Lizzie Armitstead's team Boels-Dolmans has released a statement in support of their world champion who was recently embroiled in controversy regarding three missed tests or filing errors within 12 months in her World Anti-Doping Agency whereabouts file.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) provisionally suspended Armitstead after the three errors in her file, which were made on August 20 and October 5 last year, and on June 9. However, Armitstead brought her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) where she successfully had the first error removed, effectively allowing her to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.
"Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is relieved with the outcome of the court case brought by Lizzie Armitstead to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding her missed out of competition tests," the team statement read.
"The Dutch-registered squad fully supports Armitstead's position and trusts completely that there was no intentional wrongdoing on Armitstead's part."
Read more on this story:
- Armitstead cleared for Rio Olympics after anti-doping appeal
- UKAD responds to CAS decision to clear Armitstead
- More questions than answers in Armitstead case
- Riders react to the Lizzie Armitstead case
- Retired Olympic champion Cooke expresses opinion on Armitstead's case
One of the many questions surrounding Armitstead's whereabouts case was the lack of transparency. Armitstead was provisionally banned on July 11 by UKAD and reinstated by CAS, following its final decision to remove one of the whereabouts strikes, on July 21. However, the pubic was not made aware of the provisional suspension until the Daily Mail broke the story on Monday.
According to UKAD rule 8.4.2, where the hearing panel has determined that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has not been committed, the decision shall not be Publicly Disclosed unless the Athlete or other Person in charge consents to such disclosure.
Likewise, according to the UCI's anti-doping rule 14.4.3, in cases where an athlete is cleared of an anti-doping violation, "the decision may be publicly disclosed only with the consent of the Rider or Other Person who is the subject of the decision."
Boels-Dolmans stated that they acted in accordance with UCI regulations with regard to athlete and team privacy in such situations as whereabouts missed test or filing errors.
"Because of a pending court case, we did not release information about Armitstead's suspension. UCI regulations do not require a team to do this and we strongly believed it was in the best interest of both Armitstead and the team to let this matter be decided by the CAS first. Given Armitstead has two missed tests (with the first overturned by CAS) neither we, nor she, were required to share details about any missed tests, the provisional suspension, or the court case publicly."
Armitstead last raced at the Giro Rosa where she abandoned stage 7 on July 8. She will next compete at in the road race for British Cycling at the Olympic Games on Sunday.
"Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team looks forward to supporting Armitstead and its other eight Olympic athletes in the upcoming road race in Rio."