The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the Lance-related happenings in the world of cycling.
about the testing apparently done in Ch?tenay-Malabry, who authorized or commissioned that testing, the reason for the testing or the manner in which the testing was conducted.
We have sent letters to WADA, as well as an initial questionnaire to the French laboratory, seeking comprehensive information about the background facts and what brought about the situation that we are investigating.
Amongst the significant questions we have, the most important which remain unanswered are the following:
? Who commissioned and directed this research and who agreed to the public dissemination of the results?
? How could this be done without the riders? consent?
? Why was the UCI not informed?
? How is it that the journalist apparently received WADA?s official reaction on the possibility of continuing the research with the remaining urine samples, and on possible sanctions, on 22 August (see l?Equipe?s article of 23 August), when WADA apparently received the information on these results only on 24 August?
? The dissemination of the results being a breach of WADA?s anti-doping code, did WADA itself authorise this step?
? Has this apparent research on the 1999 Tour de France been widened to other sports events in
Awaiting plausible answers, the UCI confirms its commitment to investigate how and why confidential information was disclosed to members of the news media. In particular, we deplore the fact that the long-established and entrenched confidentiality principle could be violated in such a flagrant way, without any respect for fair play and the rider?s privacy. This aspect forms part of our thorough and vigorous investigation into this matter.
We regret once more, that WADA?s President Mr. Pound made public statements about the likely guilt of an athlete on the basis of a newspaper article and without all the facts being known, and we appreciate that WADA?s Vice-President Mr. Mikkelsen has stepped in to state that Mr. Pound?s allegations were unwise.?
Having read the statement himself, Armstrong posted his own press release:
"I'm pleased the UCI is investigating this entire matter thoroughly, because any professional investigation will reveal that the allegations made by a French sports tabloid have no basis because I never used any performance enhancing drugs. Based on the translation I read of the press release, I'm pleased that the UCI seems to be asking many of the right questions."
Questions needing to be asked and answered include why this very ?select? sample of urine was re-tested ahead of thousands of others held in the laboratory and why standard testing procedures were not followed. Why was a newspaper informed prior to the world governing body and the athlete? Why was a select athlete identified when the identities of other riders whom also re-tested positive were withheld? If the riders and cycling authorities can not trust the testing laboratories and procedures, where does that leave the sport?
If as L?Equipe alleges, and Dick Pound views