[QODLink]
Cycling

Swiss doping chief denies USADA claims

Head of Swiss anti-doping lab Martial Saugy denies allegations he helped Lance Armstrong avoid being caught for doping.
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2013 15:25
USADA chief Travis Tygart told a US TV show that Saugy, above centre, acknowledged he had given Lance Armstrong and team manager Johan Bruyneel the ‘keys to beating EPO tests’ [AFP]

A Swiss laboratory on Friday denied that it helped Lance Armstrong cheat after claims from the US Anti-Doping Agency that it gave the shamed cyclist information about how to beat drug tests.

"Did I give the keys to get around EPO (erythropoietin) tests? The answer is clear: no," Martial Saugy, head of the anti-doping laboratory in the Swiss city of Lausanne, told a news conference.

The head of the USADA, Travis Tygart, claimed in an interview broadcast on Wednesday that Saugy tipped off the Texan rider about a test for the illegal blood booster in 2002.

That followed a "suspicious" sample the cyclist had given after the 2001 Tour of Switzerland, he told CBS television, adding that Saugy had told him that Armstrong had given samples that indicated EPO use.

Further claims

Tygart also said the Swiss lab chief told him that world cycling's governing body asked him to meet Armstrong and his former manager Johan Bruyneel to explain the EPO testing process, calling the rendezvous "totally inappropriate".

Saugy on Friday confirmed that the International Cycling Union (UCI) had asked him to meet the pair but added: "In the context I remain persuaded that it was the thing to do. It was neither an error nor naivety as some people have written."

He added that it would be "paradoxical" that the lab that found the first cases of EPO use should be the one to meet the race champion to tell him how to get around the test.

"Our objective at the laboratory is anti-doping tests," he added.

Armstrong was banned for life from cycling and stripped of his seven Tour de France wins after the UCI confirmed a damning USADA dossier that placed him at the heart of what they said was the most sophisticated doping programme in sport.

Tygart said that six of cancer-survivor Armstrong's samples taken during his first Tour win in 1999 eventually tested positive when they were looked at again in 2005.

Armstrong, 41, continues to deny the allegations but is to appear on the Oprah Winfrey chat show in the United States next week, prompting speculation that he could own up to mitigate his ban and make a return to competition in triathlon events.

400

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.

Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.