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Roman Kreuziger says polygraph supports claims of innocence

Roman Kreuziger says a polygraph test proves he's not a doper. But there are questions about the test's accuracy, and ways to beat it

Roman Kreuziger, accused of doping over anomalies in his biological passport, said Saturday he has passed a lie-detector test in a bid to clear his name.

“I replied to three essential questions and for all of them, the detector confirmed that I was telling the truth,” Kreuziger, 28, announced on his website

The cyclist said he replied “No” to three questions: “Have you taken doping products?”; “Have you used blood transfusions to improve your performance?”; and “Have you taken EPO (erythropoietin)?”

The test was carried out in Prague by British specialist Terry Mullins.

“I repeat: I’m not a cheat, nor a liar and I’ve never taken drugs,” the Czech rider added.

Kreuziger has already published his biological passport on his website to back his claim to innocence.

The polygraph is not a guarantee of innocence, however.

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts could continue to bar the use of polygraph results as evidence, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the court that there was “no consensus that polygraph evidence is reliable.”

In 2002, according to NPR, the National Academy of Sciences likewise concluded that the so-called lie-detector test was not infallible after a comprehensive review of research on the polygraph.

“It concluded that the test performed far better than chance in catching lies. But the researchers also found the test produced too many false positives,” wrote NPR’s Martin Koste in his story about a man who makes his living teaching people how to beat the test.

And Tyler Hamilton, in his book “The Secret Race,” acknowledged searching Google for ways to beat his own lie-detector test.

Raymond Nelson, president of the American Polygraph Association, acknowledged to NPR that the test was not perfect but claimed its accuracy rate was still better than 80 percent.

The UCI sanctioned Kreuziger for anomalies in his biological passport during two distinct periods — from March to August 2011 and April 2012 to the end of the 2012 Giro d’Italia — when he was riding for Astana.

His current team, Tinkoff, dropped him from last year’s Tour de France with his agreement.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reopened a case against Kreuziger in October after the UCI appealed a Czech Olympic Committee decision to clear him of doping charges that had seen him banned from the sport for months.

Krueziger finished fifth in both the 2011 Giro and 2013 Tour, and won the Amstel Gold Race in 2013. The UCI wants Kreuziger banned for between two and four years and all his results since March 2011 erased, along with a 770,000-euro ($957,000) fine.

Editor’s note: Agence France Press contributed to this report.