Investigating lawyer says Armstrong should be cleared

According to Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, the UCI's appointed independent lawyer Emile Vrijman says Lance Armstrong should be cleared of any suspicion surrounding the retrospective testing of his blood samples from the 1999 Tour de France. In late August last year, the seven-time Tour de France winner was at the centre of French newspaper L'Equipe's allegations, who claimed Armstrong's first Tour victory was aided by blood-boosting agent erythropoietin (EPO).

Mr. Vrijman denounced the manner in which the doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry carried out its research, as well as questioning the ethics of World Anti-Doping Agency chairman, Dick Pound. Furthermore, Vrijman said the French scientists who worked on the retrospective testing facilitated the ease with which L'Equipe journalist Damien Ressiot obtained the documentation that listed riders' code numbers against each of the urine samples tested. Ressiot was then able to match the code numbers against the doping control forms mistakenly given out by UCI doctor Mario Zorzoli.

Despite Zorzoli handing out these forms, Vrijman believed it was definitely not enough to identify Armstrong as guilty of taking EPO. Again slamming the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory for its research methods, he said it was "irresponsible to suggest the results of the 1999 analyses contain enough proof [to convict Armstrong]".

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

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