- Article published:
- October 16, 2006, 00:00
- Hedwig Kröner
L'Equipe , in its Friday, October 13 edition, has published excerpts of an electronic conversation...
L'Equipe, in its Friday, October 13 edition, has published excerpts of an electronic conversation between Jonathan Vaughters, team director of development squad TIAA-Cref, and Frankie Andreu, former US Postal rider. The communication, which reportedly took place on July 26, 2005, was presented by Andreu's wife Betsy during the court case opposing Lance Armstrong and insurance company SCA in February 2006. In it, the two former teammates of the seven-times Tour de France winner, converse about doping within cycling, and, more precisely, within the US Postal team.
In the article, L'Equipe quotes Andreu, who has recently admitted that he used EPO to boost his performances in 1999, the first year Armstrong won the Tour, as writing that he was surprised when Vaughters said that during his time at CrÃ©dit Agricole, he did not receive any injections. Vaughters, who had been with the US Postal cycling team from 1998-1999, rode for the French squad from 2000-2002.
"When I was at CrÃ©dit Agricole, all the teams were supposed to receive 25 injections per day... Well, at CrÃ©dit, there were zero!" said Vaughters according to the article, to which Andreu is reported to have replied: "You're saying that no rider received any injection? That's crazy..." Vaughters: "That's when I realized that Lance was really fooling us when he said that everybody was doing as we did... Believe me, as crazy as it may seem, Moreau didn't take anything, his hematocrit was 39."
The current TIAA-Cref manager is said to have continued by saying that he "could explain how Lance fools everybody. With everything Floyd [Landis?] told me, I know the method exactly. [...] It's very complicated to get around the controls now but there is no new product or miracle thing, it's just a question of money and very precise planning. That explains why they all got dropped. They didn't have their tanks full, and then, during the rest day, boom! 800 millilitres of red blood cells, stored in bags. They took that blood out just after the DauphinÃ©." According to L'Equipe, Vaughters was alluding to stage seven of the Tour de France that year, when Lance Armstrong was left without teammates in the relatively easy climbs of the Alsace region, one day prior to the race's first rest day.
"But how do they store and hide it during all that time?" Andreu then asked. "I'm sure it's not in the bus fridges." To which Vaughters replied, "It's transported on a motorbike, in frozen cases. Floyd has photos of all of that."
Contacted by Cyclingnews about his statements, Vaughters admitted that the IM conversation had taken place, but said that everything he had said was based on rumours rather than facts. "It was a gossipy conversation between two people," he said. "There's nothing in it that I could prove in court, just stuff I'd heard." The conversation had been printed out by Frankie Andreu's wife and submitted to the SCA arbitration, according to Vaughters.
Vaughters said he could not be sure if Floyd Landis really had photographs of the alleged doping practices. "I regret saying Floyd said anything to me in that IM because it was a friend of Floyd's," he continued. "In fact, everything I wrote in that IM was something I heard from somewhere else."
- Article published:
- October 16, 2006, 00:00
- Cycling News
After the last ProTour race this season, the Giro di Lombardia won by Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step),...
After the last ProTour race this season, the Giro di Lombardia won by Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), race organiser RCS saw its podium remain empty. The usual presentation of the three fastest riders wasn't carried out, because the teams had decided to boycott the ceremony before the race had even started. Because 2006 ProTour winner wasn't going to be honoured in Como, all the ProTour teams showed their solidarity with Caisse d'Epargne, and thereby took the side of the UCI in the quarrel which has opposed the governing body of cycling and the organisers of the three Grand Tours for over two years now.
"The peloton is unanimous," World Champion Paolo Bettini said, reading out a teams' statement prior to the start in Mendrisio. "The ProTour exists, so the winner should be honoured. That Alejandro is at the start wearing the jersey doesn't seem to interest anyone. [Valverde and his team had threatened not to start because of the lack of a ProTour ceremony, but then still participated 'out of respect for the public' - ed.] It's right that he is here and that he is honoured. The road is not the place for political fights. If you want to do something for the sport, you have to sit down at a table and talk it over to resolve the problems."
Valverde was finally honoured on Saturday evening in the ProTour Gala, where Vittorio Adorni, President of the Council of the UCI ProTour handed the trophy over to him in the presence of the UCI president Pat McQuaid.
Eleven of the 27 ProTour races are organised by ASO, Unipublic and RCS, who would like to see the events on a separate calendar, which the UCI refused. On October 26, ASO will present the 2007 Tour de France, and probably use the gathered media attention to make known the latest developments of the - somewhat stalled - negotiations with the UCI.