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Archive for  January 2013

Thursday 31, Jan 2013

Professional Golfer Admits Using Deer Antler Spray

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Professional Golfer Admits Using Deer Antler Spray

A noted Fijian golfer of Indian origin has admitted he used deer-antler spray that contains the substance IGF-1, which is a banned performance-enhancer connected to human growth hormone and described by Sports Illustrated as a “natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth.”

Vijay Singh, the Fijian professional golfer, who was Number 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings for 32 weeks in 2004 and 2005 and was the leading PGA Tour money winner in 2003, 2004, and 2008 said he didn’t know the spray has a banned substance. He added that he reviewed the list of ingredients after receiving the product and didn’t not see any prohibited substances. Singh also added that he is absolutely shocked to learn that the deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and is angry with himself that he has put himself in this position.

The Sports Illustrated report said Singh paid $9,000 last November to Sports With Alternatives to Steroids for the spray, chips, beam ray, and a powder additive. It was also revealed that Singh was using the deer-antler spray every couple of hours, to sleep with the beam ray on and to have put chips on his ankles, waist, and shoulders.

The golfer also said he is contact with the PGA Tour and and co-operating fully with their review of this matter and will not be commenting any further at this time. According to the anti-doping guidelines of the PGA Tour, it does not matter whether a prohibited substance is taken unintentionally or unknowingly and it is very important for players to understand what is prohibited and how a prohibited substance may get into your body, potentially causing an accidental violation. The Tour issued a warning to its players two years ago about deer-antler spray after Champions Tour player Mark Calcavecchia began endorsing the product.

A report in Sports Illustrated had revealed that a sports supplement company, Sports With Alternatives to Steroids, claims to have provided products for athletes including Vijay Singh.

Singh, who turns 50 next month, became a rookie on the PGA Tour at age 30 and for a time went toe-to-toe with Tiger Woods. Singh was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2005 (but deferred his induction until 2006) and is best known for his meticulous preparation, often staying at the range hours before and after his tournament rounds to work on his game. Vijay Singh ranks third on the PGA Tour’s career money list with more than $67.2 million, trailing only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

In 1985, the professional golfer was banned from the Asian Tour after an alleged cheating incident at the Indonesian Open when he changed his scorecard and it is believed that the Southeast Asia Golf Federation suspended him indefinitely.

Under the tour’s anti-doping policy, Doug Barron is the only player to be suspended and missed part of 2009 and most of 2010 for using testosterone and beta blockers. In September 2010, his suspension of one year was lifted and Barron was granted a therapeutic use exemption for low testosterone.

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Wednesday 30, Jan 2013

Latest Doping Scandal May Spell End For Alex Rodriguez

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Latest Doping Scandal May Spell End For Alex Rodriguez

A South Florida-based alternative weekly has linked many players to a clinic in Miami that is shown to have distributed performance enhancing drugs like human growth hormone, synthetic testosterone, and other substances banned by baseball.

The biggest name involved is Alex Rodriguez and other players named included Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, and San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal. Other baseball players who appeared in the records include Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who finished third in last year’s NL Cy Young Award voting, besides pro tennis player Wayne Odesnik, and budding Cuban superstar boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa along with UM baseball conditioning guru Jimmy Goins, according to the newspaper.

A disgruntled employee of a Miami-based clinic called Biogenesis gave documents to the Miami New Times that are being evaluated by the New York Yankees. The documents purported to show that A-Rod paid for testosterone cream, human growth hormone, and IGF-1, as recently as last spring. Rodriguez, in the past, said that he stopped making use of performance enhancing drugs after 2003 and issued a statement disavowing any relationship with the man in charge of the clinic, Anthony Bosch. Other players listed in the report like Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez also issued denials.

A release issued by Major League Baseball disclosed that three of the players including Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera who were linked to the clinic had in fact been suspended by baseball. Cabrera was signed a $18-million (U.S.) free-agent contract for two years with Toronto this winter after he was suspended for 50 games and missed out on the San Francisco Giants’ 2012 World Series run because of a failed drug test indicating elevated testosterone levels.

The name of Cabrera among the list of players supposedly serviced by Bosch and Biogenesis shocked Blue Jays fans and notes given to the New Times referring to Cabrera are dated December 21, 2011 and include a hand-written note from Bosch expressing anger at the baseball star for $9,000 Bosch says he is owed. The paper cites Bosch as complaining that he put his business and all his doctors at risk by fabricating patient charts and phony prescriptions to help him.

But the entire focus in on Alex Rodriguez and many believe this may be his BALCO scandal. With the baseball icon not liked anymore by the Yankees fans, there seems to be no respite for A-Rod as no one would care if he never returns to the game. The baseball’s highest-paid star and the three-time AL MVP refuted claims that he purchased human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables, Fla., near the off-season home of A-Rod while the alternative weekly newspaper said it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, and 2011 AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz of Texas.

Bosch’s lawyer, Susy Ribero-Ayala, said in a statement that Mr. Bosch vehemently denies the assertions that MLB players such as Alex Rodriguez and Gio Gonzalez were treated by or associated with him and the New Times report “is filled with inaccuracies, innuendo and misstatements of fact.”

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Tuesday 29, Jan 2013

UCI Disbands Independent Doping Commission

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UCI Disbands Independent Doping Commission

The International Cycling Union, the world governing body of cycling, has dramatically disbanded its own independent commission that was appointed to look into the circumstances surrounding payments to the body made by Lance Armstrong.

The decision of UCI president Pat McQuaid that is believed to have stunned the commission of three people now leaves the world cycling body without any formal inquiry into the United States Anti Doping Agency’s allegations that disgraced cyclist Armstrong made substantial six-figure donations to the UCI around the same time as his suspicious blood samples became apparent to drug testers. The UCI however said the commission was in danger of “lacking credibility” because the World Anti-Doping Agency, USADA, and major witnesses in reform group Change Cycling Now refusing to take part unless the independent commission had wider terms of reference and a guarantee to make their findings public.

Last Friday, the tension between the UCI independent commission and the world cycling governing body was stark when it became clear that the governing body had not submitted any of the 16 folders of files to the commissioners for inspection, or acquiesced to the request of the commissioner for an amnesty period of three weeks to be part of its inquiry. The UCI independent commission adjourned the hearing until this Thursday, but the UCI president has now axed the commission.

The UCI said it had begun fruitful talks with WADA for the body to conduct a broad truth and reconciliation investigation into the sport that is seen by some as a stalling tactic by McQuaid to ensure any negative findings would only be aired after the election of the UCI president in September. A broad truth and reconciliation process is expected to last at least two years. McQuaid said it is completely unrealistic to expect that the UCI and WADA can solve through all the details of setting up a truth and reconciliation commission in just a couple of days, based on an arbitrary deadline set by the independent commission. He added that there is still a big amount to discuss before the UCI can finalize a detailed legal framework, including how such a TRC, which is completely unprecedented in the sport, should be funded now that WADA, contrary to earlier indications, refuses to contribute financially.

The UCI president further remarked that while he is committed to a TRC, there needs to be a process that is in the best interests of our sport and our federation and which also does not bankrupt it and further said that the lessons learned from the truth and reconciliation process will help in particular for educating young riders and helping eradicating doping from cycling in its entirety. When the UCI made the announcement on its website, the three independent commissioners, Sir Philip Otton, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Malcolm Holmes, found out their services were no longer required. The world governing body of cycling head further said the UCI Management Committee decided that the federation could no longer fund a procedure whose outcome is likely to be rejected by such an important stakeholder.

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Monday 28, Jan 2013

Cycling’s Reputation To Be Tarnished More

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Cycling’s Reputation To Be Tarnished More

The long-delayed Operation Puerto case finally goes to court in Spain. This could possibly mean more damaging revelations for cycling as well as the world governing body of the sport, the UCI.

The central figures of one of the game’s most sophisticated and widespread doping networks will stand trial in the Criminal Court of Madrid seven years after Spanish investigators uncovered the doping scandal.

The case is expected to be last until March 22 that will be presided by Judge Julia Santamaria, 35 witnesses are called to testify to try five defendants, including doctors Eufemiano and Yolanda Fuentes, brother-and-sister suspects at the heart of a complex blood-doping ring. Manolo Saiz, former ONCE and Liberty Seguros team sports director, as well as Vicente Belda and Ignacio Labarta, both associated with the former Kelme team are among others on trial. Another medical doctor, Jose Luis Merino, was also to be tried, but Santamaria granted him a temporary stay on after he presented medical reports stating he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The list of witnesses includes two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador and Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, and Jan Ullrich were some of the cyclists who were implicated in the doping ring.

The judge can only pass a ruling on matters that are covered by Spanish law as it applied in May 2006 when a mass of evidence in labs, offices and apartments in Madrid, Zaragoza and El Escorial was uncovered during police raids. This means that the scope of the trial may only emphasize on charges relating to actions that could “endanger public health” but it is still believed the trial will open up some new revelations about athletes who cheated to get an unfair advantage. Defense lawyers, on the other hand, will argue that the defendants didn’t endanger the health of the cyclists as they relied on the best available technology.

Eduardo Esteban, spokesman for the state prosecutor’s office, said the anti-doping agency of Spain or a sports federation may open an investigation to find out if they could ban an athlete if one of the defendants reveal that he injected the athlete. Miguel Angel Adan, a spokesman for Spain’s anti-doping agency, said the agency is studying the possibility.

The proceedings will be followed closely by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which will be a party to the trial along with the International Cycling Union, the Italian Olympic Committee, the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams, and former cyclist Jesus Manzano. WADA director general David Howman however said it is disappointing to learn that the Operation Puerto case trial is limited to cycling, as athletes from other sports were also implicated but said they are still getting a hearing and have expressed their frustration. The failure to explore the work of Fuentes outside cycling in the Madrid court has infuriated WADA and led to accusations of a possible cover-up for limiting the impact on Spain’s sporting reputation. It is believed that the tainted doctor admitted to assisting footballers and tennis stars with doping.

This doping scandal after the recent Lance Armstrong doping confession will surely hurt the reputation of cycling as a clean sport.

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Sunday 27, Jan 2013

Oprah Appearance Backfired For Lance Armstrong

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Oprah Appearance Backfired For Lance Armstrong

In what was meant and seen as an attempt to restore his image has turned otherwise for Lance Armstrong. His recent confession on the Oprah Winfrey talk show has backfired.

According to polls carried out by SurveyUSA, Armstrong has suffered a sharp drop in public support after the two broadcasts. It was revealed that a total of 63 percent who were contacted believe that the disgraced and banned cyclist can no longer regain his reputation when contrasted to just 21 percent who see it as possible. The worst part is that only 17 percent felt that the banned cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and Olympic bronze medal, was completely honest in his answers to Winfrey in what was publicized as a no holds barred interview. In other words, the cyclist simply failed to come across as plausible.

Before the interview, the support for Lance Armstrong had seemed to be rising with 49 percent of Americans in October of last year believing that he should get his medals back. The dissatisfaction about his career, earlier this month, had dropped to 37 percent that showed that there was more sympathy – or at least tolerance – for him.

The SurveyUSA poll was carried out on Tampa Bay residents, but similar polls done in Portland and San Diego demonstrated the same findings. A YouGov poll in Europe showed that 81 percent of German respondents remarked that the Armstrong admission didn’t show sincere repentance while 88 percent people believe that the Oprah Armstrong interview would not do anything to help resolve the doping situation. The sole consolation for Armstrong is that a slight majority of people are of the view that a lifetime ban on the cyclist is too harsh. A total of 52 percent people felt  that Lance should be able to ride again at some point, compared with 45 percent who would give a firm no to that idea. Those who said the cyclist should be given a second chance also remarked that the disgraced cycling champion should have to wait for a considerable length of time.

In another development, USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement that the doping confession of the cyclist finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit and is a small step in the right direction and Armstrong must testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes.

Tyler Hamilton, who helped USADA exposed Armstrong, said the cyclist is still lying about testing positive at a race in 2001 and claims the Union Cycliste Internationale covered up the result. Hamilton added that he was not sure why Lance is owning up to some things and not owning up to others. Martial Saugy, then director of a Swiss drug testing laboratory, has also told Tygart that he was ordered by the world governing body of cycling to meet with Lance Armstrong and team boss Johan Bruyneel to explain how to beat tests for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO).

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Saturday 26, Jan 2013

Tennis Stars Slam Disgraced Cyclist For Cheating

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Tennis Stars Slam Disgraced Cyclist For Cheating

Tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has remarked that disgraced and banned cyclist Lance Armstrong, who admitting to making use of banned substances to win seven consecutive Tour de France titles, should be made to “suffer” for his lies and cheating his sport.

The comments of Djokovic came on the day the 41-year-old Texan rider finally confessed to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The cyclist admitted that he doped throughout the height of his illustrious career to which the world’s top male tennis player said the actions of the fallen American star had shamed cycling. He went on to remark that all the titles of Lance Armstrong should be taken away as it is not fair towards any athlete and sportsman and the ways followed by the disgraced cyclist are not the ways to be successful.

Slamming the long-delayed doping admissions of Armstrong, Novak Djokovic said the seven-time Tour de France winner is a disgrace to cycling and it would be ridiculous for him to decline and refuse all the charges because it has been proven. He added that the cyclist cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story.

Djokovic further remarked that Armstrong should suffer for his lies all these years and said he was confident in the drug testing system in tennis and had faith that the sport was clean. The defending Australian Open champion said he believes tennis players are one of the most cleanest athletes in the world in one of the most competitive sports and he has no complaints about testing as long as all can keep it that way.

Maria Sharapova, on the other hand, said Armstrong revelations are “just a really sad story, sad for that sport.” Frenchman Julien Benneteau said the cyclist was a liar and a cheat for years and he has to pay. Roger Federer said the confession of Lance Armstrong that he cheated throughout his career by using performance enhancing drugs has affected all of sport and the world’s athletes. A 17-time major winner, Federer, said he watched the first portion of the interview that Armstrong had with Oprah Winfrey. Serena Williams remarked that the cyclist has let all athletes down by doping and lying about it for so long. Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka said no one can cheat as everybody works so hard to be the best, and you have to respect that and Armstrong “deserves everything he gets.”

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) submitted its reasoned decision against the cyclist in which it accused him and the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team of running the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen. USADA included direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data, and laboratory test results along with testimony from many of the cyclist’s ex-teammates (Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie) that revealed systemic, sustained and highly professionalized team-run doping conspiracy at the USPS Team.

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Friday 25, Jan 2013

Steve Houanard Suspended For Doping, Leif Hoste Case Under Investigation

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Steve Houanard Suspended For Doping, Leif Hoste Case Under Investigation

French rider Steve Houanard who had returned an adverse analytical finding (presence of EPO) in a urine sample collected during an out-of-competition test on 21 September 2012 has been suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for a period of two years.

Houanard signed a document accepting the sanction on 18th January 2013. The professional French road cyclist, who last rode for the Ag2r-La Mondiale team, tested positive for EPO. In 2011, he participated to his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana and finished 133th and his best performance was a 22nd place in 2012 at the Grand Prix cycliste de Québec. Vincent Lavenu, his sports director, was reportedly “saddened and angered” by Houanard testing positive for EPO and provisionally suspended by the UCI. The 26-year-old rider was provisionall

y suspended by the world governing body of cycling last October pending a disciplinary case by the French cycling federation. The cyclist was pulled from the Tour of Beijing by the Ag2r-La Mondiale team when news of his out-of-competition positive test emerged.

In another development, the UCI asked the RLVB (Belgian National Cycling Federation) to instigate a disciplinary procedure against the Belgian rider Leif Hoste for an apparent violation of the anti-doping rules, on the basis of information provided by the blood profile in his biological passport.

The Belgian rider shall be accorded the right to the presumption of innocence until a final decision has been made on this matter and the UCI was unable to provide any additional information at this time in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules. A three-time runner-up in the Tour of Flanders one-day classic, Hoste, announced his retirement at the end of last season, citing problems with back pain. Leif Hoste, the 35-year-old rider rode with Lance Armstrong on the Discovery Channel team in 2005.

The retired Belgian professional road racing cyclist, who last rode for UCI Professional Continental Team team Accent.jobs-Willems Veranda’s won two two stages and the overall title at the 2006 Three Days of De Panne, the 2001, 2006 and 2007 Belgian national time trial championships, and a second place finish at the 2004, 2006 and 2007 one-day classic Ronde van Vlaanderen. Hoste, at the 2006 Paris–Roubaix, was disqualified by the race jury after finishing second for illegally riding though a closed level crossing along with Peter Van Petegem and Vladimir Guse.

While riding for Katusha, Hoste crashed badly in the 2011 Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde and suffered a serious concussion. In August, he was finally diagnosed with a tear in the membrane surrounding his brain. The former Belgian time trial champion had a contract with the Katusha squad that ran through 2012 but was not welcomed by new manager Hans-Michael Holczer after having a devastating 2011 season. He then had to take a step down to Professional Continental level in 2012 but further injury problems prevented him from recapturing his previous form. The 35-year-old Belgian retired after his after Accent.jobs-Willems Verandas team, which was known as Verandas Willems-Accent in 2011, failed to renew his contract and he was not able to secure a place with another team.

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Thursday 24, Jan 2013

Ex-UCI Head Says Riders Were Warned

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Ex-UCI Head Says Riders Were Warned

The world governing body of cycling warned Lance Armstrong and other riders when they came close to testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, according to the former President of UCI, Hein Verbruggen.

Verbruggen, in an interview with the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland published on Wednesday, said dozens of the top riders and team managers were invited to the headquarters of the UCI in Aigle “one by one”, where the chief doctor of the cycling body, Mario Zorzoli, gave them presentations on its anti-doping strategy and information about suspect values. The former UCI President this was part of a conscious strategy to try to reduce doping.

Verbruggen justified his defense of Armstrong during his tenure despite the fact that the world governing body of cycling warned him about his red blood cell values being suspect. He further added that he is not responsible if a cyclist is tested 215 times and he is always negative and the problem lies in the test itself.

The Australian anti-doping expert instrumental in developing the biological passport for the UCI between 2008 and 2012 before he resigned, Michael Ashenden, remarked he was not aware of any other international federation pursuing a similar strategy.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency have refused to cooperate with the independent commission set up by the UCI to look into claims that the governing body covered up a positive drug test in 2001 in return for a donation of $125,000 from Lance Armstrong.  Meanwhile, Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling, has remarked that he is fully supportive of UCI president Pat McQuaid who since his election in 2005 has done an impressive job in frequently difficult circumstances and added that it is absolutely vital for the future of our sport that we all remain united.

Verbruggen, who is still an honorary president of the UCI, and his successor, Pat McQuaid, have been under intense pressure ever since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal wherein the disgraced cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and admitted doping throughout each of them. A lifetime ban was imposed on the cycling icon by the UCI after the United States Anti-Doping Agency submitted its reasoned decision that was supported by the testimony of many of Armstrong’s former teammates (Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie).

The evidence brought forward by USADA included direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data, and laboratory test results that proved the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirmed the deceptive activities of the USPS Team.

After this, Lance Armstrong and two other members of the USPS Team, Dr. Michele Ferrari and Dr. Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy while three other members of the USPS Team (Johan Bruyneel, the team director; Dr. Pedro Celaya, a team doctor; and Jose “Pepe” Marti, the team trainer) decided to contest the charges and take their cases.

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Wednesday 23, Jan 2013

Hamilton Applauds Lance Armstrong’s Doping Admission

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Hamilton Applauds Lance Armstrong’s Doping Admission

Tyler Hamilton, the former U.S. Postal Service teammate of Lance Armstrong for his first three Tour de France wins, experienced happiness on Armstrong coming out clean during his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The interview felt “surreal,” says Hamilton, who admitted to using performance enhancing drugs two years ago. Hamilton said of his former teammate that Armstrong was a broken man and he could not believe his eyes and added that it is not fun to see a destroyed Lance Armstrong. However, he was not sure why his former teammate has decided to come forward now after years of denials. Hamilton, who wrote the book “The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs,” said it is good that Armstrong took the first step, a positive step by admitting to making use of performance enhancing drugs for all seven Tour de France and that is indeed a huge burden taking off his back.

Hamilton believes his former teammate still has much more work to do though Armstrong has admitted to doping. He said the next step for Armstrong would be to tell the entire truth to USADA like who introduced him that first time to doping products and added that this would be good for the seven-time winner of Tour de France who was banned for life and stripped of all his titles, including the Olympic bronze medal. Tyler Hamilton also added that this would be good for the sport of cycling and said he believes his ex-teammate might not fully be aware of the extent and magnitude of the lies he spun over the years. He went on to add that Armstrong is a fighter and it was nice for him to say, “I’m flawed,” and he is really excited with his progress.

During his interview with Oprah Winfrey, the disgraced cycling champion admitted to using using banned substances such as cortisone, EPO, blood transfusions, human growth hormone, and testosterone and said he indulged into doping for all his Tour de France wins.

Armstrong, the American former professional road racing cyclist, began competing as a triathlete at the age of 16 and became a national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990. He then started his career as a professional cyclist in 1992 with the Motorola team and won the 1993 World Championship, Clásica de San Sebastián in 1995, an overall victory in the penultimate Tour DuPont, and a stage win to Limoges in the Tour de France. Diagnosed in October 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs, Lance Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer support in 1997 after being declared cancer-free the same year. While facing a US federal investigation into doping allegations, the cyclist announced his retirement from competitive cycling on February 16, 2011. On October 22, 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport’s governing body, announced its decision to accept the findings of the United States Anti-Doping Agency that stated that Armstrong enforced “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

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Tuesday 22, Jan 2013

Spain Accused Of A Doping Cover-Up

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Spain Accused Of A Doping Cover-Up

The Spanish government has been accused of suppressing evidence that linked tennis and football stars to a notorious doctor. The doctor will go on trial in Madrid in the next few days and has been described as a “one-man Wal-Mart” of doping.

Spanish detectives have been collecting evidence from all across Europe against Dr Eufemiano Fuentes since first raiding his offices in 2006. The investigation, known as “Operation Puerto”, has disclosed one of the most extensive drug rings in the history of sports. The appearance of Fuentes will mark the start of a trial expected to last two months; the doctor has been charged with public health offenses and the rampant culture of drug use in cycling may get exposed again, just a few days after the dramatic confession of the disgraced cycling champion, Lance Armstrong, to Oprah Winfrey on US television.

The Spanish authorities have ruled that the case will only cover his involvement in cycling despite the fact that the tainted doctor has freely admitted to working with professional cyclists, tennis, and football players. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been left infuriated by the failure to explore the work of Fuentes outside cycling in court. Dave Howman, WADA’s director general, said the agency has been banging its heads against a brick wall to get access to evidence that was collected and it is not only frustrating and disappointing but it also means that many athletes who might be dirty have been allowed to compete. Howman further added that the anti-doping agency is told that the doctor’s patients were across a number of sports and it was disappointing that cycling was the only sport isolated.

Spain was something of a wild west frontier for doping before the Operation Puerto case as it was not illegal in Spain at the time.

The International Cycling Union (UCI)  president Pat McQuaid said it is disappointing to learn that only cycling was investigated despite the fact that Fuentes said it himself, 30 per cent of his clients were cyclists.

During a raid on the office of Fuentes, police found fridges filled with bags of blood and labelled with code names such as Bella, Son of Ryan, and Zapatero as well as extensive written records. Star names such as Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, and Jan Ullrich were implicated along with many other cyclists in the doping ring; all 54 cyclists were eventually suspended, but many others were cleared.

Fuentes is suspected by German police to have worked with footballers at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Jorge Jaksche, whose career was ended by Operation Puerto, said the doctor boasted about his work with other sportsmen. The German rider further added that blood bags were pulled out from fridges, according to videos made by the police during the raid. These bags had specific code names written on them to identify the athletes but these names never appear in the report and there is a big cover-up by the Spanish government and remarked that there is no interest from on high in too much information coming out.

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