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Lausanne laboratory gave Armstrong key to beating EPO test, says Tygart

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 10, 2013, 11:51,
Updated:
January 10, 2013, 17:05
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 10, 2013
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.

USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for...

  • 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.

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USADA chief details discussion with Saugy

USADA CEO Travis Tygart believes that the head of the WADA laboratory in Lausanne provided Lance Armstrong with the necessary information to avoid positive tests for EPO in the early part of the last decade.

Martial Saugy has already admitted to meeting with Armstrong and US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel to explain how the EPO test worked in 2001, a year after Armstrong returned a ‘suspect sample’ at the Tour de Suisse, which had been tested in Lausanne.

Speaking in an interview with Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports programme on Wednesday evening, Tygart recalled meeting Saugy at a dinner in 2010 and discussing Armstrong’s sample from the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

“He [Saugy] sat beside me and said there are samples from Lance Armstrong that indicated EPO use. He also told us that he had been instructed by the UCI to meet Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel to explain the EPO testing process,” Tygart said.

“I asked him: ‘Did you give Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel the keys to beating the EPO test?’ And he nodded his head yes. He explained it to the two of them. As far as I know, it’s unprecedented. It’s totally inappropriate to bring in an athlete with a suspicious test and explain to them how the EPO test works.”

Swiss Cycling president Richard Chassot, meanwhile, moved to defend the reputation of Saugy and the Lausanne laboratory. “In many cases, notably the Landis affair, they haven’t been afraid to put themselves in danger,” Chassot told 20min.ch. “Martial Saugy is a good and serious guy, who has often taken a strong position against doping.

“Regarding the samples tested, there are only numbers on a tube. At the laboratory in Lausanne, they couldn’t say to themselves, ‘This is Armstrong’s sample, he can’t be positive.’ If something happened, it’s at UCI level.”

Elsewhere in the 60 Minutes interview, Tygart confirmed that USADA had rejected an offer of a donation from Armstrong in excess of $150,000 in 2004, saying: “It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA and we had no hesitation in rejecting that offer.”

Tygart also discussed the responsibilities of heading up USADA’s investigation into doping at Armstrong’s US Postal Service team, which continued after a federal investigation of the squad was shelved in February of last year. Tygart said that USADA had a duty to make full and correct use of the funding it received from the US government.

“We’re always concerned about the grant we get from the federal government,” Tygart said. “If we’re unwilling to take this case and help this sport move forward, then we’re here for naught. We should shut down. And if they want to shut us down for doing our job on behalf of clean athletes, for clean competition, then shut us down.”

 

 


 

epofuel More than 1 year ago
More than likely, true. He must have given the knowledge to the rest of the peloton, as well! How many positive EPO tests were there during Lance's reign? Yes, that's right: very few. Almost none of the top riders were caught unless someone had it out for them. Not even Landis was caught until 2006, even WITH Lance having it out for him. Tyler probably got popped because of Lance - but also because of a botched blood bag swap that was a logistical error more than anything else. Rumsas only got caught because his wife had tons of drugs in the car. Basso not popped until 2006, same with Ulrich. And, unless I am mistaken, none of them for EPO. So either nobody was doing EPO, or everyone figured out how to beat the test. Towards the end of LA's reign, the peloton clearly - very clearly - was at a higher level than Lance. LA won those out of sheer stubbornness, because Ulrich was a better TTer and Mayo flattened him in the mountain stages. I always had the feeling that Lance's last two Tours were at best on par with the other guys, and not above them. Notice how Mayo only got caught for EPO later? Didn't get caught during the Tour when he was riding away from Lance ...who himself was riding away from people.
rhodescl More than 1 year ago
Nice conspiracy theory, but it makes no sense. What's the point of taking performance enhancing drugs to get an advantage over the competition and then teaching the competition to do the same thing? I don't get it. Or were you trying to make the opposite point by offering an absurd argument?
epofuel More than 1 year ago
I was making the opposite point. Of course I believe this is what Lance tried to do: in order to gain an advantage over the competition. My point was that it's a little sad that Lance had to do all that bribing to not text positive, when it appears that the rest of the peloton just simply didn't test positive without having to do all the bribing! :) Because, as well know, the rest of the peloton was doped to the gills, but they just didn't go as fast. Once people do EPO, it's no longer a question of where/when/will they test you. Once the epo goes in, you are a doper and should be banned for life. All other transgressions are just a 'bonus'! :)
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
"My point was that it's a little sad that Lance had to do all that bribing to not text positive, when it appears that the rest of the peloton just simply didn't test positive without having to do all the bribing!" I guess Lance was prepared to pay to make 99 and 01 go away while others in the peleton took their medicine (while denying all along) and served punishments when caught. The UCI couldn't accept money from everyone, some had to take the fall to make it look like they were doing something to deter doping in the peleton. But not the cancer jesus, he'd become too big and his story was too good. epofuel you come across as a Lance apologist.
epofuel More than 1 year ago
I also checked the results again. How did Landis, who was on the same program as Lance, come in 12 minutes by Lance? And how did Cadel Evans get his result, clean, against all of those known dopers? I agree that he's cancer jesus. I agree that his story was too good. And I agree that he 'bought' large amounts of immunity. But if so - then why aren't other heads rolling? The UCI said nothing. Tygart said nothing. Nobody said anything. And even though I can't stand David Walsh, at least he spoke out and didn't shut his mouth. Kudos for that. Lemond as well. But aside from the known people, you mean to tell me that Lance should take the fall for an entire sport's complicity in doping? The media's complicity? The governing body? USA cycling? USADA? Lance wasted his money, then. If his story was so good - he ought to have left it at that. He tried to bribe...and STILL nobody said anything! Lance could have been stopped far earlier and was not. That is what's at issue.
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
"Towards the end of LA's reign, the peloton clearly - very clearly - was at a higher level than Lance. LA won those out of sheer stubbornness, because Ulrich was a better TTer and Mayo flattened him in the mountain stages. I always had the feeling that Lance's last two Tours were at best on par with the other guys, and not above them." I think you need to revise your history, Armstrong 04 Tour: 5 stage wins, 3 Mountain, 2 ITT won GC by over 6 minutes. He also won the final ITT in 05 and GC by a whopping 4 minutes 40 seconds. So your claim that the peloton "very clearly - was at a higher level than Lance" is way off the mark (that's putting it politely). BTW neither Mayo nor Ullrich won a stage in 04 or 05 so I call BS on that too. Lance did gain an advantage, not only on those that we've never heard of or those who were pack fill in the pro peloton, but also on the other cheats, he did it better. I think privately he's proud of the doping program at USP and DC.
epofuel More than 1 year ago
In the 2012 Tour, Wiggins beat Froome by a whopping 3min21. But that doesn't count, because if not for team tactics, they would have been a whopping 6m19 in front of Nibali. Wow. That's in a "CLEAN" Tour! :) He also won 2 Tour TT's, and won more races during the year than just about anyone in history. So either Lance wasn't getting the right dope...or something doesn't add up. Not one of Lance's years ever came close to Wiggins. I am not a Lance apologist. I think he should GO. But he cannot go if the others do not go with him. That's my main, main concern.
Sam Evans More than 1 year ago
Agree with your comments epofuel - everyone else might too in a coupe of years...
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
"Not one of Lance's years ever came close to Wiggins." epofuel I disagree with that statement (99 TDF margin 7'37 + 4 stage wins, 2000 margin 6'02 1 stage, 2001 margin 6'44 + 4 stage wins, 2002 margin 7'17 + 4 stage wins, 04 margin 6'19 + 5 stage wins - multiple stage wins on mountain stages throughout his 7 year route, Wiggins has not looked like winning a mountain stage) but you're entitled to your own opinion. People seem to have a problem with Armstrong's punishment compared to other convicted dopers. Remember that Armstrong was not simply charged with a doping offense, there were multiple serious charges, go back and have a read of USADA's reasoned report. Armstrong had the opportunity to either fight the charges or assist the investigation (just like everyone else) and he chose to do neither knowing full well the consequences of such inaction so please spare me the "he's being victimised" crap. It's not one size fits all, it doesn't apply in the court system and it doesn't apply here. He made his bed....
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Not one of Lance's years ever came close to Wiggins." epofuel I disagree with that statement (99 TDF margin 7'37 + 4 stage wins, 2000 margin 6'02 1 stage, 2001 margin 6'44 + 4 stage wins, 2002 margin 7'17 + 4 stage wins, 04 margin 6'19 + 5 stage wins - multiple stage wins on mountain stages throughout his 7 year route, Wiggins has not looked like winning a mountain stage) but you're entitled to your own opinion. People seem to have a problem with Armstrong's punishment compared to other convicted dopers. Remember that Armstrong was not simply charged with a doping offense, there were multiple serious charges, go back and have a read of USADA's reasoned report. Armstrong had the opportunity to either fight the charges or assist the investigation (just like everyone else) and he chose to do neither knowing full well the consequences of such inaction so please spare me the "he's being victimised" line. It's not one size fits all, it doesn't apply in the court system and it doesn't apply here. He made his bed....
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Agree with Lamby. I didn't mean to just refer to the TDF...I meant Wiggins' entire 2012 season. Did you see the races he won? Easily? Almost every stage race he entered? By Lance Armstrong type margins? And since we have learned that you can't trust the tests or the what comes from the rider's mouth, Wiggins has a veritable mushroom cloud of suspicion around him. And for good reason, I think. In the end, Sky has shown Postal-like dominance. Not even Kimmage is satisfied! Armstrong is not 'being victimised'. I agree with you that he's getting what he deserves. But the other postal dopers need to follow him. And remember - none of the ex-posties, nor guys like David Millar, came clean of their own accord, so none should get a reduced suspension. They came clean to the USADA when it was clear that they had already admitted in the federal court. Please tell me how that classifies as an admission? That is exactly the same as Lance confessing now - the time for frank confessions was over for all of those guys.
Lamby101 More than 1 year ago
Yes - but that is the problem. Drug cheating is not in the past and Team Sky dominance is almost a complete replica of the US Postal. The rise of team Sky coincide with the appointment of former Rabobank doctor Geert Leinders. A known doper - who they have since fired.
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Totally agree. Nobody wants to look at this - just like nobody wanted to look at Lance from the beginning.
runninboy More than 1 year ago
UCI took the 100 ,000 "donation" from Armstrong and he gets this info. Oh i bet he paid more than once. If you look at the afadavits Lance & his people never could come up with a specific amount or number of donations. All very cryptic. I think Stapleton was the one who mentioned multiple payments and Lance could not remember if there was more than one or the amount involved. This from an athlete famous for controlling all aspects of his professional life. And they contend he promised the money in 1999 but only paid it YEARS later. Why? Because that was the only "donation" on record? Earlier donations off the books(cash)This one was a cheque.
pedro gomez More than 1 year ago
how about are spanish brother the 1 who got caught in a garage door? Amgen lawyers standing by for the oparh show?When you turn over large rocks you expose the worms beneath.
noidea More than 1 year ago
Tygart the master tactician, what will he roll out after the show?
56Vikingtob More than 1 year ago
1) There would only be "a conflict of interest" if the USADA or its members were susceptible to bribes. 2) If an athlete is prepared to fund the body which is responsible for drug detection then that is commendable.
Dr.JSW More than 1 year ago
Look up the definition of "conflict of interest." If your wife was working for some womanizing, powerful, attractive, wealthy rock star and she was needing to travel with him everywhere, as long as she promised you that she was not "susceptible to his advances," I guess you would be ok with him taking her out to dinner every night, giving her jewelry, and having her over for drinks right before bedtime, would you?
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Well if you ask that way, if you don't trust your wife that much, why are you married to her?
Gary Lee More than 1 year ago
The best dealers/doctors have the best connections. They have inside information of how the tests are conducted and find out the best ways around those tests. Then it's a matter of who is willing to pay for that information. The more $$$ you have the better information you get access to and the better program and drug "cocktail" they can design for you. That has gone on for years and will continue to go on as long as there is money to be made and as long as athletes will continue to seek that golden fleece. Sports will never be clean.
spokehead More than 1 year ago
Travis, Travis, Travis... where was the Saugy implication in the reasoned decision and the "large donation." Yes you have Armstrong by the "plumbs" but where is the evidence of these outlandish conspiracies. You are either still fishing for sucker fish for your investigation and trying to get others to panic, or shooting a shot across Johan's bow, or a blowhard. I hope it is not, but I fear it is the later. Put up or shut up.
noidea More than 1 year ago
Rule1. Only use as much ammunition as you need to get the result..... Rule2. Divide and conquer
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Exactly, Spokehead. Travis has a job to do, and a position to preserve. I mean, man, that sounds a bit like a Lance Armstrong but you the point. It really DOES seem like he's out to be the anti-doping messiah. But Travis, Travis, Travis...where were you in 2004 when you could have put it all to rest? Nowhere. That's where. So Travis - YOU are partly to blame for "Lance ruining cycling..." But you are also to blame for guys like Zabriskie, Vaughters, Danielson and others ruining cycling, too. And Hincapie, and Floyd, and Tyler. Because you knew - way back then - you knew, and didn't say anything.
noidea More than 1 year ago
Oops another rule... Never reveal your end game
rainwatrs More than 1 year ago
Look at it in light of a competitors "Whatever it takes to win win win ". This may be just the tip of the iceberg. There's no blame, no good cop bad cop, no stopping a person who is addicted to winning at any cost.
LaBici More than 1 year ago
"“I asked him: ‘Did you give Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel the keys to beating the EPO test?’ And he nodded his head yes." So why was this not part of the "Reasoned Decision" ?? Could it be attributable to the fact that Mr Saugy was not subpoenaed or that he would not go on record with his statements? But I agree that with this statement Tygart has fired a shot across Bruyneel's bow !
noidea More than 1 year ago
Dinner a la Tygart.. Lance... fried Bruyneel.. about to go in the oven UCI.. Applying dressing National cycling bodies.. tenderising I wouldn't want thi