BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — Cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, announced on Tuesday that the panel in charge of rider blood profiles did not catch any abnormalities in Lance Armstrong’s samples during his comeback, nor did it flag the Texan for further review after May of 2009.
According to a release from the UCI, it now appears the last time an Armstrong blood profile was reviewed came in May of 2009, before he raced to third in the Tour de France and 23rd the following year.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has said that Armstrong’s post-comeback samples indicate blood manipulation, though, apparently, the UCI never reviewed Armstrong’s biological passport after May of 2009.
“Lance Armstrong’s profile was not flagged as being abnormal by the Athlete Blood Passport software at any time during the period 2008 to 2010. Consequently, it was not submitted to the experts again,” the UCI said in a press release. “It is the Athlete Passport Management Unit (AMPU), which is independent from the UCI, and not the UCI who are responsible for submitting random profiles and profiles with apparently abnormal values to the panel of experts.”
The release came as another move in the UCI’s game of strategy against Dr. Michael Ashenden, who servied on that expert panel before stepping down in 2012. Ashenden has questioned the thoroughness of the program in 2010, and has been at odds with UCI president Pat McQuaid for more than a week over his past involvement with the program.
“Dr. Ashenden has chosen to ignore his understanding of the basis upon which profiles are submitted to the expert panel while expressing personal opinions on the blood test results that Lance Armstrong himself published on the Internet,” the UCI said on Tuesday. “Dr. Ashenden’s suggestion that he was denied a legitimate opportunity to investigate concerns regarding suspicious test results is unfounded.”