Rogge Finds Landis Needs Proof of Lance Armstrong Doping Claims

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05/21/2010| 0 comments
by AP

Rogge Finds Landis Needs Proof of Lance Armstrong Doping Claims

Floyd Landis admitted to doping, says Armstrong was involved.

Floyd Landis admitted to doping, says Armstrong was involved.

The leaders of the IOC and World Anti-Doping Agency said on Friday that Floyd Landis should provide concrete evidence to back up his allegations of doping by seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

"He has to bring proof that this is true," International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge told AP. "These are accusations that need to be corroborated by proof.

"You can't condemn without proof," Rogge added. "He would be better off by giving evidence to corroborate that, otherwise he is risking a lot of libels .... You can only sanction an athlete with tangible proof."

WADA president John Fahey, in a separate interview with the AP, said if there is any substance to Landis' allegations, either the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency or International Cycling Union should intervene.

"If he has evidence, he should make that evidence available to the USADA or UCI and I'm sure if there is any substance to that evidence, either of those bodies would act," Fahey said. "There will always be rumors about it."

Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, meanwhile, denied Landis' allegation that he helped cover up a positive drug test by Armstrong in 2002.

"He has never been (tested) positive," Verbruggen told the AP.

The international officials spoke after Landis, in a series of e-mails sent to sponsors and sports officials, confessed to years of doping after having previously denied cheating.

The American rider, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title and served a two-year ban for doping, also alleged that Armstrong not only joined him in doping but taught others how to beat the system.

Armstrong has denied the claims by his former teammate, saying Landis has no credibility.

"We have nothing to hide," Armstrong said at an impromptu news conference before the fifth stage of the Tour of California. "Credibility, Floyd lost his credibility a long time ago."

Rogge said UCI officials will require "more evidence than just an e-mail. They need to have more details to launch an inquiry."

Rogge also expressed doubts about Landis' claim that Armstrong and longtime coach Johan Bruyneel paid Verbruggen to cover up a test in 2002 after Armstrong purportedly tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO.

"To my knowledge it is not possible to hide a positive result," Rogge said, adding that each doping sample has a code known to laboratory testing teams. "The lab knows the code. WADA gets it also. Then it goes to the national and international federations.

"One person cannot decide: 'I can put this under the carpet.'"

Verbruggen said there was never any positive test in the first place.

"Everyone can have a lot of doubts and say whatever they want - the guy has never been positive," the Dutch official said. "Never has Lance Armstrong been declared positive by a lab."

Verbruggen said Armstrong made one visit to UCI headquarters at Aigle, Switzerland, in 2002 after the center's new indoor training track had opened.

"It was a Monday morning," he said. "I remember that because we had a


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