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UCI: No sanction for Armstrong over EPO charges
By Rupert Guinness
The Daily Telegraph
This report filed March 2, 2006

Lance Armstrong will not face any penalty stemming from allegations that he used EPO in the 1999 Tour de France, according to the UCI.

The UCI has told The Daily Telegraph that it did not dispute the test results published last year in the French newspaper L'Equipe

"The UCI does not deny the validity of the six forms printed in L'Equipe," said UCI president Pat McQuaid. "The six tests which were printed in L'Equipe were among the 15 given out by (Dr. Mario) Zorzoli."

Zorzoli, the UCI's chief medical officer, stepped down this week after admitting to giving the L'Equipe journalist 15 examples of the tests; erythropoeitin (EPO) was found in six of them.

Armstrong retired after a record seventh Tour win last year. Many critics were calling for a retrospective penalty such as stripping Armstrong of the 1999 title. But McQuaid said there was no way to sanction Armstrong, despite the UCI's current regulations permitting retrospective testing.

McQuaid said the UCI stand would remain the same if new protocols for retrospective drug testing were introduced by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

McQuaid also cited an agreement by riders in the 1999 Tour that their blood samples would only be tested for research, and then only under an assurance of confidentiality.

"There is no recourse," McQuaid said. "The procedure used for these samples was one used for research purposes and didn't follow the protocol for samples tested for possible disciplinary proceedings. There was no protocol so the results cannot be proven nor accepted as proven."


Discuss amongst yourselves
 

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With the UCI not disagreeing with the results, that means they agree with the positive test.

So, I think it's official, Armstrong got off on a technicality. A pretty big one, but a technicality nonetheless.

Silas
 

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How so???

- McQuaid goes on to say they DIDN'T follow the protocol for "disciplinary proceedings".

I not saying the guy's a saint, but I also couldn't condemn the guy as a cheater if the proper steps were not followed.

It's a bogus deal from the get-go and the big loser is cycling in general, bummer.
 

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SilasCL said:
With the UCI not disagreeing with the results, that means they agree with the positive test.

So, I think it's official, Armstrong got off on a technicality. A pretty big one, but a technicality nonetheless.

Silas
I do not follow your reasoning... If they do not disagree, this will not mean that they agree. First of all the samples may have been Armstrongs, okay and second they may have contained traces of EPO (or something similar). Even if that is true you have to admit that it's just as easy to claim that someone may have been tampering with them in the 7 years since they were taken.

Innocent until proven guilty.
 

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LSchoux said:
I do not follow your reasoning... If they do not disagree, this will not mean that they agree. First of all the samples may have been Armstrongs, okay and second they may have contained traces of EPO (or something similar). Even if that is true you have to admit that it's just as easy to claim that someone may have been tampering with them in the 7 years since they were taken.

Innocent until proven guilty.
But, as far as anyone knows, the samples remained anonymous at the testing lab so how could anyone of selectively picked Armstrong's samples? Six of the 15 positives were his. It took a reporter getting the forms from the UCI to identify the "positives".

The lack of a reasonable explanation for the large % of positives being Armstrong's from '99 seems to me to be proof he was doping with EPO in '99.
 

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that's the stckler though

Dwayne Barry said:
But, as far as anyone knows, the samples remained anonymous at the testing lab so how could anyone of selectively picked Armstrong's samples? QUOTE]

since the lab didn't follow protocol and had no B samples whether it is his or not and whether it was tampered or not will always be speculative. I'm not defending him, I don't really care but that's why they have standards. Since it was released in 'secret' and since it was reported by a Rag with a known grudge there is just too many ? marks.

kinda like getting convicted solely on the testimony of someone trying to beat a rap.
 

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atp - proof of this 'known grudge' on Equipe's behalf, please? Otherwise you just sound like you're parroting the Armstrong party line and I thought you had a more independent brain than that....

What protocol did the lab have to follow anyway? They had an undertaking from the riders that they could retest the frozen samples and the retests were part of research that is attempting to redress the concerns about the EPO urine test.

And there was nothing to be gained from tampering with any of the tests - there would have been just as much possibility of fingering Virenque (who underwent 1 fewer test in the (( Tour as he held the KoM jersey from very early in the race) as Armstrong.

But you say you really don't care - just wondered why the repetition of tiresome, and innacurate, slanders against a highly respected sports paper - without which there'd have been no race for Armstrong to win anyway.
 

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Bianchigirl said:
But you say you really don't care - just wondered why the repetition of tiresome, and innacurate, slanders against a highly respected sports paper - without which there'd have been no race for Armstrong to win anyway.
Because ATP is a jingoistic doper apologists and this is his favorite tactic: Deny that he is an Armstong homer then go on to regurgitate lies in his defense. He refuses to give any weight the mountain of evidence against Armstrong, yet has convicted L'Equipe on no evidence whatsoever.

As soon as you get into the details of how such a conspiracy could be conducted when the lab had no knowledge of who each sample belonged to, people like ATP clam up or they trot out some vague accusations against the french or a grudge or 'protocol'.

I for one would like to see a detailed chain of events that describes how this vast french conspiracy is supposed to have been accomplished.
 

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Im convinced.

that clears the whole matter up then. The Lance™ is completely innocent. The only thing he was on throughout his racing career was "his bike 6 hours a day". The Lance™ has never and will never use EPO (except when he was recovering from cancer) or any other performance enhancing drug (except when he has "saddle sores") and any suggestion that he has/did is a giant franco-conspiracy by some irrelevant tabloid that developed some obscure race in the early 1900's and has no credibility. the needles in the trash weren't his, and the line of ex employees/teammates/doctors/former US TDF winners alleging improprieties are all just jealous of The Lance™, or are opportunistic overly litigious backstabbers.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
But, as far as anyone knows, the samples remained anonymous at the testing lab so how could anyone of selectively picked Armstrong's samples? Six of the 15 positives were his. It took a reporter getting the forms from the UCI to identify the "positives".

The lack of a reasonable explanation for the large % of positives being Armstrong's from '99 seems to me to be proof he was doping with EPO in '99.
Again... AS FAR AS ANYONE KNOWS is not good enough. This evidence would never hold up in a court of law and that's the only 100%-proof fact I see in this case. Is Lance a doper? Did he use EPO in 1999 ? Did someone tamper with the samples in general? Did someone tamper with the samples on purpose to destroy Armstrong's reputation (since they were unable to destroy him on the road)? These are all questions we mere cycling-schmenges will never get the definite answer too and that is all.

Now let's get back to discussing if Ullrich waited for Lance in 2003.... That was much more entertaining....

But that's just my opinion I could be wrong
 

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LSchoux said:
Again... AS FAR AS ANYONE KNOWS is not good enough. This evidence would never hold up in a court of law and that's the only 100%-proof fact I see in this case. Is Lance a doper? Did he use EPO in 1999 ? Did someone tamper with the samples in general? Did someone tamper with the samples on purpose to destroy Armstrong's reputation (since they were unable to destroy him on the road)? These are all questions we mere cycling-schmenges will never get the definite answer too and that is all.

Now let's get back to discussing if Ullrich waited for Lance in 2003.... That was much more entertaining....

But that's just my opinion I could be wrong
The UCI readily admits that due to there being no B-sample, no regular procedure being followed, no chance of appeal due to lack of b-sample etc. that he cannot be sanctioned.

What the UCI is saying is that nothing points to tampering, conspiracy, etc. by not disagreeing with the facts currently out there. While this is not condemning him directly, it leaves him with no ground to stand on from a reasonable perspective. This certainly wouldn't fly in court, but this isn't law, it's the court of public opinion.

If you want to believe in conspiracies, go ahead, I agree that there is no 100% facts in this case. But IMO the overwhelming evidence points to guilt.

Silas
 

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LSchoux said:
Did someone tamper with the samples on purpose to destroy Armstrong's reputation (since they were unable to destroy him on the road)?
How did the lab know which samples to tamper with? Until you can answer that question all the aspersions cast on the evidence by people such as yourself does not even pass the laugh test.

Come on. How did they do it? How did they pick six of Armstrong's samples? What shred of evidence do you have to show that they had that information? Instead of relying on half baked, crackpot explanations based on Armstrong's self serving PR campaign, let's see some evidence--just one shred--to support the conspiracy.

You are going on and on about how we cannot convict Armstrong, and there is overwhelming evidence to support his guilt. Meanwhile, you do not seem to have a problem libeling the lab and the people who work there based on absolutely zero evidence.
 

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good one, blackhat.

On the subject of the samples being tampered with - ANY of the samples (interesting how that crept in once I introduced the fact that Virenques underwent 1 fewer test than Armstrong) - it's impossible because of the way the test works.

From Velonews:
"I don't dispute their findings," Ayotte said. "If there's residual EPO after five years, it was properly identified. We are not that lucky here."

De Ceaurriz and Ayotte agree that if enough Erythropoietin - synthetic or natural - remains in a sample, distinguishing the two is not an issue. Such degradation, both said, does not lead to false positives.

"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."

If someone had tampered with the samples and introduced EPO, the results would be off the chart - in fact, Armstrong's positives were a couple of points over the accepted limit for EPO in urine, entirely consistent with EPO having been there since 99.

So, come on lads, let's see the chain of evidence for the great Equipe led conspiracy - and the winner gets my collection of Equipe's with their Lance loving headlines like 'The Extraterrestial', 'Incredible!' 'Armstrong unbeatable!' and their sychophantically eulogising articles.
 

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a statement from Lance

Hey, this is my first post in a few years, and I didn't want it to be some softball thread.

I was a huge Lance supporter, but I have to say that this story hit me like a slap in the face. I find it odd that I can't find a statement from Lance responding to the UCI's latest revelation. Maybe somebody has seen one, but I haven't. Seems like he is hoping it will all blow over, but it seems to me to be the first really damning evidence I've seen that Lance doped. Unless he has a really good explanation, I for one hope to hear chants of dope', dope' at the ESPY's.
 

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You want me to defend Lance? Fat chance...

So you want me to defend Lance ? Fat chance... I'm not going to do it. But everyone should keep an open mind.

I have not seen overwhelming evidence and so does nobody here. Nobody here worked in the said lab, nobody here has performed tests and first and foremost nobody here can claim that there is even a remote chance that all the proceedings in a regular doping test were followed. Chain of evidence notwithstanding, if the lab's goal was to "test" the EPO test, they sure did a lousy job.

If the Equipe (or ASO) goal was to tarnish the reputation of Armstrong, in the court of public opinion they did succeed. Especially the French court of public opinion since they had it in for Armstrong since day 1. French do not believe in miracles and neither should we. However, proof (and I mean proof and not hearsay or circumstantial evidence)needs to be absolute before we start dismantling a person.

If you read "Lance Armstrong's War" you will see that Lance is far from being a good person. He is a ruthless business man and will use any means of getting his way. Again, if you want to use that against him, go ahead but you have to be lucky to find any waterproof evidence.

In the end it does not matter. I just keep relishing in the fact that the entire Equipe story looks actually as bad for ASO and their entire crooked operations than it looks for Lance.

And by that I bid farewell to this topic and move on to the next thread....

Adios!
 

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Update from Velo News

UCI clarifies stance in Armstrong-L'Equipe matter
By VeloNews Interactive
This report filed March 7, 2006

Editor's note: A report in the Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph, also posted at VeloNews.com on March 2 (see "UCI: No sanction for Armstrong over EPO charges"), requires clarification regarding the UCI's handling of doping control forms that were obtained by L'Equipe and published in an August 23 story under the headline "The Armstrong Lie." A UCI official pointed out that while the forms obtained by L'Equipe were copies of UCI doping control forms from the 1999 Tour de France, they were not copies of positive test results. Below is a corrected version of the report:


While the UCI "does not deny the validity" of doping control forms reproduced in a French newspaper last year, any results linked to them cannot be used to retroactively sanction Lance Armstrong over allegations that he used EPO during the 1999 Tour de France, says UCI president Pat McQuaid.

Last year, the French newspaper L'Equipe reproduced six copies of 15 doping control forms supplied by Dr. Mario Zorzoli, manager of the UCI's health services department, who has stepped down after admitting that he provided the documents to reporter Damien Ressiot.

The forms - which are filled out by a rider, doctor and anti-doping inspector at the time a urine sample is taken - document time, place, names and other information, and verify that a number of formalities have been complied with.

Armstrong acknowledged last year that that he had given Ressiot permission to review doping control documents from the '99 Tour, but only because the reporter had told him that he was planning to do a story on the Tour champion's therapeutic drug use exemptions.

However, when the story appeared on August 23, it was headlined "The Armstrong Lie," and alleged that six of Armstrong's urine samples from the 1999 Tour had tested positive for EPO.

There was no recognized test for the presence of recombinant erythropoietin at the time the samples were originally tested. That test was finalized in 2000 and first employed at the 2001 Tour.

After the story broke, some critics called for a retroactive penalty, such as stripping the seven-time Tour winner of the 1999 title. However, McQuaid said there was no way to sanction Armstrong, explaining that the tests carried out last year had no validity for disciplinary proceedings by the UCI; that under an agreement with riders, the samples were to be tested for research only, under an assurance of confidentiality; and that the results had not been sent to the UCI, but to the World Anti-Doping Agency and the French Ministry of Sports.

"The UCI does not deny the validity of the six forms printed in L'Equipe," said UCI president Pat McQuaid.

However, he added: "The procedure used for these samples was one used for research purposes and didn't follow the protocol for samples tested for possible disciplinary proceedings. There was no protocol so the results cannot be proven nor accepted as proven."

This does not mean that the inquiry into how L'Equipe obtained the 2005 test results has ended. Last fall, the UCI appointed Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman, a former director of the Netherlands' national anti-doping agency, to conduct "a comprehensive investigation regarding all issues concerning the testing conducted by the French laboratory of urine samples" from the '99 Tour.
 
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