The war of words continues between the UCI and WADA in the wake of the "Vrijman report" on the Lance Armstrong/L'Equipe EPO allegations affair. After the report was released this week - essentially saying that Armstrong could not be accused of a doping offence because there were too many procedural and chain of custody gaps - the World Anti-Doping Agency "completely rejected" it, calling it "defamatory" to WADA and the LNDD and "so lacking in professionalism and objectivity that it borders on farcical."
The UCI, which supports the conclusions of the report, returned WADA's serve with a powerful volley of its own. "What strikes one most is that WADA leaves aside the main questions and conclusions of the report," the UCI stated. "WADA should not be allowed to divert the attention on side issues, but asked publicly to answer the many pertinent questions in the Vrijman report and in particular the following:
- Is it correct that WADA has put pressure on the laboratory to include in research reports the original sample codes, thereby violating the confidentiality that is guaranteed to the athletes?
- Will WADA make known which person within WADA has taken this decision?
- Does WADA admit that the World Anti-Doping Code was violated in that the samples were analysed for research purposes without the consent of the athletes, as well as WADA’s rule in the doping control form that the origin of the samples must be made untraceable?
- Will WADA confirm or deny that there have been contacts between WADA and D. Ressiot prior to August 23, 2005 that explain statements made by D. Ressiot in L’Equipe of that day?
Furthermore, the UCI accuses L'Equipe journalist Damien Ressiot of "shooting the messenger" in his June 2 article, and asks L'Equipe the following questions:
- Did L’Equipe have contacts with WADA on this issue prior to August 23, 2005? If not, how did L’Equipe know or why did it write that WADA was studying which legal measures could be taken against the riders? How did L’Equipe know that the research had been done in collaboration with WADA?
- L’Equipe knew that the analysis method was not valid: does L’Equipe find it normal to state categorically, as it did, that L. Armstrong used doping?
To be continued...
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