Italian anti-doping expert Sandro Donati weighs into the current controversy surrounding Lance Armst
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Sandro Donati, former head of the research centre at the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), has said that he believes Lance Armstrong was using other performance-enhancing products in addition to EPO, as was claimed last week by French newspaper L’Equipe.
Speaking to German paper Die Zeit, anti-doping expert Donati said: “Armstrong’s performances could hardly be achieved using just EPO. EPO improves respiration. But there are also anabolics, testosterone and lots of others. Lots of riders take everything, absolutely everything, with the aim of going faster.”
Donati claimed that cycling is inextricably caught up with widescale doping. “If it isn’t 100 per cent, it is practically 100 per cent,” said Donati of the scale of doping within elite level cycling. “The reason: physical strength is the absolutely decisive factor, tactics play a lesser role.”
While acknowledging that the evidence presented by L’Equipe against Armstrong last week had been “unequivocal and weighty”, Donati also questioned the role of the French sports paper. “Papers which deal with cycling should not be part of an organisation that itself organises races,” said Donati. L’Equipe is owned by Tour de France organisers ASO. The Italian also questioned the role of Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, which is part of the RCS group that organises the Giro d’Italia.