- Article published:
- September 16, 2005, 1:00 BST
- John Stevenson
Tim Maloney, by European Editor In a Thursday afternoon conference call with Lance Armstrong, Bill...
Tim Maloney, by European Editor
In a Thursday afternoon conference call with Lance Armstrong, Bill Stapleton and Armstrong's attorney Mark S. Levinstein of Williams & Connolly, Armstrong's agent Stapleton came out firing with both barrels against WADA head Dick Pound's recent comments, saying right up front, "What Mr. Pound did today, giving false and misleading statements that try to misdirect and divert the attention away from himself [and WADA] by alleging that the UCI is the source of the leak [of Lance Armstrong's medical control information for 1999] is wrong. The fact is what [L'Equipe journalist] Damien Ressiot got are the testing forms that Lance filled out when he took his tests in 1999. Those forms have a name and a number, but the issue is that there were codes attached to anonymous samples that were leaked to the press. That is where the system broke down here, and is the fundamental question here in terms of the [medical control] system and whether we can have confidence in it. Somebody directed that lab to leak the sample information with the codes and that is the question we should answer first before we start crucifying athletes without any due process. Pound has a long-standing pattern of attacking athletes prior to them having due process and has made statements that are in contradiction of his own [WADA] code. So there is a big problem with the medical control system."
Stapleton acknowledged that Lance Armstrong had approved Damien Ressiot of L'Equipe to review his archived medical control forms at UCI Headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, but Stapleton underlined that, "The form that the UCI gave Ressiot is not the issue here; we knew he had been given that form... so Pound says if the UCI won't admit that they are the source of the leak, [WADA] will release [UCI President Verbruggen's letter to WADA] and we invite Pound to...