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Saturday 22, Jun 2013

  Matt White Reappointed By GreenEdge

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The eight-month doping exile of Matt White has finally come to an end and he was immediately drafted again by Australian team Orica-GreenEdge as a team director.

It was announced by the team that Orica-GreenEdge would implement all the recommendations of the report by anti-doping expert Nicki Vance and this would mean Neil Stephens will stay at GreenEdge as another director. The team also disclosed that White, who is already with the team at the Tour of Switzerland and is likely to have an important role later this month with their lineup for the Tour de France, will return on probation of 12 months.

Team general manager Shayne Bannan said the appointment of White is consistent with the framework for treating past and future offenses recommended in the Vance Report and the team has gone further by making Matt White’s appointment subject to a 12-month probationary period. Bannan added that this is all part of a constant evaluation structure we are putting in place regarding our management and we are not only fully committed to using the report as a guideline for our team, but would also like to continually use it as the best possible basis for our decision-making when approaching key elements of the sport.

Matt White Reappointed By GreenEdge

The Australian former professional road racing cyclist Matthew (“Matt”) White’s most notable results are winning a stage of the 1999 Tour de Suisse and another stage victory at the 2005 Tour Down Under. In 2012, he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs while on the US Postal squad and stood down from his role with Orica- GreenEdge on 13 October 2012. Matt White was sacked on 17 October 2012 as a national coach by Cycling Australia due to his use of performance enhancing drugs.

The former teammate of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and directeur sportif at Orica-GreenEdge, the Australian was named in the report before he confessed to doping while riding for US Postal team between 2001 and 2003. At that time, a statement was issued on the team’s official website by Gerry Ryan, the Orica-GreenEdge owner, which stated that Orica-GreenEdge is a clean team and our commitment to being clean has been a foundation principle of the team since the day of its inception and to maintain public confidence in our strict adherence to this principle Orica-GreenEdge has appointed an eminent and independent external expert to audit the rigor and effectiveness of the team’s anti-doping policies and procedures.

The statement also revealed that Orica-GreenEdge will not step back from taking any necessary decision to protect the integrity of the sport and the team and to restore the confidence of cycling fans around the world and Orica-GreenEdge believes a hard-line approach is an essential prerequisite to continue in the sport with credibility. The statement from the Australian team also stated the team has appointed Nicki Vance to lead this review and Vance established the testing and international programs for the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA), headed up the anti-doping program for the Sydney organizing committee for the Olympic Games and was a start up director for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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Sunday 16, Jun 2013

  UCI-Lance ‘Collusion’ To Be Studied By Panel

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UCI-Lance ‘Collusion’ To Be Studied By Panel

UCI President Pat McQuaid has announced that an independent panel will be examining allegations that the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, was complicit in Lance Armstrong‘s doping.

Senior officials from UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency will meet in Russia to discuss potential appointments to an expert panel of three members, according to McQuaid, who added that long-standing claims about the UCI and relationship with Lance Armstrong will be absolutely addressed by the commission. The collusion allegations include suspicious test results at the 1999 Tour de France and 2001 Tour of Switzerland, plus cash donations to UCI totaling $125,000 from the disgraced seven-time Tour de France winner.

In an interview, McQuaid said he would be very sure that the audit will show that there’s nothing untoward ever been done with Armstrong. Meanwhile, six critically important points were reported in a report by consultants Deloitte that was commissioned by the UCI to consult cycling stakeholders and fans after the Armstrong scandal. After processing 6,369 survey responses and conducting a series of working groups, Deloitte said the world governing body of cycling should act quickly and clearly in deciding how to investigate historic doping cases that could involve offering amnesty to riders and officials. Deloitte said in a report summary published by the UCI that any ultimate decision should be made only after consultation with WADA and USADA; the 12-page document didn’t mention the name of Lance Armstrong.

The UCI appears to be rebuilding relations with the United States Anti-Doping Authority and McQuaid, who met USADA chief executive Travis Tygart recently in Brussels, said the UCI and WADA-accredited labs were searching their archives for information about laboratory results of urine and blood samples given by Armstrong during his career.

The UCI and USADA have met on a regular basis since committing in January to an independent audit of the UCI’s anti-doping program and decision-making during the period of Lance’s career, McQuaid said. A previously-appointed commission that was investigating if the leaders of UCI protected Armstrong from scrutiny during his 1999-2005 run of Tour de France wins was closed by the UCI president in January this year and the latest, independent panel that is expected to take shape in St. Petersburg, on the sidelines of an Olympic gathering attended by UCI director general Christophe Hubschmid and WADA counterpart David Howman, is likely to include two officials experienced in anti-doping science and sports law.

McQuaid said the UCI will maintain that any decisions we took at the time were taken within the rules at the time, with all the knowledge we had at the time and experts in this field who therefore know what they are looking for, and what they are looking at and understand all the files they will be reading. After a scheduled June 12-13 meeting of the UCI’s management board in Bergen, Norway, their audit report is expected within several months and McQuaid said we will discuss what further measures we need to take in relation to looking at the past and dealing with the past.

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Tuesday 16, Apr 2013

  Lance Armstrong’s 2001 Swiss Tests Not Positive

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Lance Armstrong’s 2001 Swiss Tests Not Positive

For many years everyone has believed that Lance Armstrong failed at least one doping test at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland, in particular for the blood-boosting drug erythropoietin, or EPO. Despite the cyclist admitting to doping to win seven straight Tour de France championships from 1999 to 2005, the matter of the 2001 Tour of Switzerland has remained contentious.

However, anti-doping officials have asserted that the tests of Armstrong were not positive but “suspicious” for erythropoietin. Moreover, UCI leaders have said there was nothing to cover-up for the 2001 Tour of Switzerland as the 41-year-old cyclist never tested positive. To confirm the claims, the lab reports during the Tour of Switzerland have now confirmed that Lance Armstrong never tested positive. However, two of his samples were, indeed, categorized as “highly suspicious” but after extensive testing, neither met the standard to be formally declared positive.

The lab results are included with a five-page letter sent from UCI president Pat McQuaid to World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman. USADA, copied on the letter, concerned with what it termed as “numerous inaccuracies and misstatements,” issued a response of seven pages on Friday, signed by general counsel William Bock III. McQuaid, in the UCI letter, asserts the lengthy explanation and the documents themselves “finally puts pay to the completely untrue allegations” of a positive 2001 test and “any subsequent cover-up by the UCI.”

McQuaid remarked that he reiterates therefore that not one of Armstrong’s samples could in any way have been considered to be positive results. The USADA made a response that it is now apparent that the UCI has long had in its possession multiple samples from Lance Armstrong that contained synthetic EPO and which raised strong concerns regarding the legitimacy of all of his competitive results since at least 1999. It added that it is shocking and disheartening that the UCI would accept cash payments from Armstrong after the UCI had test results in its possession demonstrating that Armstrong’s samples contained synthetic EPO.

The UCI President says the world governing body of cycling would be “very grateful” if WADA or USADA would make a public statement “confirming the information in this letter,” keeping in mind the “great damage” done to UCI’s reputation “by these false and scurrilous allegations.”

The United States Anti-Doping Agency, while replying to the letter, said documents the UCI turned over were “quite incomplete” but also says USADA is thankful that the UCI has now belatedly come around to USADA’s position that it is appropriate for the UCI to share with USADA and others in the sports world Armstrong’s test results.

Lance Armstrong was tested five times during the 2001 Tour of Switzerland – on June 19, 20, 26, 27, and 28 and three of those five included EPO tests – June 19, 26, and 27; all the tests were conducted at the accredited lab at Lausanne, Switzerland. The world’s governing body of cycling says every analysis result for Lance Armstrong is reported by the lab as being negative. The UCI letter also says the June 19 sample was originally tested on July 6; the June 26 sample on July 12. They were sent to and received by the cycling federation after the July 7 start of the 2001 Tour de France.

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Sunday 13, Jan 2013

  Armstrong’s $250k ‘gift’ Was Refused By USADA

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Armstrong’s $250k ‘gift’ Was Refused By USADA

Travis Tygart, in an interview aired in the US on Wednesday on CBS television’s 60 Minutes Sports, said a representative of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong in 2004 tried to offer a $US250,000 ($A239,000) donation to USADA. Tygart, who headed USADA’s investigation into Armstrong, said he had no qualms in refusing the donation and remarked that the purpose of the donation was a clear conflict of interest for USADA.

The USADA chief also remarked that he also received death threats, including one chilling warning he would get a bullet in his head. Tygart went on to add that Lance Armstrong doping scandal included the use of untraceable mobile and makeup to hide needle marks. He went on to say that the cyclist had been tipped off in 2002 by Swiss drug testing laboratory director Martial Saugy about how to beat the erythropoietin (EPO) test after one of the samples of the cyclist from the 2001 Tour of Switzerland was described as “suspicious.”

Tygart said the lab director sat next to him and said the Lance Armstrong samples indicated EPO use. When the USADA chief asked Saugy if he had given the keys to defeating the EPO test to Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel (Armstrong’s then manager), the laboratory director nodded his head yes. Saugy also said to Tygart that the world governing body of cycling had asked him to hold a meeting with the cyclist and Bruyneel for explaining the EPO testing process. Six of Armstrong’s samples taken during his first Tour de France win in 1999 eventually tested positive, Tygart added who also remarked that the samples were originally reported as negative but they were re-tested in 2005 and all the samples were flaming positive.

Armstrong’s most trusted lieutenants, George Hincapie, in his affidavit to USADA claimed that he texted a warning to Armstrong that he was about to be tested during a race in Spain in 2000 and Lance dropped out of the race to avoid testing. The cyclist was shunned by his fans and sponsors after the USADA issued its reasoned decision against the seven-time winner of Tour de France. The USADA report on the doping scheme included hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony, emails, financial records, and laboratory analysis of blood samples. Eleven teammates of Lance Armstrong (Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie) testified against the cyclist.

According to a report by the New York Times, the cyclist is considering making a public confession to mitigate his lifetime ban and make a return to competitive sports. It is also believed that the cyclist met his nemesis Tygart for more than an hour in early to mid-December to discuss the possibility of a public admission that he made use of drugs and blood transfusions during his career. Armstrong is expected to give his first post-ban interview on the Oprah Winfrey television network next week (Friday AEDT) and is expected to address years of accusations of cheating and charges of lying about the use of performance enhancing drugs. If he provides “new” information on others who are cheating to USADA and World Anti-Doping Agency, there is a possibility that Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban may get reduced to eight years. Any further reduction will require the agreement of WADA and cycling’s international federation.

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