UCI, Ashenden clash over Lance Armstrong

By , 15 Feb 2013

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    The question of whether Lance Armstrong doped during his comeback has sparked a bitter dispute between cycling’s world governing body and Australian scientist Michael Ashenden.

    The US Anti-Doping Agency that brought down Armstrong ruled there was a strong probability that he cheated during his comeback from 2009 to early 2011.

    But the disgraced cyclist vehemently denied doing so in last month’s public confession.

    Ashenden, a noted anti-doping specialist, is also convinced that the Texan’s test values showed he doped during the comeback.

    That has led to several clashes in the media between Ashenden and cycling’s world body, the UCI, which is in damage control following the Armstrong scandal.

    Ashenden served on the UCI panel that reviewed the biological passport data of professional riders, but resigned last year.

    Over the past few days, Ashenden and the UCI have been at loggerheads, in particular over the handling of Armstrong’s test results in 2009.

    Armstrong finished third at the 2009 Tour de France.

    “(UCI president Pat) McQuaid has been deceitful and deliberately misled the public and media about Lance Armstrong’s suspicious blood values during his comeback in 2009 and 2010,” Ashenden said in a media statement.

    “The UCI have been forced to admit that they never sent Armstrong’s suspicious blood values to their expert panel for scrutiny.

    “If the UCI failed to examine Armstrong’s raw data when he placed third at the 2009 Tour de France, the UCI were derelict in their obligations to faithfully run the passport (program).”

    He added if the UCI had examined Armstrong’s test results from the 2009 Tour and did not see evidence of a possible blood transfusion, then they were “biologically illiterate”.

    For their part, the UCI have claimed Ashenden himself cleared Armstrong’s blood profile before the 2009 Tour.

    But the UCI have admitted that Armstrong’s profile was never submitted to the expert panel for analysis after May 4, 2009 – two months before the Tour de France.

    © AAP 2014
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