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Sunday 15, Mar 2015

  Lance Rode Tour Down Under In A Deal With McQuaid

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Lance Rode Tour Down Under In A Deal With McQuaid

According to a 227-page dossier published recently by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, the comeback of Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Tour Down Under is an example of cycling failing to apply its own rules.

The CIRC report disclosed the former American professional road racing cyclist, who previously held seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 before being stripped of all titles, was to be paid US 1 million dollars for racing at the 2009 Tour Down Under, with the money to go to his Livestrong charity.  The wide-ranging report said another example of UCI failing to apply its own rules was the decision to allow Lance Armstrong to compete in the Tour Down Under in 2009, despite the fact that he had not been in the UCI (anti-doping) testing pool for the prescribed period of time.

The three appearances of Armstrong at the Tour from 2009-11 represent the single biggest boost to the race since it started in 1999. However, there has always been a dark cloud of controversy whether the ex-cyclist should have been cleared to compete. Armstrong was not supposed to be eligible for a return under anti-doping rules for a return to competition until February 1 – several days after the Tour.

The report said Pat McQuaid advised his senior team on the morning of 6 October that he had decided that Lance Armstrong could ride the Tour Down Under. This was after the then president of cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, told the camp of Lance Armstrong that the cyclist cannot compete at the January Tour. The report added several interviewees spoke about an abrupt ‘change of mind’ by the UCI president that took many people at UCI by surprise and underlined the fact that the decision was unilaterally taken by the UCI president and added that no explanation as then given internally as to why Lance Armstrong was suddenly given an exemption.

The CIRC report revealed that Armstrong confirmed to McQuaid he would ride in the 2009 Tour of Ireland also on October 6. McQuaid’s brother Darach was the project manager at the time for the Tour of Ireland. It was disclosed by the report that there was a “temporal link” between Lance Armstrong being cleared to race at the Tour Down Under and his decision to race at the Tour of Ireland. The report also said Pat McQuaid was under significant political pressure mainly from Australia to permit Armstrong commence his much-publicized racing comeback at the Adelaide race.

Former UCI presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid welcomed the findings of the CIRC report and insisted that the Cycling Independent Reform Commission has cleared them of any wrongdoing connected to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Verbruggen, president between 1991 and 2005, said the wild conspiracy theories and accusations have all been properly debunked once and for all and added he is pleased that this report confirms his complete innocence concerning these accusations which have been leveled at him in the past.

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Wednesday 09, Oct 2013

  TDU Race Director Launches Defamation Lawsuit

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TDU Race Director Launches Defamation Lawsuit

Mike Turtur, the man behind Tour Down Under, has launched Supreme Court action against Australia’s multicultural broadcaster SBS over allegations that he covered up doping in professional cycling.

The Tour Down Under race director has sought unspecified damages, costs, and interest. Turtur remarked in his statement of claim that an online story titled TDU officials cover up doping positive was defamatory. He further alleged that this story suggested he practiced, participated in, or engaged in a cover-up of a positive drug test that was returned by Italian cyclist Giampaolo Caruso after his 2003 Tour Down Under stage victory. The 55-year-old Turtur also asserted that the story’s updated headline TDU officials criticized as going easy on doping positive further suggested the TDU race director did not take seriously the problem of illegal drugs in professional cycling.

Turtur also asserted that the comments of readers about the readers suggested that he was bringing shame on the image of Australia as a drug-free sporting nation and he deliberately concealed a positive drug test by a cyclist from the public. Turtur also expressed displeasure over a statement made during a television broadcast by Cycling Central co-presenter Anthony Tan.

The TDU chief remarked both the website and the program attracted a large audience of visitors and viewers, particularly having a special interest in the sport of cycling. He added the report and the published comments suggest he was corrupt and rotten to the core, practicing or participating in a code of silence about drug cheats in professional cycling, and deliberately concealing from the public a positive drug test by a cyclist.

In the past, Turtur has remarked he did not believe it was his duty to publicize Giampaolo Caruso’s positive test for Nandrolone. At that time, Turtur said he doesn’t believe it was up to the Tour Down Under to publicize the fact that Caruso returned a positive dope test after winning the Willunga Hill stage in 2003. The cyclist tested positive for a banned drug and fined $2000 and suspended for six months. His name later emerged in Operación Puerto but he was acquitted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Turtur while defending himself said race organizers don’t go around publicizing or advertising or making a point of any doping infringements because it’s not their job or their responsibility and the positive drug test story would have been published on the (International Cycling Union’s) UCI website that he was found to be in violation of the code and that’s how it’s dealt with.

Turtur added at that time he can’t see the point in making any other public comment in regard to anything that might happen in that area other than the process taking its natural course with the UCI and the anti-doping agencies. Turtur was criticized in the past for not backing away from his support of Lance Armstrong and he defended himself by saying he didn’t believed in anything what Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis said as they have no credibility whatsoever.

Meanwhile, SBS has denied the allegations and remarked the story, comments, and broadcasts are “not capable of being, and are not, defamatory.”

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: TDU Race Director Launches Defamation Lawsuit

Friday 17, Oct 2008

  Scientist disapproves of Lance Armstrong joining Tour Down Under due to PEDs-tarnished career

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lance-armstrong_dopingIt seems like Greg LeMond is not alone in his crusade to expose Lance Armstrong for what he really is – a doper.

According to the news report by the Herald Sun, the famed Australian sports scientist Dr Michael Ashenden, is not happy (that’s putting it mildly) with the news that seven-time Tour de France champ is jjoining the Tour Down Under. It was Ashenden who has made analysis of Armstrong’s urine samples taken from the 1999 Tour de France, which allegedly contained the blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

It is obvious that Ashenden is dismayed that all his hard work will be for naught.
“It surprises me that the Tour is willing to embrace such a controversial figure,” Ashenden said.

“It surprises me in the wider context that there hasn’t been more adverse reaction to his proposal to come back.”

More from the Herald Sun:

Armstrong’s camp pointed to procedural and privacy issues over the 1999 samples and no sanction was imposed, although Dr Ashenden’s findings remain the blackest marks on Armstrong’s career.

The International Cycling Union last week ruled Armstrong could take part in the Tour Down Under, despite the cyclist not complying with a six-month drug testing program in the lead-up to the January event.

“People are dazzled by the star factor and they are not pausing to really reflect on what this is all about and whether or not it would be good for the sport,” Dr Ashenden said.
He also questioned Armstrong’s motives in appointing prominent anti-doping scientist Don Catlin to his team.

“Everyone recognises that this is prone to abuse. If Don Catlin finds EPO he can’t do anything about it,” Dr Ashenden said.

The 2009 Tour Down Under will be a week-long sport spectacle to be held in January 18-25. The Tour Down Under started in 1999 and since then has been held annually in Adelaide, South Australia, and surrounding areas. This year’s overall winner is Germany’s Andre Greipel.