French newspaper Journal du Dimanche (JDD) has now done what L'Equipe dared not to do, publishing the names of the three other riders that tested 'positive' to EPO at the prologue of the 1999 Tour de France, and linked their names to the three other positive samples allegedly taken after the prologue.
Until now, sports newspaper L'Equipe has not revealed these names because it lacked sufficient evidence to verify that the samples tested by the doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry were indeed those of the three riders named by Le Journal du Dimanche. [Also see: Interview with L'Equipe's Damien Ressiot] According to the paper, the three other riders that tested positive after the prologue in Puy-du-Fou on July 3, 1999, are: Manuel Beltran (currently Discovery Channel), José Joachim Castelblanco (formerly Kelme, now suspended for two years under another doping charge) and Bo Hamburger (currently Acqua & Sapone), the latter rider also testing positive for cortisone that day, but later proving he was allowed to take the drug according to his medical certificate.
Manuel Beltran has already issued a statement denying the allegations, saying that "neither the laboratory of Châtenay-Malabry, nor the French state (through its Council for fight against doping and its prevention), nor WADA, nor the UCI should allow this situation to happen. It is very regrettable that some people and institutions betray all the legal and ethical principles that should govern their actions, while at the same time they ask me for an irreproachable behaviour - which I have shown in the hundreds of controls that I've passed without problems."
Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations
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
Click here for full coverage of the L'Equipe allegations.