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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 18, 2013

Date published:
January 18, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • WADA President gives scathing review of Armstrong interview

    WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 8:28 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Fahey says: "We learnt nothing new"

    World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey has dismissed Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey as "nothing but a public relations exercise."

    In a scathing review of the 90-minute program shortly after its airing, Fahey told ABC News 24 in Australia that Armstrong's mode of confession was a calculated move designed so that the Texan would not be faced with tough questions.

    "We learnt nothing new," said Fahey. "He refused to give names of the entourage, the officials, the other riders, the source of the drugs which he admitted taking and he indicated at the same time that he harassed and bullied many decent and honest people with litigation and public statements - even though those people were telling the truth.

    "If he'd wanted to come clean and seek redemption I would hope that he would seek some appropriate tribunal and give evidence under oath, subject himself to cross-examination and tell the facts. Not just the snippets that he sees is convenient for his own purposes."

    During his interview with Winfrey, Armstrong maintained that he never failed a test and that was due to the methods used as the time by anti-doping agencies.

    "Testing has evolved," he said explaining that the lack of out-of-competition testing effectively allowed him to past dope tests.
    Fahey said that it was not a valid excuse.

    "Don't be taken by this ‘I never tested positive'," he warned. "The simple fact of the matter is that unless there is a sample taken, blood or urine, in close proximity to the substance being put into the body you're not going to get caught."

    Fahey told the news channel that he earlier had hope that Armstrong would speak to the likes of USADA following...

  • Betsy Andreu furious and close to tears after Armstrong interview

    Betsy Andreu
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 8:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Says he owes more “to the sport he destroyed”

    Betsy Andreu has said she is “furious” that Lance Armstrong refused to confirm the infamous “hospital room” scene, claiming he is still not being totally honest about his past.

    He has missed his “one chance to tell the truth,” she said on CNN after Armstrong's televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.  Having not told the truth about this issue, “how are we to believe everything else he is saying?" He owes more not only to her and her family, but also “to the sport he destroyed,” she said.

    Andreu, wife of Armstrong's former USPS teammate Frankie Andreu, was present in Armstrong's hospital room in 1996 when he is said to have told doctors treating him for cancer that he had used doping products. Armstrong has consistently denied having said that.

    “I'm really disappointed. He owed it to me. You owed it to me Lance, and you dropped the ball. After what you've done to me, what you've done to my family, and you couldn't own up to it. And now we're supposed to believe you?" Betsy said emotionally, looking into the television camera as if talking directly to Armstrong.

    "You have one chance at the truth. This is it. If he's not going to tell the truth, if he can't say 'yes, the hospital room happened' then how are we to believe everything else he is saying? We're already questioning him.”

    In his televised interview, Armstrong declined to address the question of the hospital room. "I'm not going to take that on," he said. "I'm laying down on that one."

    Andreu said: “If the hospital room didn't happen, just say it didn't happen. But he won't do it because it did happen. And if this is his way of saying 'I just don't want to go there, ok, we'll give it to her', that's not good enough. That's not being transparent, that's not being completely honest. That's...

  • McQuaid praises Armstrong for confronting his past

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 9:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI insists the biological passport has made a huge difference since 2008

    UCI President Pat McQuaid has moved quickly to comment on Lance Armstrong's partial confession to doping, opting to highlight the disgraced Texan's claims that the UCI did not cover up a positive test and that the Biological Passport programme has cleaned up the professional cycling, rather than the many unanswered questions about his years of doping.

    Both Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis have confirmed that Armstrong confessed to them that the UCI helped cover up an alleged positive test for EPO at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. Armstrong flatly denied that was true during is interview with Oprah Winfrey, just as the UCI and former UCI President Hein Verbruggen have done in the past.

    Current UCI President Pat McQuaid also reiterated in a press release that the estimated $125,000 Armstrong gave to the UCI was a donation to help the fight against doping.

    “Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to confront his past is an important step forward on the long road to repairing the damage that has been caused to cycling and to restoring confidence in the sport," McQuaid said.

    “Lance Armstrong has confirmed there was no collusion or conspiracy between the UCI and Lance Armstrong. There were no positive tests which were covered up and he has confirmed that the donations made to the UCI were to assist in the fight against doping.

    “It was disturbing to watch him describe a litany of offences including among others doping throughout his career, leading a team that doped, bullying, consistently lying to everyone and producing a backdated medical prescription to justify a test result.

    “However, Lance Armstrong also rightly said that cycling is a completely different sport...

  • Tygart: Armstrong confession the first “small step”

    USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for illegal steroids.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 9:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    USADA CEO urges American to testify under oath

    The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Travis Tygart has described Lance Armstrong's partial confession as a 'small step in the right direction' has but he urged him to go even further.

    “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities,” Tygart said in a statement released after Armstrong's televised interview Thursday night.

    Tygart, head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, conducted the investigation which led to Armstrong being given a lifetime ban and stripped of all his results since August 1998. At varoius times during the investigation, Armstrong was given the opportunity to confess or participate or challenge the charges, but he consistently refused to do so, until now.

    In the interview, which aired Thursday night in the US, Armstrong confessed to having used doping products and methods including EPO, blood doping, cortisone and growth hormones.

  • Bassons: Armstrong has political ambitions

    Christophe Bassons signs autographs during the 1999 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 10:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bordry, Jalabert and Guimard say confession was not enough

    Christophe Bassons has said that he was not surprised by the nature of Lance Armstrong’s limited confession to doping in his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday evening.

    Bassons was one of the first high-profile victims of Armstrong’s bullying at the Tour de France. In 1999, after writing a column for Le Parisien newspaper questioning performances at the race, Bassons was pressured by Armstrong to quit the Tour. The Frenchman abandoned the race shortly afterwards, and retired from cycling two years later, at the age of 27.

    “He acted like I thought he would act,” Bassons said of Armstrong’s interview on RMC. “He’s someone who is cold and hard. He’s not going to cry in front of anyone or in front of the cameras.”

    Bassons said that Armstrong’s admission of doping was as he had anticipated – “it’s a bit like the protocol at Festina in its time” – but he was surprised that Armstrong had elected not to implicate others directly during the interview.

    “I am surprised that it didn’t give any names. Is he is holding them back for prosecutors or will he go further in the second half of the interview?” said Bassons, who believes the partial confession was planned with his future in mind.

    “I think that he has political ambitions. He is holding onto the image that he wants to give out as someone very courageous and very hard. He will continue to adopt that position.”

    French reaction

    Reaction to Armstrong’s limited confession was muted among French observers on Friday morning. Pierre Bordry, the former president of the French Anti-Doping...

  • Reaction to Lance Armstrong's confession

    A tired but satisfied Andy Schleck at the finish
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 11:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Schleck, Kittel, Livestrong and Novak Djokovic give their opinions

    Lance Armstrong's confession on Thursday night that he had used doping throughout most of his career has drawn a wave of varied comments from around the world. Cyclingnews is gathering many of these reactions.

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard):  “Lance Armstrong's confession comes too late. On the other hand, I also remember what Lance Armstrong meant outside of the sport. Especially for Livestrong, his cancer foundation. I think he's actually a good person. I'm obviously disappointed now that we know how he won the Tours. Now it is time to return to our own careers and to the future. Finally, Armstrong told in the interview that after his comeback he no longer used doping. The biological passport and the out-of-competition controls have indeed changed cycling.” (

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi): “It has all been acknowledged as a lie. He had the ambition, he said, but I want to look to the future and don't want to look back. The image of cycling suffered in that era, today it is totally different.” (

    Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano): “In the end it didn't surprise me that he confessed. There was nothing else for him to do. Now I hope that he doesn't only talk about it to Oprah Winfrey, but also shares his knowledge with important institutions like the World Anti-Doping Agency or the US Anti-Doping Agency. Plainly put: actually there was nothing new.” (DPA)

    Novak Djokovic -the world's number one ranked male tennis player: “It is a disgrace to the sport that there can be an athlete like Armstrong. In his cycling career he has deceived the sport and many people. At least the titles have been taken away. Like many others, cycling lost its credibility for me.” (Belga news...

  • Voigt: Armstrong has been punished enough

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 13:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    German veteran says it is time for cycling to move on

    Jens Voigt is exactly one day older than Lance Armstrong, and has been a professional rider for 16 years. But while Voigt is preparing to ride the Tour Down Under next week, Armstrong career is over after confessing to having doped his way to seven Tour de France wins – wins which have been taken away from him.

    “I think that Armstrong has it hard enough these days. He has been punished enough now, he really struggles,” Voigt, of RadioShack-Leopard, told  “I think he feels that his life has changed now. For me it is important that he has made a clean sweep."

    “He had pushed himself into a corner, so he had really no other option. He has always said 'no, no, no', but his only chance to get back to a normal life was to stand up and shut it all out. I think it has been a great burden for him, so I think he's very relieved now.”

    The two never rode on the same team, but went up against each other often in races. Voigt said he was disappointed to hear the doping confession. “But it is good that the truth is out, and it is absolutely clear to everyone now. Now we learn from it so it never happens again. He says he began to dope in the mid-90s, and this is SO long ago by now. Now he has admitted, so we need to somehow connect this story. But of course it's not good news, and yes, I'm disappointed.”

    Voigt, 41, said that he hopes the lesson of this will be “that everyone knows that no matter how big or small you are, then you will be taken if you cheat. All must learn that they must choose the road."

    “When Armstrong began taking drugs, many of today's riders were 10-15 years old, so what do they know about doping? For them,...

  • RadioShack reveals new jersey for new season

    The riders get ready to show off the new team colours
    Article published:
    January 18, 2013, 14:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Luxembourg team hopes to forget disastrous 2012

    There have been few changes at RadioShack Leopard as only four new riders have come to the team for 2013, but the biggest change is new team manager Luca Guercilena and a new jersey design that was unveiled in Spain on Friday.  The Luxembourg-based team is ready to forget the difficult 2012 season and move on to bigger and better things.

    Last season saw Tour de France contender Andy Schleck miss much of the season with a fractured pelvis, and his brother Fränk became embroiled in a doping case, which has still not yet been resolved. Fabian Cancellara missed time with a shattered collarbone. Manager Johan Bruyneel was released from his contract in October due to his involvement in the Lance Armstrong case and co-name sponsor Nissan left the team as well.

    But now “it's business as usual for the hard working group at RSLT,” according to the team's press release. The team held its annual presentation Friday in Benidorm, Spain, with those riders in the upcoming Tour Down Under absent.

    "We've put in the time and effort during the off season to come together as a team," Guercilena said. “This was important to us as we look to return our riders to their highest level of abilities in 2013.  We met with the riders and discussed their ambitions and goals, merged them with those of the overall team, and have established our race calendar for the year."

    Andy Schleck was amongst those not in attendance, as he is already in Australia. He is healthy again and looking forward to a Tour de France with more climbs and fewer time trial kilometers, a course which...