Accuses WADA of blocking investigation
Responding to comments by Dick Pound, the head of the World Anti-Doping Authority, the UCI has denied supplying French newspaper L'Equipe with the doping control forms necessary to link Lance Armstrong with the 1999 Tour de France urine samples that L'Equipe alleges indicate Armstrong used EPO in winning the Tour.
"Mr. Verbruggen [UCI president] has never been involved personally, contrary to what Mr. Pound said in another statement," said the UCI in a press release yesterday. "However, it is also apparent that the reporters were given at least five and perhaps fifteen of Lance Armstrong's doping control forms from the 1999 Tour de France, and it is certain that those forms did not come from the UCI."
The UCI has admitted that it provided one of the doping control forms, however. "WADA has been informed by the UCI that the reporter only received one doping control form from the UCI, and the false pretences used by the L'Equipe reporter to gain access to that form were explained in the UCI letter that [Dick Pound] references," it said.
The UCI initiated an investigation into the L'Equipe allegations on August 29, and said at the time it would announce its findings within ten days. On September 9 it announced that it had been unable to find out anything because WADA had not responded to all its questions about the research and testing being conducted by the anti-doping lab at Châtenay-Malabry.
Since then, Dick Pound has cast doubt on the UCI's motives in investigating the case. "We're waiting to see whether they have a commitment to get at the truth and the whole truth before we decide to participate further in the investigation, " he said. "We are prepared to help further if one of the issues that the UCI wants to explore is how some of this information became public, that's fine. But we're not prepared to sit by and participate in an investigation that only looks at how the information became public."
In response, the UCI says it is attempting to conduct "a comprehensive examination of all issues related to the reported testing" including, "the reasons for the testing; the testing protocol; funding; the approval of the testing; how samples were selected; how the testing was conducted; the accuracy of the tests; the results reported; the use made of the results; and all other issues related to the L'Equipe article and the allegations contained therein."
"It has been three weeks since we initiated the investigation at WADA's request," the UCI statement continues, "and WADA has failed, to date, to provide all the documents and information we have requested, which we need to conduct the investigation, even though WADA has stated its willingness to assist the UCI."
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.