UCI, Ashenden clash over Lance Armstrong

By Roger Vaughan,


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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 2018

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • February 16th 2013 @ 12:27pm
      nickoldschool said | February 16th 2013 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

      Disturbing testimony this week of former Spanish cyclist Jesus Manzano who admitted doping during his years at Kelme. All part of the Puerto affair in which Dr Fuentes is heavily involved.

      Bovine haemoglobin, haemoglobin for dogs were among the drugs administered. Fuentes should plead ‘insanity’.


    • February 17th 2013 @ 7:04pm
      Lee Rodgers said | February 17th 2013 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

      Armstrong’s comeback was just about the worst thing that could have happened to the sport. A year earlier the biological passport had been introduced by the UCI to much fanfare, LA was gone and a new generation of what seemed to be cleaner riders emerging. The UCI, knowing what it did about the ‘real’ Lance Armstrong should have moved to make sure he never rode professionally again.

      Ashenden said just a couple of weeks ago that the TdUnder, where LA made his comeback, had “prostituted itself” in allowing him to return to competition there.

      “In my opinion, the race prostituted itself,” he said ”It will be known forever as the race who paid a serial liar millions of dollars to promote itself.

      “It was poor judgment, backed up by poor governance in failing to guard against risks, which has now made the Tour Down Under infamous rather than famous.”

      You could extend that to the UCI, who let LA bend cycing over backwards. It wasn’t just one race that got screwed, it was the entire sport. What message did it send out to younger riders to see the old warhorse coming back like that? A mixed one? Not at all, it was a very clear statement of intent: cheaters win. They get rich, they get fame, and they conquer.

      I anyone believes a word LA or the old guard at the UCI say about his comeback being clean, well, there’s a sucker born every minute…!

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