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Tuesday 17, Sep 2013

  Armstrong Gives Back Olympic Bronze Medal

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Armstrong Gives Back Olympic Bronze Medal

Former American professional cyclist @Lance Armstrong has tweeted that he had given back the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Mark Higgins, who has been a manager and spokesman for Armstrong for several years, handed over the medal to USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport and Lance Armstrong declined further comment.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has remarked that it will not reallocate the bronze medal of Armstrong. The IOC follows the same way in which the governing body of cycling decided not to declare any winners for the Tour titles once held by Lance Armstrong. This means Spanish rider Abraham Olano Manzano, who finished fourth in Sydney, will not be upgraded and the bronze medal originally awarded to Armstrong will be left vacant in Olympic records.

Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service teammate, Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia, won the gold and Jan Ullrich of Germany won silver. Ekimov was the teammate of Lance Armstrong during the time period in which USADA outlined widespread doping on the team. Ullrich had confirmed in an interview that he used blood-doping treatments during his career. The IOC previously stripped Tyler Hamilton, a former Armstrong teammate, of his time-trial gold medal from the 2004 Olympics after he acknowledged doping.

A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed the fact that Olympic bronze medal awarded to Armstrong had been returned. Patrick Sandusky said the United States Olympic Committee has received the bronze medal awarded to Lance Armstrong at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He further remarked the International Olympic Committee and the USOC had previously requested that the medal be returned and the USOC has made arrangements to return the medal to the IOC.

Armstrong was asked to give back the medal after he confessed to using banned performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. The cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling. His doping confession came months after the United States Anti-Doping Agency detailed widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by the cyclist and his U.S. Postal Service team.

Lance Edward Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005 and is the founder of the Livestrong Foundation, originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The cyclist started his career in 1992 as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. Armstrong was diagnosed in October 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. Lance Armstrong became a professional triathlete at the age of 16 and became national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990 at 18 and 19, respectively. During 1992-96, Armstrong collected the Thrift Drug Triple Crown of Cycling: the Thrift Drug Classic in Pittsburgh, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, and the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia. In 1996, Armstrong became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne and again won the Tour DuPont. The cyclist has recorded an aerobic capacity of 83.8 mL/kg/min (VO2 max), which is much higher than the average person (40–50), but less than other winners of Tour de France like Miguel Indurain and Greg LeMond (92.5).

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Wednesday 28, Aug 2013

  Former German Cyclist Admits To Doping

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Former German Cyclist Admits To Doping

@Andreas Klier has admitted using performance enhancing drugs during part of his career spanning 17 years. The retired German professional road racing cyclist, who competed as a professional between 1996 and 2013 is the current director of team Garmin-Sharp. His confession came not before the United States Anti-Doping Agency announcing a six-month suspension on Klier.

The USADA revealed the former cyclist provided what it described as “important information” into its ongoing investigation of cycling. Klier admitted to using substances such as erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone, and cortisone along with blood transfusions between 1999 and 2006. In a statement issued by Garmin-Sharp, Andreas Klier remarked he has been involved in professional cycling for 17 years, and for those 17 years cycling has been his life. He added some of his best memories and moments happened on his bike, and some of his worst too and along the road to the top of the sport, many years ago, he selected the wrong path, and he has been very sorry for it ever since. The former rider issued an apology to his family, sponsors, peers, fans, and riders who competed clean during that time.

During early stages of his career, Klier was a teammate of riders like Jan Ullrich and the American Kevin Livingston. The German cyclist  turned professional in 1996 with Team Nürnberger and then raced with TVM (1999-2000), Team Telekom (2001–2008), Cervélo Test Team (2009–2010), and Garmin-Cervélo in 2011 and 2012. After announcing his retirement on May 13, 2013, Klier moved into a managerial role with his final professional team, Garmin-Sharp.

Andreas Klier revealed that the latter part of his 17-year long career was clean. Klier remarked he stopped what he was doing and started competing clean well before he ever joined Slipstream, but said he is proud to be a part of an organization that makes racing clean its only priority. He went on to add in his heart and mind he knows that telling the truth about his past to the proper authorities is the right thing to do to continue to help the sport he loves moving forward. Klier accepted responsibility for the mistakes he made in my past and the punishment that comes along with them. The ex-German rider also remarked he has seen both worlds of the sport and he believes that today it is in the best place its ever been. The ex-rider added the young riders racing now have never faced the same choices he did, and he will do everything he can for the rest of his life to help continue to help build the sport that he loves.

USADA revealed the ban on Klier started on August 12, 2013 and the ex-rider has been stripped of results gained since July 21, 2005. Travis Tygart, the CEO of USADA, remarked we are thankful for the assistance in this case provided by our international partners at the German National Anti-Doping Agency and appreciate Klier’s willingness to provide full and truthful testimony about the culture of drug use in cycling. Tygart added our investigation into the sport of cycling is ongoing, and we will continue to fight for the rights of all athletes who want to have the full truth revealed so that the sport can finally move forward toward a truly clean future.

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Wednesday 31, Jul 2013

  French Senate Lays Bare Doping

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French Senate Lays Bare Doping

A French Senate inquiry into sports doping has revealed the top two in the 1998 Tour de France – Italian Marco Pantani and Germany’s Jan Ullrich – were taking the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

The medical stubs enclosed in the 918-page report also revealed that American Lance Armstrong tested positive for EPO in 1999. The 21-member parliamentary group, just three days after the end of the 100th Tour, said a “truth and reconciliation” commission should be created to lift the veil of silence on illegal practices. It was recommended by the group that the French government finance studies about the extent of doping, its risks, and the range of drugs used.

Parliamentarian Jean-Jacques Lozach, the group’s spokesman, said we cannot properly fight something that we don’t understand and added that speaking of doping doesn’t harm sport but instead contributes in the medium and long term to restore its greatness and not speaking about it often means not doing anything. Lozach said the anti-doping fight would be a lot more effective if the different actors in sports, law enforcement and justice cooperated.

The five-month investigation by the 21-member Senate group recommended that sporting calendars be approved by the sports minister to reduce the taxing schedules that it said created favorable conditions for doping. It also suggested that blood and urine samples should be used to test for more substances at the same time to cut down on the volume of samples and streamline the testing process.

The list of athletes who tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour included Ullrich and Pantani. In June this year, Ullrich admitted he underwent blood doping procedures and was banned in 2012 for two years for a doping offense. Last month, sports daily L’Equipe reported that a 1998 urine sample from Frenchman Laurent Jalabert showed traces of the banned blood-booster EPO when it was re-tested in 2004, a result confirmed in the Senate report. In May, Jalabert told the French commission that he is convinced today that one can do the Tour de France without doping and obtain results. He added that he will admit that cycling is a discipline that deserves blame, but I’d really like to see the day when we recognize that it was a sport that was a vanguard in anti-doping, and which assumed its responsibilities. Jalabert added that it is unfair to represent it today as the only sport that involves cheaters.

Meanwhile, Jacky Durand, a now-retired winner of three stages on the Tour who was also named in the report, said he accepted responsibility for his doping but added that the new generation shouldn’t have to pay for the stupid things we did in the past.

In another development, Australian Tour de France stage winner Stuart O’Grady who recently admitted using the banned blood-booster EPO before the notorious 1998 Tour de France may lose his three national citations, which include an Order of Australia Medal awarded in 2005. The cyclist could also be stripped of his Olympic medals after admitting to using performance enhancing drugs.

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Thursday 25, Jul 2013

  1998 Tour de France Top Three ‘Were Doping’

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1998 Tour de France Top Three ‘Were Doping’

Ahead of a French parliamentary commission’s report, French daily Le Monde has revealed that the top three riders in the 1998 edition of the Tour de France were all taking the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

According to reports published by the French daily, Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich, and American Bobby Julich who were the top three during the 1998 Tour de France were all taking EPO. These revelations come just ahead of a French parliamentary commission that is all set to release a report shortly. On May 15, the commission made waves after it announced that senators from the upper chamber of parliament would reveal the identities of those riders using erythropoietin during the race.

A few days back, a delegation of professional riders, including Jens Voigt, Jérémy Roy, Samuel Dumoulin, Jerome Pineau, and Luis Angel Mate, met with French sports minister Valerie Fourneyron to delay the release of the report before the start of the Tour de France. After the delay request was accepted, Dumoulin remarked we never said we did not want the fight against doping, but simply were asked for equality between sports. He added that given the media coverage of the Tour, we know that a spark would trigger a huge fire as viewers would be reminded of the old doping cases. Dumoulin added that now we can concentrate on the sport, and once we have turned the page of the Tour, we will focus on the findings of the investigation.

The French parliamentary commission questioned 84 witnesses under oath, from sportsmen and women to organizers and anti-doping experts, to lift the lid over the subject. The senators are aiming to frame legislation on sport and put it before parliament for debate next year.

French former rider Laurent Jalabert was alleged last month to have been one of those implicated through comparison of retrospective testing results from 2004 and a list of anonymous samples from 1998. The cyclist immediately stepped down as a television and radio pundit for this year’s Tour de France that was won by British rider Chris Froome. Marco Pantani’s family said they were against identifying riders; the rider died in 2004. Pantani, the Italian road racing cyclist, was widely considered one of the best climbers of his era in professional road bicycle racing. He was found dead in a hotel in Rimini. Nicknamed “The Pirate”, Pantani won the 1998 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia but was thrown out of the 1999 Giro d’Italia for failing a blood test. He was the last man to win the Tour before American Lance Armstrong embarked on a record-equaling five straight victories.

The professional cyclists’ union the CPA also opposed to publication. In a statement, the union remarked publication of a list amounts to an accusation of doping without any means of defense and argued that no counter-analysis was possible as the original samples no longer existed. But this opposition may not deter the senators who are still likely to publish the identities of the riders and could equally include lists of samples taken on the 1999 Tour, which was won by US rider Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour wins and banned from cycling for life last year for doping in a scandal that engulfed cycling into crisis.

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Sunday 30, Jun 2013

  Tour de France Winner Admits To Doping

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Tour de France Winner Admits To Doping

Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, during an interview with German weekly Focus has admitted for the first time that he received blood doping treatment from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

In the past, Ullrich had previously acknowledged having unspecified “contact” with Fuentes and said he couldn’t remember how many times he had received treatment from Fuentes. The cyclist from Germany said that while he had made bad decisions during his career, he did not harm or defraud anyone and added that almost everyone took performance-enhancing substances then. Ullrich added that for him fraud starts when he gains an advantage and that wasn’t the case and he wanted to ensure equality of opportunities. The rider added that he only wants to look forward, and never again backward.

The 39-year-old Ullrich, in the interview, said he had access to treatment from Fuentes but insisted using no other substance than his own blood. The doctor was jailed for a year by a Spanish court in April 2013 for performing blood transfusions on top cyclists. The 1997 Tour de France winner said nearly everyone at that time was using doping substances and he used nothing that the others were not using. Ulrich now wants to put his doping past behind him, but Germany’s Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has already said it will investigate. The anti-doping agency said it is important that Ulrich not only admits his crime, but also mentions the names of other participants in the background for the sport to be clean.

Thomas Bach, president of the German Olympic Federation, remarked Jan Ullrich had his opportunity a few years ago or a truly credible confession and he missed his chance and now, as far as I am concerned, he’s trying to work with some rhetorical maneuvers, which helps neither him nor the sport of cycling. Rudolf Scharping, president of the German Cycling Federation, said the confession by Ulrich should have come five years ago and added that it is far too late to try and clean things up and he could have helped the sport of cycling if he had laid everything out on the table much earlier.

The German cyclist’s confession comes six months after US cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted doping throughout his career and was banned for life, as well as being stripped of his seven Tour titles. The results of Jan Ullrich have also been erased from the history books after finishing second to Lance Armstrong three times in the Tour. In February 2012, Jan Ullrich was found guilty of a doping offense by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It was ruled that Ullrich was “fully engaged” in the doping program of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, exposed in the Operation Puerto probe. Ullrich was stripped by the court of his third-place finish at the 2005 Tour and after a while, Ullrich retired in 2007. The cyclist was retroactively banned in August 2012 and all of his results since May 2005 were erased.

The cyclist received support from an unexpected quarter with Lance Armstrong tweeting, “Jan Ullrich? Warm hearted. Amazing athlete. Great competitor. Loved toeing the line with you my friend.”

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Thursday 21, Mar 2013

  Spanish Doping Doctor May Shame Football And Other Sports

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Spanish Doping Doctor May Shame Football And Other Sports

The doctor at the center of the massive Operation Puerto blood doping trial has told the court that he would name the clients whose blood has been seized.

Eufemiano Fuentes, who is on trial for allegedly running a doping network in cycling and ran one of sport’s largest blood-doping rings, threatened to name all his former clients. The Spanish doctor made the offer through reporters during Spain’s Operation Puerto trial. Fuentes remarked that if the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Spanish drugs authorities consider that he can be useful and sought his help, he would be willing. He added that this would not be done for a reduced sentence but rather so there is mutual collaboration and also remarked they can have his client list if they want. Till now, only 54 cyclists, including Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, and Alejandro Valverde, have been personally implicated in the scandal.

Fuentes has admitted to having worked with people in football, tennis, boxing, and athletics and said cycling only comprised 30 percent of his work. This change of heart came as the world governing body of cycling urged the judge to show no leniency. The doctor faces up to two-and-a-half years in jail on public health charges and the five defendants on trial, including the Spanish doctor’s sister, Yolanda, will have one final opportunity to address the court on April 2 before sentencing commences. The defendants have been appearing in court since late January, almost seven years after police seized anabolic steroids, transfusion equipment and blood bags as part of an investigation code-named “Operation Puerto”.

The trial proceedings have attracted international scrutiny and attention as anti-doping authorities are hopeful that it will finally lead to evidence of wrongdoing by athletes in sports other than cycling. Previously, a request by WADA for access to the blood bags was repeatedly denied by the Spanish authorities and the World Anti-Doping Agency awaits the ruling of the judge on their latest petition. Since the current anti-doping legislation of Spain was not in force in 2006 when the police raids took place, the defendants are tried for violating public health regulations with the prosecutor asking for jail sentences of two years.

In the past, German cyclist Joerg Jaksche told the Operation Puerto trial that the treatment he received from the Spanish doctor was designed to beat doping controls and had nothing to do with genuine health issues. Italian rider Ivan Basso, a double Giro d’Italia champion, told the court that he had blood extracted on three occasions at the clinic of another doctor implicated in the case but never had any reinjected. Spanish cyclist Angel Vicioso told the judge he had only met with Eufemiano Fuentes for sporadic medical consultations. Former cyclist Marcos Serrano contradicted testimony from former team director Manolo Saiz, one of the five defendants along with Fuentes, by saying he never personally sought out medical treatment from the disgraced Spanish doctor. Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador who was originally scheduled to appear as a witness was told he would not be required to appear in court after Manolo Saiz’s attorney renounced the witness statement he had requested from the cyclist.

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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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Friday 18, Jan 2013

  Armstrong Stripped Of Olympic Medal By IOC

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Armstrong Stripped Of Olympic Medal By IOC

Lance Armstrong has been stripped of a bronze medal he won at the 2000 Sydney Games. The disgraced cyclist was asked by the International Olympic Committee to return the medal.

In December, the IOC executive board discussed revoking the medal but delayed making a decision until the world governing body of cycling notified Lance Armstrong he had been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and all results since 1998 and the cyclist had 21 days to appeal. After expiry of the deadline, the International Olympic Committee decided to take the medal away.

The disgraced cyclist, winner of seven consecutive Tour de France titles, took the bronze in Sydney in the road time trial behind winner and U.S. Postal Service teammate Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and Jan Ullrich of Germany. In November, a disciplinary case was opened by the IOC after USADA report detailed widespread doping by Armstrong and his teammates.

The IOC said Lance Armstrong has been disqualified from the men’s individual time trial, where he medaled, and the men’s individual road race, where he finished 13th in the 2000 games in Sydney. The world body also remarked that it is up to the U.S. committee to handle retrieving the medal from Armstrong. USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said it was notified that the IOC wants the medal back.

It was further announced by the IOC that the Olympic medal will not be reallocated. This means that widespread doping by Armstrong and his teammates medal will be left vacant in Olympic records. Levi Leipheimer, a former Armstrong teammate who won the time-trial bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, is also being investigated by the IOC after he confessed to doping as part of his testimony against Armstrong in the USADA case.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the cyclist called himself “deeply flawed” and admitted that he used an array of performance enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles. The cyclist admitted to making the use of testosterone and human growth hormone, as well as EPO besides confessing that he took blood transfusions to excel in the highly competitive, scandal-ridden world of professional cycling. The 2002 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year also said doping was as much a part of the sport as pumping up tires or having water in a bottle.

“I made my decisions,” Armstrong said. “They are my mistakes.” The cyclist went on to admit that he was a bully in the sense that he tried to control the narrative by spewing venom at former teammates he thought were not loyal and sued people and publications that accused him of cheating. Armstrong described himself as a “humanitarian” and a “jerk” who’d been “arrogant” for years who used to control everything in his life. The former athletic icon said he had let down many fans and they have every right to feel betrayed, and it is his life and he will spend the rest of his life trying to win back trust and apologize to people.

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Friday 02, Nov 2012

  Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

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Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee opened an investigation into the role of Lance Armstrong in a doping scandal that has tarnished the image of professional cycling besides wiping out his seven Tour de France titles. The investigation would also mean that the cyclist may lose his Olympic bronze medal he won in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The cyclist finished behind winner and U.S. Postal Service teammate Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and Jan Ullrich of Germany and now his medal will go to Abraham Olano Manzano of Spain, who stands to move up to bronze if Armstrong is stripped of the medal. Vyacheslav Ekimov was upgraded to the gold after the IOC stripped a former Armstrong teammate, Tyler Hamilton, of his gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics after he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

A former Armstrong teammate who won the time-trial bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, Levi Leipheimer, may also have his medal revoked after he confessed to doping. He is presently serving a reduced, six-month suspension after cooperating with the USADA inquiry. Alberto Contador, the Spaniard who was stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title after testing positive for clenbuterol, finished fourth behind Leipheimer in 2008.

The Olympic involvement of other riders and officials implicated in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report will also be examined by the IOC. The USADA report detailed “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” After the release of this report, it was sent to the governing body of cycling (UCI) and World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). The UCI endorsed the sanctions imposed on the cyclist by USADA and said Armstrong had no place in cycling. The United States Anti-doping Agency banned the seven-time winner of Tour de France for life and stripped him of all his titles after August 1, 1998.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that it will start the process regarding the involving of Armstrong, other riders, and their entourages. The medals could come up for review at the executive board meeting of the IOC next month in Lausanne, Switzerland. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is also evaluating the plans of UCI for an independent investigation for examining the allegations about the own conduct of the federation and its relations with the cyclist as raised by the report by USADA.

The IOC said it has taken note of the decision made by the governing body of cycling and welcomes every measure taken to shed light on the full extent of the episode and to help the sport of cycling reform to move forward. It also added that that finding of the independent commission that will be looking into the role of the UCI and the recommendations for a healthy future for the game are awaited. However, the IOC may find itself in a dilemma whether to apply the eight-year statute for revising Olympic results or not. IOC vice president Thomas Bach said the report by the USADA took an intriguing approach that leaves the eight-year period open to discussion.

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Saturday 08, Sep 2012

  Ivan Basso To Receive Tour De France 2005 Title

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Ivan Basso To Receive Tour De France 2005 Title

Ivan Basso, who recently returned to cycling after a two-year doping ban, could soon be receiving the Tour de France 2005 title after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USDA) stripped seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong of “all competitive results from Aug. 1, 1998 through the present.”

This would also mean that Alex Zulle (convicted of using the blood-boosting EPO drug) would be receiving the 1999 jersey, Jan Ullrich would receive the 2000, 2001 and 2003 jerseys, and Joseba Beloki would get the 2002 jersey. Interestingly, both Ullrich and Beloki were involved in a massive drug investigation in Spain.

This means that the USADA is keen to punish a player who “may be” doping (Lance Armstrong) even though the agency has no drug testing proof against him and the anti-doping agency would take all his titles and distribute them to cyclists who were also accused of doping or unfair sport practices. This is surely a personal vendetta by the USADA against Lance in which it can punish one who “may have” doped, and reward one who doped.

Ivan Basso would surely be thanking his stars for claiming the 2005 title. Born on 26 November 1977 in Gallarate, Province of Varese, the Italian professional road bicycle racer is presently racing with UCI ProTeam Liquigas-Cannondale. Considered to be among the best mountain riders in the professional field in the 21st century and one of the strongest stage race riders, Basso is a double winner of the Giro d’Italia, having won the 2006 edition and the 2010 edition of the Italian Grand Tour whilst riding for Team CSC in 2006 and for Liquigas in 2010.

In the 2002 edition of the Tour de France, he won the white jersey (the award presented to the best-placed rider in the general classification under the age of 25) and finished 11th overall. In the 2004 Tour de France, Ivan Basso looked impressive and won stage 12 ahead of eventual winner Lance Armstrong, his first victory since 2001.

The cyclist was suspended by his Discovery Channel team in 2007 because of a reopened Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) investigation into involvement of the Italian cyclist with the Operation Puerto blood doping ring. According to allegations, the Italian cyclist was allegedly given blood doping by the Dr. Fuentes in a Spanish clinic. Basso was acquitted on 27 October 2006 for any involvement in the Operation Puerto events by the committee because of insufficient evidence.

Basso announced on 9 November 2006 that he was joining Lance Armstrong’s former team, Discovery Channel. The team however suspended him in April 2007 and announced that Basso would be released from his contract. The Italian cyclist was suspended for two years after he admitted to contacting Dr. Fuentes’ clinic with the intention to engage in blood doping. The suspension ended on October 24, 2008 and Basso made a return to racing two days later in the Japan Cup, where he placed a close third behind Damiano Cunego and Giovanni Visconti.

Ivan Basso would now receive the 2005 Tour de France title after the US Anti-doping Agency banned Lance Armstrong for life and stripped him of all his seven Tour titles.

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