Lance Armstrong and the French

Harry Longshanks

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Here we frickin' go again with the French trying to impugn Lance Armstrong.

I am so sick of this.

Armstrong issues statement on test

AUSTIN, Texas -- Lance Armstrong is defending himself against suggestions he misbehaved during a recent drug test.

The cycling great, who is planning on riding in the Tour de France in July, said in a statement Tuesday he did not try to evade a March 17 test in which blood, urine and hair samples were collected and ultimately were found to be drug-free.

France's anti-doping agency sent a report on Armstrong's behavior during the test to cycling's governing body and the World Anti-Doping Agency. At question is a 20-minute delay, during which Armstrong says the tester agreed to let him shower while his assistants checked the tester's credentials.

"I did not try to evade or delay the testing process that day," said Armstrong, who also lashed out at French doping authorities.

A spokesman for the International Cycling Union has said the organization doesn't have any jurisdiction in the matter. Testing of hair samples is allowed under French law, but is not recognized by WADA or the UCI.

Armstrong was training in Beaulieu-sur-Mer in southern France when the test was conducted. Armstrong said he had returned from a ride to find the tester at his house, identifying himself as a representative of a French lab.

Although he has submitted to numerous tests conducted by sports doping authorities, Armstrong said he was unaware the French government and labs could conduct them on their own.

Once they checked the sample collector's credential's with the UCI, Armstrong said he willingly gave the samples, although he has previously complained the hair sample collection "butchered" his haircut.

"I had no idea who this guy was or whether he was telling the truth," Armstrong said. "We asked the tester for evidence of his authority. We looked at his papers but they were far from clear or impressive and we still had significant questions about who he was or for whom he worked."

Armstrong said he wanted to make sure the tester "wasn't just some French guy with a backpack and some equipment to take my blood and urine."

Armstrong says he asked the tester if he could go inside the house to shower while they waited to hear from UCI and the tester agreed. According to Armstrong, the tester wrote "no" on the section of the testing that asks if there was anything irregular about the test.

Armstrong said he had been tested 24 times "without incident" before the episode in France.

"This is just another example of the improper behavior by the French laboratory and the French anti-doping organizations," Armstrong said. "I am sorry that they are disappointed that all the tests were negative, but I do not use any prohibited drugs or substances."
 

JB

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It is getting very old. I can guarantee that if this was a French cyclist, this stuff would not be going on. They hate that the US has taken over that event.
 

ClairefromClare

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Well gosh, I don't see the problem--some strange person with suspicious credentials shows up at your house asking for bodily fluids and you don't excrete on the spot? What's with you?
 

MO_Hacker

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The French are being absolutely ridiculous, they will stop at nothing to try and nail Armstrong. It's surprising to me that they haven't doctored any of his tests to get a positive result.
 

Harry Longshanks

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It is getting very old. I can guarantee that if this was a French cyclist, this stuff would not be going on. They hate that the US has taken over that event.
How can they possibly have the balls to make something out of this when he tested negative from the very samples taken at the incident they are whining about? It just baffles me.

It really makes me wonder if Floyd Landis actually tested positive in 2006.

It still makes no sense that Landis tested negative in the previous test, then tested positive for a substance (testosterone) that would not provide any short term benefits for his riding. Armstrong has the money, reputation, and backing to withstand these repeated attacks, but Landis did not.
 

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While I agree with you Harry, Landis had some credibility issues throughout the whole case.
 

Harry Longshanks

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While I agree with you Harry, Landis had some credibility issues throughout the whole case.
Oh, I agree. And I am certainly no expert. But the conduct of the French Anti-Doping Agency (i.e., obvious bias) makes me wonder about anything they do with regard to American cyclists.

The bottom line is that Armstrong is a freak of nature. That's all there is too it.
 

ActionJackson8

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I won't even get started on this subject. As Stan Smith from American Dad once said "These french fries are gross but these American fries are delicious!"
 

Badger_Golfer

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The French are constantly trying to make Armstrong look bad. The last time he won the tour, they accused him of taking performance-enhancing substances.
They just cant stand to see an American kick their butts in their own race.
 

Harry Longshanks

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I'm starting to get really p!ssed.

I'm starting to get really p!ssed.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=4054825

AFLD says Lance violated rules
ESPN.com news services

PARIS -- France's anti-doping agency accused Lance Armstrong of violating its rules Thursday for not fully cooperating with a drug tester and says it could punish the seven-time Tour de France champion.

Armstrong has denied misbehaving during a test of his hair, urine and blood on March 17 and said no banned substances were found.

The agency, known as AFLD, said in a statement that the doctor leading the tests maintains Armstrong "did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation" of the tester.

At question is a 20-minute delay when Armstrong says the tester agreed to let him shower while the American rider's assistants checked the tester's credentials.

AFLD said cycling's governing body has given its permission to open disciplinary procedures against Armstrong, but did not say what the punishment could be.

France's anti-doping agency claimed that Lance Armstrong "did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation" of a drug tester.

AFLD president Pierre Bordry noted that the statement does not say that Armstrong is guilty of an infraction. AFLD is expected to make a decision on whether to proceed with sanctions after its nine-member ruling committee has considered the tester's report.

Philippe Maertens, the press liaison for Armstrong's Astana team, told ESPN.com's Bonnie D. Ford in an e-mail that the team will not respond formally to the AFLD release.

Armstrong's spokesman Mark Higgins said Thursday that the cyclist's camp was reviewing the most recent developments.

But Armstrong took a dig at French officials on his Twitter page. "Was winning the Tour seven times that offensive?!?" he said.

Bordry told ESPN.com he would make no comment beyond what was contained in the press release posted on the agency's Web site.

AFLD forwarded a report on Armstrong's conduct to the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling's international governing body. UCI chief Pat McQuaid, according to the release, formally responded Wednesday to say it did not have jurisdiction over any potential discipline.

Armstrong, who has had tense relations with France's anti-doping authorities for years, is hoping to win an eighth Tour title in July after having retired in 2005.

Bordry said the agency has not yet decided whether to seek sanctions against Armstrong. Asked if the agency is launching disciplinary proceedings, he said: "Not yet. We'll see."

Armstrong recently gave his own version of events, saying he wasn't sure of the identity of the drug tester.

"I did not try to evade or delay the testing process that day," Armstrong said in a statement Tuesday.

Armstrong was training in Beaulieu-sur-Mer in southern France when the test was conducted. Armstrong said he had returned from a ride to find the tester at his house, identifying himself as a representative of a French lab.

In France, drug testers take an oath before a court to discharge their duties honestly before they are allowed to work.

The AFLD is empowered by French law to impose sanctions on athletes that have broken its rules and can do so separately from the athlete's own national anti-doping body. When Floyd Landis was first charged with a doping offense after winning the 2006 Tour de France, the AFLD initiated a separate hearing process, but eventually backed off after the cyclist's lawyers argued he could not fight legal actions on two continents at once.

Eventually, the AFLD announced that Landis would be suspended from racing in France for the same length of time (2½ years) he was suspended from all international competition. Landis unsuccessfully disputed his positive test for synthetic testosterone through two rounds of arbitration.

However, the AFLD's actions can sometimes have consequences beyond its borders.

The French agency had sole responsibility for conducting anti-doping tests at last year's Tour de France after a dispute with the UCI led to the race being formally removed from the UCI's calendar. The two sides have since resolved their differences and will cooperate in testing at this year's race.

In retroactive reanalysis of 2008 Tour blood samples done last fall, German cyclist Stefan Schumacher, who won two time trial stages and briefly held the overall lead in the race, tested positive for CERA, a new-generation blood booster that is a version of EPO.

In February, the AFLD suspended Schumacher from racing in France until January 2011. Earlier this month, the UCI announced that it would extend that ban worldwide. Schumacher is appealing that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the case may not be resolved for several months.

The rationale for the rule that testers must keep athletes in sight at all times is based on a long history of athletes coming up with novel methods to try to beat tests. Numerous sites on the Internet offer advice on methods, some of which are practiced by non-athletes who have to pass workplace drug tests.

Athletes have filled devices with diluted urine, swapped out another person's urine and even injected clean urine into their own bladders with syringes or catheters. In 2005, then-Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith was caught with vials of dried urine and a contraption called "The Original Whizzinator,'' which featured a prosthetic penis and fake bladder attached to a jockstrap. He was later suspended for a year for accumulated violations under the league's substance abuse policy and has not played in the NFL since.

Ordinary laundry soap can alter urine chemistry if an athlete introduces it into the urine stream by putting it on his hands. A witness in the doping arbitration case against American cyclist Kayle Leogrande last year alleged he did that. Based on that testimony and other evidence, Leogrande was suspended from competition for two years, even though he did not fail a doping test.
 

flowrider

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The French are constantly trying to make Armstrong look bad. The last time he won the tour, they accused him of taking performance-enhancing substances.
They just cant stand to see an American kick their butts in their own race.
The French don't like anyone winning the race but a Frenchman. I've watched the Tour for years and it's always been the same. If a French gets caught, does his time, the people still love him. Anyone else not so much.

Anyway the French have nothing to worry about. They have no one capable of winning the Tour. The last winner was Bernard Hinault in 1986 I believe. Then American Greg LeMond won the following year.
 

Harry Longshanks

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Update

Update

And they leaked information to the press in violation of confidentiality procedures.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=4058253

Lance: AFLD can keep me out of Tour

PARIS -- Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong said on Friday that France's anti-doping agency could prevent him from riding in this year's race.

"There is a very high likelihood they will prohibit me from riding on the Tour," the 37-year-old American said in a video aired on his fight-against-cancer foundation's Web site.

The agency, known as AFLD, said on Thursday Armstrong could face disciplinary action because he "did not respect the obligation to stay under [the] direct and permanent observation" of a drug tester who came to his southern France residence last month.

Armstrong's comment came on the same day the head of world cycling accused AFLD of unprofessional and "disturbing" behavior after it released a report saying Armstrong did not fully cooperate with the drug tester.

AFLD has said it could punish the seven-time Tour de France champion for not remaining in sight of the doctor conducting a test on his hair, urine and blood on March 17.

No banned substances were found and Armstrong has denied misbehaving, claiming that he was allowed to take a shower during a 20-minute delay.

Although the tests fell outside the International Cycling Union's jurisdiction, Armstrong received the organization's backing on Friday.

"The fact [is] the test was done and was a matter of fact reported by Lance Armstrong himself on Twitter," UCI president Pat McQuaid told the BBC. "Then the French authorities decided to make up a report on the testing procedure, forward it to the UCI -- knowing that the UCI have no jurisdiction in this case -- and at the same time that report has leaked to the press.

"So I would have to question why is that the case? I would have to say that the French are not acting very professionally in this case."

Armstrong responded to the AFLD statement by taking swipes at French officials on his Twitter feed, saying "Was winning the Tour seven times that offensive?!?" and "Just took a shower. Got it down under 10 mins. Whew."

Armstrong has had tense relations with France's anti-doping authorities for years, but is hoping to win an eighth Tour title in July after coming out of retirement.

"This is just another example of the improper behavior by the French laboratory and the French anti-doping organizations," Armstrong said in a statement earlier this week. "I am sorry that they are disappointed that all the tests were negative, but I do not use any prohibited drugs or substances."

McQuaid said proceedings between anti-doping agencies and the UCI are supposed to be kept confidential until "a decision to open up the case has been taken."

"But this case, it has leaked to the press and I do find that disturbing," he said.

Armstrong was training in Beaulieu-sur-Mer in southern France when the test was conducted. Armstrong said he had returned from a ride to find the tester at his house, identifying himself as a representative of a French lab.
 

TCCcaddie

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Someone on the radio made a good point on this the other day. Armstrong has a rellay bad repuation in Europe, not just France. Everyone thinks that he took steriods over there. The guy said that we think of Lance as the people in San Fransisco thought of Barry Bonds, defending him without really looking at the other side. Now I dont know if he took steroids, but he should cooperating fully with the people that conduct the test to ensure that they are as fullproof as possible.
 

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