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UCI: No sanction for Armstrong over EPO charges

Lance Armstrong will not face any penalty stemming from allegations that he used EPO in the 1999 Tour de France, according to the UCI. The UCI has told The Daily Telegraph that it did not dispute the test results published last year in the French newspaper L'Equipe "The UCI does not deny the validity of the six forms printed in L'Equipe," said UCI president Pat McQuaid. "The six tests which were printed in L'Equipe were among the 15 given out by (Dr. Mario) Zorzoli." Zorzoli, the UCI’s chief medical officer, stepped down this week after admitting to giving the L'Equipe

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By Rupert Guinness, The Daily Telegraph

Lance Armstrong will not face any penalty stemming from allegations that he used EPO in the 1999 Tour de France, according to the UCI.

The UCI has told The Daily Telegraph that it did not dispute the test results published last year in the French newspaper L’Equipe

“The UCI does not deny the validity of the six forms printed in L’Equipe,” said UCI president Pat McQuaid. “The six tests which were printed in L’Equipe were among the 15 given out by (Dr. Mario) Zorzoli.”

Zorzoli, the UCI’s chief medical officer, stepped down this week after admitting to giving the L’Equipe journalist 15 examples of the tests; erythropoeitin (EPO) was found in six of them.

Armstrong retired after a record seventh Tour win last year. Many critics were calling for a retrospective penalty such as stripping Armstrong of the 1999 title. But McQuaid said there was no way to sanction Armstrong, despite the UCI’s current regulations permitting retrospective testing.

McQuaid said the UCI stand would remain the same if new protocols for retrospective drug testing were introduced by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

McQuaid also cited an agreement by riders in the 1999 Tour that their blood samples would only be tested for research, and then only under an assurance of confidentiality.

“There is no recourse,” McQuaid said. “The procedure used for these samples was one used for research purposes and didn’t follow the protocol for samples tested for possible disciplinary proceedings. There was no protocol so the results cannot be proven nor accepted as proven.”

For more, see the official UCI statement.