By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2002
The investigation into charges that the U.S. Postal team of Lance Armstrong used banned drugs during the 2000 Tour de France has been scrapped for lack of evidence, legal sources said Monday.
The investigation was opened in November 2000, after French television reporters revealed film of team staff disposing of medical waste at a highway rest stop, prompting rumors that Armstrong’s powerful team had won the Tour for him by using illegal substances.
But investigators found it impossible to identify any doping agents used in blood samples given by members of the US Postal team and it had become clear that the investigation was going nowhere.
Chief investigating magistrate Sophie-Helene Chateau decided to drop the case at the end of August, the legal sources said.
“The only thing to say is that we’ve professed this all along. We always knew that this would come along,” said U.S. Postal spokesman Dan Osipow.
We cooperated with authorities as much as we could. It was a great shame it lasted as long as it did,” said Osipow. “We’re obviously pleased that the case is vindicated.” Armstrong, who has won the last four Tours de France, has always denied the doping charges.
“It will be relief for him as well as for all the team,” added Osipow.Copyright AFP2002