The Week That Was...

News & Results

09/12/2005| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the Lance-related happenings in the world of cycling.

rule it out..."


At this stage, the only certainty appears to be that Armstrong is currently ?exercising? every day and will be joining the team for its first pre-season training camp in December, held in
Austin, Texas.  Quoted by AP, Discovery Channel team manager Dan Osipow said, "Lance was pretty definitive when he announced his plans for retirement.  But circumstances change. Who knows? I leave that to him. We all know he planned on staying fit."



"He owns part of the team.  If there's a certain rider from
who wants to join the team, we'll have space."


For his part, the American appeared to retract a little from his earlier comments.  "There are a lot of reasons not to do [another Tour de France]; the fact that I would open myself up for even more questioning, scrutiny, potential sabotage and potential unfair accusations," reported Reuters. "That's not appealing. But at the same time I think I'm still in my prime, I think I can still ride at a high level."


Armstrong went on to add that, "The Tour de France is not the only bike race in the world, but it is the biggest, so the possibility could still exist to do a Tour of Italy, a Tour of Spain."


Just three days ago, the UCI finally broke their silence over the allegations through a press release.  The first part of the statement reads as follows:


?As we announced on Monday, August 29, 2005 , the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is undertaking an investigation into the recent press reports from
. The article published by the French newspaper L?Equipe concerned testing apparently conducted by a French laboratory of urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France. Our initial investigation has identified a great many issues and we are in the process of gathering the information we need. The UCI is currently unable to express any judgement on these cases, as it does not have sufficient information.


The UCI has not, to date, received any official information or document. WADA believes that they have no jurisdiction over this matter, given that it apparently relates to urine samples collected in 1999, before WADA was created. Moreover, WADA has told the UCI that on the basis of the reports of the research done and methods used in this case, no disciplinary procedure could be opened against the riders concerned and that in their view, the organization responsible for investigating is the UCI. In light of WADA?s position on this matter, the UCI has assumed all responsibility for investigating the matter. WADA has stated its willingness to assist the UCI with its investigation.



We have substantial concerns about the impact of this matter on the integrity of the overall drug testing regime of the Olympic movement, and in particular the questions it raises over the trustworthiness of some of the sports and political authorities active in the anti-doping fight. The UCI reiterates that at this point we have no information at all


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