Lance Armstrong has come out swinging against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the wake of Emile Vrijman's report on the L'Equipe allegations, published two weeks ago. The American, who was accused by L'Equipe of taking EPO at the 1999 Tour de France, claims that WADA acted improperly in its dealings with the French lab that was doing research on old urine samples. Some of those samples belonged to Armstrong, and it was alleged that they proved that he had used EPO to win the 1999 Tour.
In a letter to the International Olympic Committee, Armstrong said that WADA had pressured the lab into making an "improper report" that was subsequently leaked to L'Equipe, despite admitting that its research did not meet standards for drug testing. Armstrong has asked the IOC (as an overseer of WADA) to start a disciplinary investigation into WADA and Dick Pound, who he claims is behind the improper conduct because Armstrong has publicly criticised him in the past.
"Dick Pound is an IOC member and a high-ranking IOC official," Armstrong wrote in a statement following his IOC letter. "He holds his position with WADA because he was placed in that position by the IOC. WADA receives its authority because the IOC requires all international federations to adopt the WADA Code. WADA receives a substantial portion of its funding from the IOC. IOC President Jacques Rogge called for the independent investigation that revealed Pound's misconduct. It is now time for the IOC to enforce the rules, to bring closure, and to take action against all of those who were responsible for this unfortunate incident."
In his letter, Armstrong wrote, "If the individuals responsible do not accept responsibility and yield their positions voluntarily, those individuals must be suspended or expelled from the Olympic movement."
And again in his statement: "Dick Pound has already told the media that he does not acknowledge the authority of the IOC in this matter. That is the fundamental problem here. Until the IOC steps up and makes it clear that they are responsible for misconduct by IOC officials and all misconduct by sports officials, no athlete will be able to take seriously the rules and protections of athlete rights in the rules of sport. It is in that spirit that I ask you to read my letter.
June 27, 2006 - Carmichael defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
June 26, 2006 - LeMond: "Armstrong threatened my life"
June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
June 18, 2006 - Lance Armstrong's open letter against Dick Pound
June 4, 2006 - UCI hits back at WADA
June 3, 2006 - WADA slams the Vrijman report
June 2, 2006 - L'Equipe stands by its story, UCI supports Vrijman's findings
June 1, 2006 - UCI, WADA and Armstrong react to Vrijman's report
May 31, 2006 - UCI lawyer asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared
May 14, 2006 - Two more weeks for Armstrong investigation