PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
The International Cycling Union (UCI) issued a statement on Monday in which it admits that the information which French daily sports newspaper L'Equipe acquired, and subsequently used to allege that Lance Armstrong had tested positive for the blood-booster EPO during the 1999 Tour de France, had come from them.
L'Equipe made the accusations in August last year, alleging that Armstrong had tested positive for EPO six times during the 1999 Tour - the first of the Texan's seven victories.
Without 'B' samples to back such claims up, and having revealed the alleged results without first informing the rider, as is the protocol, L'Equipe's claims looked hard to substantiate. The question remained, too, how the newspaper had obtained the tests.
However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief Dick Pound vowed in December to continue the investigation into the allegations made by L'Equipe against Armstrong, saying that "there is no urgency because [Armstrong] is not going to be in another race, but there are some explanations that are going to have to be given".
The UCI's admission in its statement would appear to get that ball rolling a little faster. The organisation had admitted in September that its medical chief, Dr Leon Schattenberg, had provided L'Equipe journalist Damien Ressiot with one doping control form, but only after Ressiot had visited the UCI to research an article about Armstrong, allegedly about the fact that the American had never used any drugs after his illness with cancer.
Further investigation, however, has now revealed that a member of the UCI staff did supply L'Equipe with other documents.
Read the official UCI statement here.