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Armstrong probably clean in comeback, Damsgaard claims

By:
Cycling News
Published:
February 10, 2013, 11:15 GMT,
Updated:
February 10, 2013, 11:19 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 11, 2013
The 2009 Tour de France presentation with Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and Andreas Klöden

The 2009 Tour de France presentation with Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and Andreas Klöden

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Denies USADA's claim of blood-doping in 2009 Tour de France

According to Danish anti-doping expert Rasmus Damsgaard, Lance Armstrong probably did not dope in 2009. Damsgaard was responsible for Team Astana's internal anti-doping programme that year. The USADA's report on Armstrong said that he had continued to use doping products and methods even after his return to the peloton that year.

Armstrong has claimed that he stopped using doping when he first retired in 2005.

Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto had both claimed that testing done during the 2009 Tour for the biological passport indicated that Armstrong used blood doping in that Tour.

Damsgaard told sporten.dk that he disagreed with their interpretation of the results.  “It is not impossible that there has been a blood transfusion,” he admitted, “but you have to know when the samples are taken and I think that I know a little more about that than Robin Parisotto does.”

For example, he said, one of the blood tests was done after the finish of the penultimate stage atop the Mont Ventoux -- “15 minutes after suffering through 40° heat.  After six hours of racing. It is not a viable test."

As in his interview from Saturday, Damsgaard praised the introduction of the biological passport, which he called “sensible and intelligent.” EPO-CERA was a big problem in 2008 ,but since then, he says, thanks to the UCI cycling “is the purest sport in the last five years. They have shown what they have done. No one else can say the same.”

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