Monthly Archives: January 2013

Wada accuse UCI of process deceit

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has accused the International Cycling Union (UCI) of being “deceitful” for claiming both would be working together on a truth and reconciliation process (TRC).

The UCI plans to replace its own doping inquiry into the Lance Armstrong scandal with the TRC.

But Wada denies claims by the UCI that it supports the new commission and branded the UCI as “arrogant”.

In turn, the UCI accused Wada of “blatant and aggressive untruths”.

The abandoned doping inquiry, led by a three-person panel that included Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson,

had been established in response to a

damning report from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada)

into a decade of cheating by Armstrong and his US Postal Service Team.

Usada’s report, published in October, resulted in the American being

stripped of his seven Tour de France titles

and also seriously called into question the UCI’s actions over the period.

Wada and Usada had previously said they would not co-operate with the UCI’s inquiry, which had led the UCI to conclude that any report would be dismissed as “not being complete or credible”.


“On the day a much-delayed court case into a huge doping conspiracy in Spain finally started, and a separate investigation continued in Belgium, news that cycling’s official response to the Lance Armstrong scandal is over before it has even started, really could not be much more embarrassing.

“The official reason for cycling’s governing body effectively sacking its own independent commission into the Armstrong affair is that the US and World Anti-Doping Agencies withdrew their support, saying they had no confidence in its ability to uncover the truth. A more cynical view might be that British Paralympic legend Tanni Grey-Thompson and her two colleagues on the panel were simply more independent than the International Cycling Union (UCI) had bargained for.

“The UCI says it will now proceed with a full ‘Truth Reconciliation’ process – amnesties for riders in return for evidence – which is what many of its critics want, although they will have a long wait for answers. Where this will leave the sport’s already battered reputation is anybody’s guess.”

But UCI chief Pat McQuaid said the new TRC had the full support of Wada president John Fahey – a statement Wada was quick to discredit.

“This is not only wrong in content and process, but again deceitful,” Wada said. “Wada has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues.”

McQuaid issued an angry response to the Wada statement, which he called “blatant and aggressive misrepresentations”. He also released private e-mail exchanges with the agency and urged Fahey to set aside his apparent “personal vendetta and crusade against cycling” and support the TRC.

“Our aims are the same – to rid cycling and indeed all sports of the scourge of doping,” McQuaid said.

McQuaid added that the original commission had been disbanded following talks with Wada president John Fahey.

But Fahey said: “The UCI has decided to terminate its own commission on the grounds that others refuse to participate, and not for any reason that the commission was precluded from operating transparently and without fear.

“Wada was not part of the decision to establish such a commission, it was not even consulted. When asked to participate, Wada was at pains to point out the inadequacies of the terms of reference and the timelines.

“The commission’s lawyers agreed to point those out in order to remedy them. These were not addressed by UCI or the commission so Wada declined to participate.”

The independent commission was adjourned last week until 31 January, with Baroness Grey-Thompson telling UCI counsel Ian Mill: “It amazes me that we’ve had no documents whatsoever.”

On Tuesday, she called on the UCI to disclose evidence.

“It was evident early on that the lack of cooperation that the independent commission experienced from key stakeholders would make significant progress difficult and that a wider amnesty was necessary to give cycling a genuine chance for change,” she said.

“Having urged the UCI to engage in truth and reconciliation, I am glad that it now publicly acknowledges the need for such action.

“However, I do not believe the creation of a truth and reconciliation process in itself answers the concerns that have been raised.

“I also maintain that is essential that the final process addresses the accusations against the UCI that the independent commission was first appointed to investigate, and which have now been placed indefinitely on hold.

“Confidence in the integrity of the UCI is vital for the sport of cycling. It is essential that they make full disclosure of all documentation and evidence to allow the sport to move on and regain its standing and reputation.”

After announcing its decision to shut down the independent commission, the UCI said the TRC process would launch later this year – and that its report would be published in full.

The UCI had agreed to provide an amnesty for those giving evidence to the independent commission.

Last week,

British cycling coach Sir David Brailsford questioned the need for a truth and reconciliation process,

saying: “Already I think there is a wealth of information that you can actually start taking action on and putting tangible things in place.”

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Dane Rasmussen admits to doping

Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen has admitted that he took performance-enhancing drugs between 1998 and 2010.

Rasmussen has already served a two-year suspension for evading doping controls during the 2007 Tour de France.

The 38-year-old was

sacked by his Rabobank team and withdrawn from that year’s Tour de France

after lying about his whereabouts.

A court ruled in 2007 that the Rabobank cycling team had to pay Michael Rasmussen €665,000 compensation for wrongful dismissal after they fired him during that year’s Tour de France for lying about his whereabouts.

A Utrecht judge ruled Rabobank had been entitled to dismiss Rasmussen from the team, but said that they followed the wrong procedure.

“I am well aware that I have cheated, lied and deceived people and other athletes,” he told a news conference.

Rasmussen said that he took testosterone and growth hormones and underwent blood transfusions in an effort to boost his performance.

“I have used doping substances and methods during the period 1998-2010, including EPO, growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, IGF-1, cortisone and blood transfusions,” he said.

“I am now ready to make good, and I’m ready to take my punishment.”

The Dane said that he intends to leave the sport with immediate effect and will co-operate with anti-doping agencies.

“The specifics of exactly what I did and when have been given to the anti-doping authorities,” he said.

“My co-operation with them is based on confidentiality, which means that I cannot disclose further details at this time. That time may come later.”

Rasmussen’s revelations follow Lance Armstrong’s

admission that he took performance-enhancing drugs

during his seven Tour de France wins.

Rasmussen won the Mountain Bike World Championships in 1999 before being given the chance to try out with a professional team for a few months at the end of the 2001 season with CSC-Tiscali.

He joined the Rabobank team in 2003 and looked set to win the 2007 Tour de France when holding a substantial advantage over second-placed Alberto Contador with four stages to go.

However, he was summarily sacked by Rabobank when he lied about his pre-race whereabouts, saying he was in Mexico when he was in fact in Italy.

Rasmussen eventually returned to the sport in 2009 and competed for the Tecos Guadalajara team before moving to Miche in 2010.

He had been with the Christina Watches Onfone team since 2011.

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Banned Schleck to miss 2013 Tour

Frank Schleck will miss the 2013 Tour de France after he was given a one-year backdated ban for failing a drug test during last year’s race.


tested positive for Xipamide following the 13th stage in 2012.

The Luxembourger’s ban started on 14 July, 2012 – the day of his failed test – meaning he will miss this year’s Tour, which begins on 29 June.

Schleck, 32, denied knowingly taking a banned substance and can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

The RadioShack-Nissan rider, older brother of 2010 Tour de France champion Andy, finished third overall in 2011.

He was lying 12th in 2012 when he was pulled from the Tour after his failed test, before failing a

second ‘B’ test two days later.

He can appeal against the punishment, imposed by the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency, but the sport’s governing body, the International Cycling Union, and the World Anti-Doping Agency can also refer the case to Cas if they feel a longer ban is merited.

Xipamide – a diuretic- is a sulfonamide used for the treatment of oedema, 

fluid retention and hypertension.

Schleck said at the time: “We are analysing minute by minute what exactly I have been doing, eating, drinking on the days before the control and on the 14th of July itself, who I met, what materials I came in contact with, what nutritional supplements I took.”

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Armstrong claims he is ‘fall guy’

Lance Armstrong says he is a ‘fall guy’ for cycling’s doping culture and believes that no generation of riders has ever been exempt from cheating.

The American was stripped of

seven Tour de France titles

and banned from sport for life before

he admitted doping.

“Yes I do, but I understand why,” he replied when asked by


if he felt he was a “fall guy”.

“My generation was no different from any other. From hopping on trains a 100 years ago to EPO now.”

Lance Armstrong

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Lance Armstrong admits doping to win cycling titles

The 41-year-old added: “The ‘help’ has evolved over the years, but the fact remains that our sport is damn hard, the Tour was invented as a ‘stunt, and very tough [athletes] have competed for a century and all looked for advantages.”

“No generation was exempt or ‘clean’.”

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced a truth and reconciliation commission, disbanding a previous three-person anti-doping enquiry that

included Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson,

as its new plan for cleaning up the sport.

However the proposal has already run into controversy with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada)

accusing the UCI of “deceit”

for claiming it had agreed to work alongside it.

Armstrong believes that a version of the UCI plan is the “only way” for cycling to move forward as a sport.

The cycling career

Lance Armstrong

  • Born:

    Plano, Texas
  • Tour de France victories:

    1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 (22 individual stage wins)
  • World Championships road race victory:

  • Battle with cancer:

    Diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. The disease spreads through his body. Launches Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer. Declared cancer-free in 1997 after brain surgery and chemotherapy.
  • Retirement:

    Announces he will retire after the 2005 Tour de France, which he wins. Angered by drug allegations against him, Armstrong announces in September 2008 he will return to professional cycling. In June 2010, he reveals via Twitter that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last. On 16 February 2011, Armstrong announces retirement again.

“As much as I’m the eye of the storm this is not about one man, one team, one director,” he added.

“This is about cycling and, to be frank, it’s about all endurance sports. Publically lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem.

“Letting some race the season then giving minor off-season sanctions versus the death penalty (for similar offences) isn’t fair and isn’t about ‘cleaning up cycling’. It’s about getting your man.”

Armstrong added that an official investigation into cycling’s doping past should call every rider with a podium finish in a Grand Tour or World Championship without the possibility of punishment.

He insisted that a complete amnesty was necessary “otherwise no one will show up. No one.”

Armstrong’s comments come on the day that Frank Schleck, who finished third in the 2011 Tour de France, was given

a one-year backdated ban after testing positive for a banned substance in the 2012 race.

Of the 33 Tour de France wins since 1980,

17 have been won tainted by a rider who has either tested positive, been sanctioned or admitted doping.

In 1904 Maurice Garin, who had won the inaugural edition of the race the year before, was stripped of his title amid allegations that he had taken a train to bypass a difficult section of a stage.

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‘Doping doctor’ gives evidence

Eufemiano Fuentes in courtEufemiano Fuentes (left) gave evidence for the first time in his Madrid trial

The doctor at the centre of a Spanish blood-doping trial has admitted treating athletes from sports other than cycling.

Eufemiano Fuentes said he had worked with athletes, footballers and boxers, as well as cyclists.

He did not say whether he had helped the other athletes dope, however.

Dr Fuentes is accused of endangering the health of cyclists while carrying out blood transfusions to help them dope. He denies the charges.

He was giving evidence for the first time at his trial in Madrid.

He did not give any names of athletes, and the BBC’s Tom Burridge in Madrid says the trial is unlikely to shed light on doping beyond the world of cycling.

The case comes days after former seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong admitted to using banned drugs and blood doping during his cycling career.


The chief prosecutor in the case says cyclists are the only athletes that can be identified from bags of blood seized in a raid on Dr Fuentes’ office and apartment seven years ago.

They were labelled with codenames believed to relate to well-known cyclists.

But the World Anti-Doping Agency maintains that it was told in 2006 that the bags of blood were those of athletes from “several sports”.

In his evidence, Dr Fuentes acknowledged that the bags of blood were labelled, in some cases with codenames.

But he said the aim of the transfusions was to protect athletes’ health and improve their performance during training.

Dr Fuentes is being tried alongside his sister and three former cycling coaches.

If found guilty, the defendants could face up to two years in prison and a two-year professional ban.

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