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''World champion Lizzie Armitstead is ready to lead the British road team in the Olympics this Sunday after being cleared of an anti-doping violation due to three missed doping controls''Armitstead cleared for Olympics in murky missed doping test case | VeloNews.com

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First off, I'm a big fan of Armitstead. I was lucky enough to be on course to watch her at the London Olympics. What really struck me, was that if this was Froome or Sagan, then this would have been a major story and been all over the doping thread ... yet somehow, it's not ... ?? (well, maybe there's an old thread that's pages back, but you'd think it would have been brought back today).

Really looking forward to the olympics mens and womens road race, the mens and womens time trial and the womens xc. As for the rest of the olympics, I don't think I could really name more than a handful of other athletes competing.
 

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I was reading about that yesterday. To me it's highly suspicious when a rider misses 3 tests in a year. The first one is (maybe) an accident, the second is negligence, the third is just downright suspicious. After the first miss, she should have been more careful, but she wasn't. That tells me she is doping, or she knows there will be no consequences to her negligent actions.
 

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It's a very murky case. I've read all the comments I can and all of the stories and I'm left with no real opinion.

The first strike was overturned because I guess the doping guy didn't try very hard. He showed up at a hotel, the hotel wouldn't let him up, he called her cell, she didn't answer and he just left. I guess she was tested the very next day and passed just fine. And she did contest the first strike immediately but they denied her.

“UKAD are allowed a maximum of two weeks to inform you of a ‘strike.’ When I received the letter from UKAD I immediately contested it with a written explanation, this was not accepted on the eve of me travelling to America for my world championships,” Armitstead wrote. “I had no legal advice or external support at the time.”
Basically to fight a strike you need a legal team, it's a legal court sort of matter. Something she didn't have and didn't have time to assemble right before the worlds, she was on her way to Richmond.


The second strike wasn't even a missed test. They noted that she was not where she was supposed to be and gave her a strike for it. They didn't show up to test her, they simply saw that if they had, she wouldn't have been where she was supposed to be.

“UKAD did not try to test me, instead this was an administrative spot check. They found an inconsistency between an overnight accommodation and a morning time slot,” she wrote.
The third strike is kind of a mess. After the second one she went to British Cycling for help to avoid a third strike. They appointed her a handler specifically for her whereabouts to avoid missing a test. Well the handler quit, didn't tell her, and nobody told her he was gone. She was counting on his help I guess. On top of that she had a "family emergency" that kept her away. This is the fishy one, this third one. She's pulling the family and privacy cards here and blaming it on some guy from British Cycling. The timing lines up perfectly with the Aviva Women's Tour as well.



Now at first I thought zero of it and didn't think she was guilty of anything wrong.

“I am sorry for causing anyone to lose faith in sport, I am an example of what hard work and dedication can achieve. I hate dopers and what they have done to sport,” Armitstead wrote. “To any of the ‘Twitter Army’ reading this, do yourself a favour and go for a bike ride. It’s the most beautiful thing you can do to clear your mind.”
But this "twitter army" thing... what that is, is her peers mainly. The women she competes against and others in the sport. Her peers are damning her. PFP called it shameful. If so many other athletes are damning her... I have to think there's something to it. Are they insinuating she's cheating? Not really. They're mad at her for letting this happen but I don't see too many saying she's a doper.

There's the argument that micro-dosing only takes a few hours to clear, but that's a bad argument. The athlete chooses the time of day so that throws that out of the window. I don't see any valid arguments really for her doping. One thing's for sure though, she is without a doubt a dope. Dumbass.
 

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It's a very murky case. I've read all the comments I can and all of the stories and I'm left with no real opinion.

The first strike was overturned because I guess the doping guy didn't try very hard. He showed up at a hotel, the hotel wouldn't let him up, he called her cell, she didn't answer and he just left. I guess she was tested the very next day and passed just fine. And she did contest the first strike immediately but they denied her.



Basically to fight a strike you need a legal team, it's a legal court sort of matter. Something she didn't have and didn't have time to assemble right before the worlds, she was on her way to Richmond.


The second strike wasn't even a missed test. They noted that she was not where she was supposed to be and gave her a strike for it. They didn't show up to test her, they simply saw that if they had, she wouldn't have been where she was supposed to be.



The third strike is kind of a mess. After the second one she went to British Cycling for help to avoid a third strike. They appointed her a handler specifically for her whereabouts to avoid missing a test. Well the handler quit, didn't tell her, and nobody told her he was gone. She was counting on his help I guess. On top of that she had a "family emergency" that kept her away. This is the fishy one, this third one. She's pulling the family and privacy cards here and blaming it on some guy from British Cycling. The timing lines up perfectly with the Aviva Women's Tour as well.



Now at first I thought zero of it and didn't think she was guilty of anything wrong.



But this "twitter army" thing... what that is, is her peers mainly. The women she competes against and others in the sport. Her peers are damning her. PFP called it shameful. If so many other athletes are damning her... I have to think there's something to it. Are they insinuating she's cheating? Not really. They're mad at her for letting this happen but I don't see too many saying she's a doper.

There's the argument that micro-dosing only takes a few hours to clear, but that's a bad argument. The athlete chooses the time of day so that throws that out of the window. I don't see any valid arguments really for her doping. One thing's for sure though, she is without a doubt a dope. Dumbass.
Well analyzed...

Its also important to note that in addition to the 3 missed tests, she was tested 16 other times over the same time period. I think most people read the headline of 3 missed tests in a year and assume that was all she as tested and she missed them, but when you realize that she was also tested 16 additional times that changes things.

I was recently in Colorado and did a training ride with a former pro women's cyclist. She said that the whereabouts program is the part of pro-cycling she's most happy to not have to deal with now. She said she never missed a test, but she was close at least once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tend towards believing her today (see velo news), however if she were one of the men's riders on a pro team who'd had some busts of late (e.g. Astana, Katusha), I don't think I would believe it.

The UCI set rules, in order to be the world champ you have to win the race, but also you have to let them know where you are all the time and pass tests. It's not just the win the race that counts.

Well analyzed...

Its also important to note that in addition to the 3 missed tests, she was tested 16 other times over the same time period. I think most people read the headline of 3 missed tests in a year and assume that was all she as tested and she missed them, but when you realize that she was also tested 16 additional times that changes things.

I was recently in Colorado and did a training ride with a former pro women's cyclist. She said that the whereabouts program is the part of pro-cycling she's most happy to not have to deal with now. She said she never missed a test, but she was close at least once.
 

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I don't see how the second and third strikes get a pass, nor the first really.

The athlete is ultimately responsible for keeping their ADA up to date on their whereabouts, not someone they hired. Evidence that they didn't maintain their whereabouts whether learned by testers not being able to find the athlete or just dumb luck, is evidence of a violation of the requirements none the less. You are either in compliance or you are not.
 

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I don't see how the second and third strikes get a pass, nor the first really.

The athlete is ultimately responsible for keeping their ADA up to date on their whereabouts, not someone they hired. Evidence that they didn't maintain their whereabouts whether learned by testers not being able to find the athlete or just dumb luck, is evidence of a violation of the requirements none the less. You are either in compliance or you are not.
I couldn't agree more...
 

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She doesn't get a pass on number 2 and 3. They still count. If she gets another then she is out. She has done herself and cycling a huge disservice whatever the circumstances behind these missed tests. Alarm bells (for her) should have been ringing after the first let alone the second.
 

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I don't see how the second and third strikes get a pass, nor the first really.

The athlete is ultimately responsible for keeping their ADA up to date on their whereabouts, not someone they hired. Evidence that they didn't maintain their whereabouts whether learned by testers not being able to find the athlete or just dumb luck, is evidence of a violation of the requirements none the less. You are either in compliance or you are not.
I couldn't agree more...
The second and third strikes don't get a pass... only the first one did. But the rule is 3 missed in a year and you get a mandatory suspension. She disputed the first one, and won, so it was removed, meaning she only had 2.
 

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And how many times was Lance tested? So, whatever.
Truthfully, I don't know how many times Lane was tested, but I'm under the impression that testing is a LOT more prevalent now than it was back then. In addition to the tests, there is also the bio-passport system in place now an supposedly no one has seen any irregularities there.
 

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It's all so weird and hard to justify when you know what's at stake and the history of the sport. This isn't Lizzie's first year as a pro, so there are no valid excuses here. Does that mean she doped, to me no, but it raises some serious questions about what she is up to and all of the success she has had this year. Such a shame....
 

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I don't agree she should get a pass with the first one either. Any pro athlete can give instructions at the front desk of a hotel instructions for no interruptions and give the excuse the phone was on silent. Was it really on silent, or she didn't recognize the phone number and decided not to answer it just in case it is the testers.
 

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I don't agree she should get a pass with the first one either. Any pro athlete can give instructions at the front desk of a hotel instructions for no interruptions and give the excuse the phone was on silent. Was it really on silent, or she didn't recognize the phone number and decided not to answer it just in case it is the testers.
This very well could be a valid point, but a doping tester himself says she was right to get off.

Speaking to CyclingTips, an international doping control officer has however said that he is ‘happy’ that Armitstead won her appeal.

Referring to the first missed test, he questioned how committed the tester was. “The guy said that he wasn’t given access at the hotel. That is quite unusual, really. If you start flashing badges that you are anti-doping anywhere on the continent, especially in a hotel that is keeping bike riders, normally the hotel will give it up.”


He added that a committed tester would almost always find a way of getting access to the rider.


“It is the policy of a hotel not to give out the information of a guest. But you tell hotel staff who you are and how important a test is. I have never had it that I have been refused completely.


“I have got around the person at the desk, saying, ‘look, this is really important for this person. If I don’t get to test them today within this hour, it could be considered a missed test and they might be up for an anti-doping rule violation. And you will have to come to the hearing on their behalf.’


“I frighten the life out of them, and it works. It’s because I’m committed to getting the test done.”
He also said that despite the seriousness of missed tests, some athletes would outline their whereabouts for a given three-month period but rarely update it when plans changed.


“Some athletes are brilliant. They send a SMS [to the whereabouts system] ‘staying in my girlfriend’s house tonight, here is the address, blah blah blah, my designated hour is the same [as before]…six to seven.’


“Others are not good. There are some who never update things during that three month period. It depends on the person.”
 

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I don't agree she should get a pass with the first one either. Any pro athlete can give instructions at the front desk of a hotel instructions for no interruptions and give the excuse the phone was on silent. Was it really on silent, or she didn't recognize the phone number and decided not to answer it just in case it is the testers.

PFP is with you here. 3 is 3, end of story. No bullshit let's go back and fight the first one crap. There's a problem.

Ferrand-Prévot says rules are being bent for Armitstead | VeloNews.com


Everyone can agree that there's a problem. Not too many people seem to know exactly what that problem is though. How or why is she this careless? I guess that's the big one. She sure did **** it up.
 

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PFP is with you here. 3 is 3, end of story. No bullshit let's go back and fight the first one crap. There's a problem.

Ferrand-Prévot says rules are being bent for Armitstead | VeloNews.com


Everyone can agree that there's a problem. Not too many people seem to know exactly what that problem is though. How or why is she this careless? I guess that's the big one. She sure did **** it up.
The issue is that it in't 3; it is 2 because the tester failed to follow the correct procedure in the "first" instance so it doesn't count. That's the CAS ruling. IMV, Lizzie Armistead has been incredibly stupid and I am certain that she wouldn't have given others the benefit of the doubt but we are where we are.
 

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All of this looks suspicious to me. It looks a lot like it's an Olympic year and British cycling looked the other way to benefit their country and one of its brightest stars. Maybe it's not that, but somebody would have to produce some evidence to the contrary and convince me of that at this point.

Armitstead cleared for Olympics in murky missed doping test case | VeloNews.com

Lizzie Armitstead wins court fight to compete at Rio Olympics 2016 | Daily Mail Online

... and I have been a big Lizzie Armitstead fan.
 

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Well, I confess that I am not a great Lizzie Armistead fan. IMO, she is too keen to blame others for events e.g. the Nicole Cooke controversy in the Worlds a while back and the lack of admin support in the case of these tests. I also think that she owes much of her recent run of good results due to Vos's time out but from what I've seen in the UK press and cycling forums she has been getting a pretty hard time (deservedly so, IMO). British Cycling has no involvement in these tests (that was UKAD) and although it appears they did help in the legal side of the appeal, they have no opportunity to look the other way even if they wanted to (and historically relationships between Armistead and BC haven't been good). The judgment is CAS's, although UKAD could appeal but IIRC they are still waiting to see the details.
 
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