UCI Lawyer says Armstrong should be cleared of EPO accusation!!

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by bobke, May 31, 2006.

  1. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    and slams the lab and the UCI doctor!!!!!

    from cyclingnews:

    UCI lawyer asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared

    According to Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, the UCI's chief lawyer 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 perennial blood-boosting agent erythropoietin (EPO).

    The lawyer, Emile 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, who 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 under a false pretence, 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]".
     
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  2. musette

    musette New Member

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    "Vrijman said Wednesday his report "exonerates Lance Armstrong completely with respect to alleged use of doping in the 1999 Tour de France."...The report said WADA and the LNDD may have "behaved in ways that are completely inconsistent with the rules and regulations of international anti-doping control testing," and may also have been against the law."
     
  3. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    Whoa!!

    Good find!
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    When the six tests showed a false negative for Armstrong in 1999, the tested sample was destroyed leaving only one sample from each of the six false negative tests.

    Those six samples were re-tested for traces of EPO and were found to contain
    traces of synthetic EPO.

    Luckily for Armstrong the six original false negative samples were destroyed.

    So Mr Vrijman is correct in his assertion that Armstrong cannot be convicted
    because both samples from each test specimen must show the same result.

    Unfortunately though, the six remaining samples do contain the performance enhancing drug, synthetic EPO.
    The six remaining samples originated from Mr Armstrong and were signed for by Mr.Armstrong and are Mr.Armstrong's samples.

    (note synthetic EPO cannot materialise of it's own volition in urine - nor can it be added retrospectively).
     
  5. Eldrack

    Eldrack New Member

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    I think this, along with the quote Musette posted is the main point here. According to the law Armstrong is not guilty of taking EPO. Therefore he didn't cheat in this manner (plenty of other ways he could have cheated but there is not evidence to suggest he did). Without the EPO evidence there is nothing to suggest that he did dope in any way in the 1999 TdF so his victory in it can stand without question just as no one questions a good number of the TdF winners before him. Not that this means he couldn't have cheated, just there is no proof that he did and therefore we must assume he is innocent, unless of course you don't believe in the principle of innocent until proven guilty.
     
  6. tinks

    tinks New Member

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    Sounds like a procedural problem to me. Doesn't mean he didn't dope, it just means they can't convict.

    There's a big difference between "innocent" and "not guilty".
     
  7. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Agreed.

    The UCI cannot convict because the six samples taken in 1999 that showed a six false negative results, were destroyed because they were deemed "clean"
    (it should be added that the 1999 tests couldn't detect synthetic EPO at that time anyhow).

    The 2005 test results - which could detect synthetic EPO - show six positive results.
    But because the 1999 samples were destroyed, the UCI couldn't convict.


    (note synthetic EPO cannot materialise of it's own volition in urine - nor can it be added retrospectively).
     
  8. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    OK guys, I know you're not gonna accept the decision--that is no surprise.

    But the decision says that the lab was wrong to do the testing, the UCI was wrong to reveal the coded sheets, and THAT THERE WAS NO WAY TO ASSURE that the samples actually matched the sheets because the official testing was over.
    This is not a technicality.
    If it were, they wouldnt be recommending an investiagtion into whether the UCI and WADA codes and possibly the law was broken by the parties involved.

    MSTERDAM, Netherlands May 31, 2006 (AP)— Independent Dutch investigators on Wednesday exonerated Lance Armstrong of doping in the 1999 Tour de France, and blamed anti-doping authorities for misconduct in dealing with the American cyclist.

    A 132-page report recommended convening a tribunal to discuss possible legal and ethical violations by the authorities and to consider "appropriate sanctions to remedy the violations" and deter future misconduct.
     
  9. House

    House Banned

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    Please remind us of the proof that the chain of custody of these samples was maintained. If you can't then your statement is merely an opinion based on partial facts and not the fact that you try to make it out to be.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Chain of custody isn't an issue - when the scientific fact, at the time of writing, is that synthetic EPO cannot materialise of it's own volition in urine - nor can it be added retrospectively.
     
  11. musette

    musette New Member

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    Bottom line -- LA is not demonstrated to have taken EPO!!! He's therefore "completely exonerated" -- note the word completely.

    It is never possible to prove the negative. If I say "cyclist" L "sucks" (for whatever reason, e.g., doping, lack of rising to higher levels of cycling despite attempts) as a cyclist, how can that person prove otherwise to people who are inclined to think he is a bad cyclist (unless cyclist L has won the TdF seven times, of course, but that is not the case for all cyclists)! ;)

    I will study the 132 page report when I have a chance.

    In the meantime, take this WADA: "A 132-page report recommended convening a tribunal to discuss possible legal and ethical violations by the World Anti-Doping Agency and to consider "appropriate sanctions to remedy the violations."" It is suggested that sanctions be considered for WADA.

    HOOORAY for LA! :p
     
  12. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    All samples held by the UCI came under the jurisdiction and protocols of WADA - when the UCI signed up to the WADA charter immediately prior to Athens Olympics 2004.
    Therefore, WADA and it's accredited labs are entitled to test any and all samples retained.


    Moot point : the UCI were asked to verify the identity of the rider number held on the six positive samples from the 1999 TDF.

    What was the UCI supposed to say?


    Again the rider number and sample number were detailed on the sample sheets.
    The sample could be tested under DNA testing to establish whether or not the sample contained Armstrongs DNA, as well as the synthetic EPO.

    Armstrong admitted that his rider number and the sample sheet number and his signature were one in the same.

    Moot point : in signing up to the WADA protocols, the UCI surrendered all responsibilitiy for the samples in it's care.
    So the UCI cannot be sued.

    As regards WADA, their protocols clearly state that all sporting federations within their jurisdiction, can be liable to testing of all samples held.
     
  13. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    If only that were so.

    Six samples from 1999 - tested in 2005 for synthetic EPO - were each found to contain EPO.

    But it is possible to show that six samples belonging to the same rider contained synthetic EPO.

    (note synthetic EPO cannot materialise of it's own volition in urine - nor can it be added retrospectively).


    WADA are doing an excellent job.

    Unless of course you advocate doping - that is.
     
  14. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Not really. Both mean you go free. Just ask O.J. To quote Chris Rock, "Would you rather look guilty at the mall, or look inocent in jail?"

    L
     
  15. tinks

    tinks New Member

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    You also have to consider the bigger picture. The PTB don't want Armstrong brought to account. If Armstrong is convicted, there'll be calls to retrospectively test all of the samples from 1999/1998 - and reportedly 60% of those were positive. Considering what's going on in Spain, taking the hard line could potentially wipe out the peloton. All we'd be left with is a handful of French guys ;)

    I tend to agree. On the balance of probabilities, Lance Armstrong used EPO in the 1999 Tour de France and anyone who wants to take out a civil case against him would have a reasonable chance of success. However, the evidence against Armstrong is unlikely to meet the higher criminal law standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" due to the many procedural issues as outlined by the UCI report.

    No amount of spin can explain away 6 positive tests and the mountains of circumstantial evidence against him. Like they say, where there's smoke there's fire.
     
  16. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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  17. Ullefan

    Ullefan New Member

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    who's armstrong?
     
  18. musette

    musette New Member

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    You guys just can't face the truth -- now established by the independent investigator -- that LA has been completedly exonerated! Hah, hah. :cool:

    Meanwhile, the Sevilla scandal is festering at TM.... Uh, he didn't visit Fuentes. In fact, he visited an associate of Fuentes who was among those arrested in the doping raid!
     
  19. JRMDC

    JRMDC New Member

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    Chain of custody is always an issue. How else can we know that the six samples came from LA? I understand that at one time LA provided six samples, and that today six samples of blood exist, but there is a trust issue as to whether the are the same, or they have been relabeled, or whatever.

    Actually, there may be a way. Is there a way to do a DNA test on the samples?

    What a mess cycling is. Perhaps always was.
     
  20. JRMDC

    JRMDC New Member

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    Musette, if you are American, you can surely understand that while LA, like OJ Simpson, are legally exonerated, whether either of them have done what is alleged is still an open matter. Sadly, it may always be an open matter.

    So, yes, it is absolutely 100% true that LA is legally exonerated, as of now.

    And no, I am not an LA hater, and I don't juxtapose his name with Simpson's because I think the two allegations are comparable. For non-Americans, OJ Simpson is a former professional player of American football who is alleged, and is generally considered by many Americans, to have killed his wife. His trial resulted in a legal declaration of innocence, which many Americans would attribute to the excellence of his defense team, especially in overturning DNA evidence. We will never know for sure...
     
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