UCI rejects Hamilton's accusations of 2001 Armstrong cover-up

The UCI issued a statement rejecting Tyler Hamilton’s allegation that it covered up a positive test from Lance Armstrong at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

In an interviewed aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening, Hamilton corroborated Floyd Landis’ earlier claim that Armstrong had returned a positive test for EPO at the Swiss race.

“The International Cycling Union categorically rejects the allegations made by Mr. Tyler Hamilton, who claims that Lance Armstrong tested positive for EPO during the 2001 Tour of Switzerland and had the results covered up after one of his representatives approached the Lausanne laboratory responsible for analysing test results from the event,” read a UCI statement issued on Monday.

The sport’s governing body also declared itself to be “deeply shocked by the seriousness of the allegations”, although the accusations were already in the public domain since May of last year, when Landis confessed to doping as part of a systematic programme while riding for Armstrong’s US Postal team.

The UCI also attempted to discredit Hamilton by describing him as “a cyclist who has not hesitated to abuse the trust of all followers of cycling on several occasions in the past”, a reference to his positive test for blood doping in 2004 and subsequent denial.

Hamilton has since returned the Olympic time trial gold medal he won in 2004.

The UCI also said that it “can only confirm that Lance Armstrong has never been notified of a positive test result by any anti-doping laboratory” and reiterated that “no manipulation or cover-up has occurred in respect of its anti-doping procedures”.

A federal investigation is currently taking place in the United States centred on allegations of systematic doping at the US Postal team.

“The UCI confidently awaits the results of the inquiry being conducted by the US justice system,” the statement concluded. “It hopes that the investigations may be concluded swiftly and the truth ascertained, so that the sport of cycling may be spared further unnecessary damage.”

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