More shorts: more Tour teams, plus WADA
Rabobank go for double Dekker option at the Tour, Euskaltel fall in behind Iban Mayo, and Gerolstein
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Rabobank had already announced most of their riders for the Tour, but they have now confirmed their final nine. They are: Oscar Freire, Juan Antonio Flecha (both Spa), Denis Menchov (Rus), Michael Boogerd, Erik Dekker, Thomas Dekker, Joost Posthuma, Pieter Weening (all Hol), and Michael Rasmussen (Den).
Euskaltel’s Tour prospects have been considerably lifted by the resurgence in form shown by Iban Mayo at the recent Dauphin Libr, and Mayo is rewarded with team leader duties for the men in orange. Mayo will be joined by Iker Cama¤o, Unai Etxebarria, Aitor Hernandez, I¤aki Isasi, I¤igo Landaluze, David Lopez, Gorka Verdugo and Haimar Zubeldia.
Davide Rebellin, for some years Gerolsteiner’s only real prospect at major tours, is missing but the German team’s line-up does not look poorer for the Italian’s absence. With Dauphin winner Levi Leipheimer a real Tour podium prospect, Gerolsteiner also line up with Georg Totschnig (Austria), Markus Fothen (Germany), David Kopp (Germany), Sebastian Lang (Germany), Ronny Scholz (Germany), Fabian Wegmann (Germany), Peter Wrolich (Austria) and Beat Zberg (Switzerland).
– The World Anti-Doping Agency have published a 12-page response to the recent Vrijman investigation into allegations of doping made against Lance Armstrong at the 1999 Tour de France. WADA described Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman’s report as “erroneous and fallacious in a number of respects”. WADA is believed to be studying its legal options in the wake of the Vrjiman report’s publication on May 31, which said that WADA had tried to discredit seven-time Tour champion Armstrong.
WADA chief Dick Pound defended his role in the affair by saying: “WADA accepted a research project headed by the Chatenay Malabry laboratory in the appropriate fashion and requested the results of this research. Mr Vrijman suggests that WADA put inappropriate pressure on the French laboratory. WADA simply informed the laboratory that it would be interested in its conclusions and they let Mr Vrijman know that in response to his questions.
“Neither WADA nor the French laboratory could possibly have linked the samples used to any individual. Consequently, any talk of sanctions was out of the question.” WADA pointed out that French newspaper L’Equipe, which published the allegations against Armstrong, had said WADA had not been involved or even informed of their own investigation.