclismo.com on Tuesday.

"He's the one who knows about it, but it seems wrong that they are starting to dig over tests from years ago.

"It's all very strange and I don't know to what extent it is legal to keep specimens like this."

L'Equipe, saying it had access to laboratory documents, reported on Tuesday that six of Armstrong's urine samples collected on the 1999 Tour de France showed "indisputable" traces of EPO (erythropoietin).

There were no tests to detect EPO, a drug that increases the level of red blood cells and endurance, in 1999.

However, samples from the 1999 Tour were kept and have been recently retested by the specialist anti-doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry outside Paris.


SEVENTH TIME

Armstrong, who won the Tour for the seventh time in succession this year, has denied ever taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Indurain, who won the Tour five times in succession between 1991 and 1995, raised doubts about the testing procedure.

"Anything about Armstrong is news these days, but the question is whether all this is true or not. There are question marks over the reliability of the test (for EPO) and there are a lot of doubts about the whole thing."

Germany's Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, told German television: "I heard about it, but these are speculations so you can't really say anything about it. It's been six years, and, if it's true, I would of course be disappointed.

"But I can't say anything on it right now. Lance is the greatest of our time and maybe somebody's trying to put him down. I don't know what it's about, so all of this is very speculative."

Swiss Alex Zuelle, who finished second behind Armstrong in the 1999 Tour, told Reuters: "I won't say anything about it because my career as a professional is over.

"I'm not Armstrong. All of this is speculation. Sometimes they have proof, then they haven't ... I'm not interested in it anymore.

"For me, the Tour is over and done with; it's just too many years back."


This story adds a few more details.

Chris
Old 08-23-05, 03:08 PM
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This is a witch hunt by a country that is pissed at him winning "their" event 7 years in a row. F the French.
Old 08-23-05, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
This is a witch hunt by a country that is pissed at him winning "their" event 7 years in a row. F the French.
Agreed. I honestly don't know if the guy cheated or not, but they tested the hell out of him and never caught him. Now they are going to come back and say his 1999 samples are proof. I'm sure the French would never tamper with those samples in any way just to get the guy. They have tried to get him for everything from taxes to drugs. It's sad to see how petty a little country France is.
Old 08-23-05, 03:20 PM
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I claim BS here. If this happened in 1999, why wasn't he suspended at all? Why was he allowed to continue to win 6 more Tours..... witch hunt is the best analogy out there.
Old 08-23-05, 03:26 PM
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okay so he maybe did it in 99, still what explains the dominance of the last 6 YEARS?!?! This is BS...give it up France, you were dominated by a superior athlete
Old 08-23-05, 03:43 PM
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the frence love lance. he has raised the profile of the tour in the US, and that has not gone unnoticed.
Old 08-23-05, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BadlyDrawnBoy
the frence love lance. he has raised the profile of the tour in the US, and that has not gone unnoticed.
They why continue persecuting him? They've had a vendetta against him every since he won the 2nd title. It's sad, really.
Old 08-23-05, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gimmepilotwings
I claim BS here. If this happened in 1999, why wasn't he suspended at all? Why was he allowed to continue to win 6 more Tours..... witch hunt is the best analogy out there.
There were no tests to detect EPO, a drug that increases the level of red blood cells and endurance, in 1999.

However, samples from the 1999 Tour were kept and have been recently retested by the specialist anti-doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry outside Paris.

The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA)-accredited lab, which developed the test to detect EPO, started retesting last year samples that had been taken between 1998 and 1999 and frozen. The new tests were part of a scientific research programme.
Old 08-23-05, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mautos
okay so he maybe did it in 99, still what explains the dominance of the last 6 YEARS?!?! This is BS...give it up France, you were dominated by a superior athlete
Ditto.
Old 08-23-05, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
They why continue persecuting him? They've had a vendetta against him every since he won the 2nd title. It's sad, really.

It's just a newspaper who's against him. The rest of France is ok with him winning so many tours.
Old 08-23-05, 06:07 PM
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This is a guy who had CANCER. So he has more red blood cells. Big fucking deal. C'mon people. Or allow me to cut your nuts off and see how you compete.
Old 08-23-05, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by devilshalo
This is a guy who had CANCER. So he has more red blood cells. Big fucking deal. C'mon people. Or allow me to cut your nuts off and see how you compete.
He wouldn't have to worry about lower sperm count anymore from the bike seat
Old 08-23-05, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Elldubtoo
It's just a newspaper who's against him. The rest of France is ok with him winning so many tours.
It sounds like some of the cycling authorities there have it out for him too. The French public seems to like him though. A poll had them rate Armstrong as the greatest Tour de France rider ever.
Old 08-23-05, 10:07 PM
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taken from: http://www.velonews.com


Top lab official questions L'Equipe conclusions
By Charles Pelkey
news editor, VeloNews
This report filed August 23, 2005
The director of Canada's top anti-doping laboratory on Tuesday said she had "serious concerns" over doping allegations raised in a four-page story in the French sports daily L'Equipe.

Doctor Christiane Ayotte, director of the Doping Control Laboratory at Montreal's Institut National de la Recherché Scientifique, said that the L'Equipe story, outlining charges that seven-time Tour de France winner had used EPO at the 1999 edition of the race, raised several important scientific and ethical questions, beginning with the assertion that France's anti-doping lab had tested frozen urine samples five years after the fact.

"We are extremely surprised that urine samples could have been tested in 2004 and have revealed the presence of EPO," Ayotte said in an interview with VeloNews on Tuesday. "EPO - in its natural state or the synthesized version - is not stable in urine, even if stored at minus 20 degrees."


Scientists at the French national doping laboratory at Châtenay-Malabry developed the urine test in 2000 as a means of combating EPO use among endurance athletes. The test measures the electrical charge of isoforms released by the body. Isoforms resulting from naturally occurring erythropoietin have a distinctly different pattern of electrical charges than do those that result from the use of artificially produced erythropoietin.

Ayotte, director of the World Anti-Doping Agency-certified lab closest to WADA headquarters in Montreal, questioned the assertion of Doctor Jacques de Ceaurriz, director of the Châtenay-Malabry lab, who said that his method for detection of EPO is "absolutely reliable," even if the sample is five years old.

"One of two things happens," De Ceaurriz said. "Either EPO, which is a protein, degrades as time passes and becomes undetectable. In that case we have a negative test result or, as in this case, the EPO persists as it is. We have therefore no doubt about the validity of our results."

Ayotte, who has not had the opportunity to speak with De Ceaurriz since publication of the L'Equipe story, said that there would have been no logical reason for the lab to have held on to the samples without testing them for as long as it has.

"The lab in Paris, which originally developed the test, would have - should have - retested these samples in 2000 or 2001, in order to develop and validate their methods at the time," she said. "My interpretation is that retesting itself must have been conducted in 2000 or in 2001, but the results were reviewed using the new mathematical model that is now being developed in Paris."

Ayotte explained that as part of WADA's efforts to "harmonize" testing protocols among anti-doping laboratories worldwide, the Paris lab had created the model to allow the application of "qualitative rather than quantitative" standards when interpreting test results.

"That has to be the only explanation, because otherwise, I've been a liar all these years," Ayotte said. "I have been instructing everyone at all of the organizations not to expect to reproduce an EPO adverse finding if more that two or three months has elapsed since the sample was originally taken."

Ayotte noted that earlier standards had called for the application of a "hard-number" interpretation of results, meaning that if a certain percentage of isoforms were positively or negatively charged, a result would be deemed to be an indication of EPO use. Ayotte said research subsequent to the development of the test has suggested that testers understand the reasons behind the formation of positive and negative isoforms and "recognize the presence of distinct populations in a sample."

The development of that model, said Ayotte, may have prompted researchers at Châtenay-Malabry to go back and review existing data - which should include data from the retesting of '99 Tour samples - and apply them to the new model. Suggesting a more recent test, she said, "really makes me wonder."

"EPO is a protein hormone and it is not stable in urine, even when kept frozen," she said. "This has long had implications for any plan we've had to keep samples and specimens for long periods of time with the hope that we might, some day, retest those samples for a new substance."

Ayotte said that procedure aside, the Armstrong story in L'Equipe also raises a critical ethical question raised by the release of such data, without the possibility of follow-up tests.

"I am very worried about the circumstances about the way such information might have been leaked," Ayotte said. "We are fully allowed - and it is our duty - to investigate samples to make sure that if there is an adverse finding, it is properly reported. In this case, however, the director of the laboratory acknowledges that it cannot be deemed a doping offense because 1) the athlete has retired and 2) he is placed in a situation where there is now way to have the sample re-tested or verified."


"It seems to me," Ayotte continued, "that this whole thing is breach of the WADA code. We are supposed to work confidentially until such time that we can confirm a result. By no means does this mean that we sweep a result under the carpet, but it has to meet a certain set of requirements."

Ayotte said that the lab itself isn't facing questions in the matter.

"It isn't the lab that has the critical bit of information - the link between the code on the sample and the name of the athlete," she noted. "We only get a code at these WADA labs. Someone else must have supplied the paper with the names and their respective codes. So, to me, this whole thing raises a number of questions. I'm worried, because I have a great deal of respect for my colleagues in Paris. I am concerned that they did not cover their backs before being dragged into a very public issue of this kind."
Old 08-24-05, 06:37 AM
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Fucking French.

Last edited by Quake1028; 08-25-05 at 06:29 PM.
Old 08-24-05, 08:16 AM
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Why would he cheat? I mean, he just rides around on a bicycle. It's not like he's a REAL athlete or something.
Old 08-24-05, 09:26 AM
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I hope Lance sues and puts this all to rest...the problem being that French judges are probably equally partisan. Lance recently had his libel case againt the author of "L.A. Confidential" (not the crime thriller) in a French court because the judge stated that the accusations made in the book did not constitute libel.

So, let me get this straight: the most famous athelete in a sport infamous for drugs, whose entire income and career are based on his reputation is accused of being a doper and legally doesn't have the ability to defend himself in a French court? Explain that one again?

Meanwhile a French self-admitted "dopeur", Richard Virenque, remains a national hero in France. It's a nation populated solely by assholes, I tells ya.
Old 08-24-05, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11

Meanwhile a French self-admitted "dopeur", Richard Virenque, remains a national hero in France. It's a nation populated solely by assholes, I tells ya.
Most would argue that in general the European public likes him or at least respects him. It is largely the press (which supposedly speaks on behalf of the people) that gives the appearance that he is disliked.

It's really just sensational journalism to sell copies and incite people.
Old 08-24-05, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Elldubtoo
It's just a newspaper who's against him. The rest of France is ok with him winning so many tours.
That's funny. This guy seems to have been accusing him too: http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/news?slug...v=ap&type=lgns
Old 08-24-05, 10:54 AM
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sore loser
Old 08-24-05, 11:20 AM
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Apparently, the Tour Director is saying Lance Armstrong owes everyone an explanation. Why does he owe anyone an explanation, if they had proof he was cheating and didn't tell it to the public, do they not owe us an explanation? This is such a shame, i just hopw this never tarnishes lance's amazing feat.
Old 08-24-05, 11:53 AM
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I think the simple fact here is they can't be 100% sure the alleged sample is even Lance's. Since that's the case, this story is just that; a story.
Old 08-24-05, 12:09 PM
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I love how the French will jump on anything, true or not, to try and take away Lance's amazing achievements. Their economy is in the toilet, their government is in the toilet, and now their pride is in the toilet. Couldn't happen to better people.
Old 08-24-05, 12:14 PM
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On a side note, I'm very impressed by Indurain's comments through this. He has a perfect chance to make little comments about how Lance has cheated and therefore Lance's record isn't as solid as Indurain's, but instead he defends him. Once again, Indurain shows what a class act he is. Compare that to Greg Lemond, who has been bitching about Lance from day one because he was sore about not being the only American to have won the tour anymore. Seriously, I saw one interview with Lemond where he basically said his hunting accident was more devesating than Lance's cancer, so Lemond's victory was actually more impressive.

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