UCI Swept Lance Armstrong Positive Drug Test

A British newspaper has reported that the world governing body of cycling swept a positive drug test of the seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong under the rug during the 2001 Tour of Switzerland.

The Sunday Times of London said the upcoming report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency explaining why it stripped Armstrong of seven Tour de France titles and imposed a lifetime ban on the famed cyclist is expected to be sent this week to UCI, cycling’s governing body. The newspaper cited sources familiar with the upcoming report by the USADA. According to officials of the anti-doping agency, the report will be released no later than October 15.

This report would also include affidavits from two riders who said Armstrong told them he had a positive test that was swept under the rug at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. It would also have affidavit from another who has said Lance Armstrong told him that he can use his influence with the UCI to circumvent the anti-doping laws of cycling.

The explosive report by the USADA is believed be on the same lines as the steroid report submitted by Sen. George Mitchell prepared on behalf of Major League Baseball as it would be presenting evidence of widespread doping in cycling. However, this report is expected to go into greater detail (unlike the Mitchell report) about how team trainers, doctors, and other officials are playing a role in the performance enhancing drug scandal of cycling.

This report would provide details on the doping conspiracy that underpinned the success of US Postal Service, the world’s top cycling team, and its leader Armstrong, from 1999 to 2004. The report is expected to have testimony by former teammates of Lance Armstrong: Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, and Frankie Andreu, all of whom have accused the cyclist of doping.

The U.S. Department of Justice official Mike Pugliese sat in on interviews of the USADA with witnesses and compared it to interview answers during a Justice Department investigation of Armstrong that was abruptly dropped in February, according to the writer of the story, David Walsh.

Former Sunday Times journalist Paul Kimmage is being sued by the UCI after he suggested that Lance Armstrong was protected, an action that has outraged fans of cycling.

The report also suggested that the governing body of cycling ignored several opportunities to investigate U.S. Postal, including one in the year 2003 when a team assistant named Emma O’Reilly said she was aware of many doping incidents of Armstrong and the team and allegations of cortisone by the cyclist that caused him to test positive during the first week of the Tour de France. The newspaper also reported that the US Anti-doping Agency cites an affidavit from a rider who says it was known in the team that Lance Armstrong used long-acting synthetic corticosteroid. According to this rider, Armstrong asked O’Reilly for make-up so the scar could be concealed that was caused by injections of EPO just before the 1999 Tour.

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