Lance Armstrong has been tested 16 times by anti-doping officials since announcing his comeback to professional cycling last September, but the relationship with UCLA anti-doping expert Don Catlin has officially ended, according to a story in today’s New York Times.
Armstrong and Catlin presented a plan during a press conference at last year’s Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, where three-time Tour de France winner and fellow American Greg LeMond asked a succession of questions to both Armstrong and Catlin.
The original plan was for Catlin to test Armstrong and publish the results online for all to see. Fellow cyclists Ivan Basso and Patrick Sinkewitz have already begun publishing their test results online.
Catlin oversees the Anti-Doping Sciences Institute, a for-profit research and analytical laboratory based near Los Angeles. He’s been retained by Garmin-Slipstream and Columbia-Highroad to run their internal anti-doping efforts.
Armstrong’s 16 tests were collected and processed by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and United States Anti-Doping Agency, which use laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
“In the real world, when you try to implement a program as grandiose as what you had in mind, it just becomes so complicated that it’s better not to try,” Catlin said to Times reporter Juliet Macur, adding that a contract with Armstrong had never been signed. “We’re all disappointed, but it’s just not going to be possible.”
No official statement has been offered by Armstrong. Stay tuned for more details.