First Edition Cycling News for June 27, 2006
Edited by John Stevenson & John Kenny
Tour organisers confirm Astana withdrawal request
Astana-Würth rider Alexandre Vinokourov
- his Tour participation is in doubt after ASO asked his team to withdraw.
Photo ©: Hedwig Kröner
Organisers of the Tour de France have confirmed that they have requested
the Astana-Würth team withdraw from the race, which starts Saturday July
"We have sent a letter to Astana-Würth asking them not to take part in
the Tour de France," ASO spokesman Philippe Sudres told the Reuters news
agency on Monday.
"Should the team refuse to withdraw we will refer the case to the Court
of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who can expel them from the competition,"
The case looks certain to go to the CAS as Pablo Antón, co-manager of
Active Bay, the company that owns the team, has already said he intends
to appeal ASO's request to the CAS.
ASO almost certainly needs the cooperation of the UCI or CAS to enforce
a ban on Astana-Würth, as the team has an automatic entry. ASO was able
to withdraw its invitation to the Communidad Valenciana team last week
because that entry was a discretionary wildcard.
Formerly known as Liberty Seguros, the Astana-Würth team has been under
a cloud since its manager, Manolo Saiz was arrested last month on suspicion
of involvement in a doping ring. Communidad Valencia assistant directeur
sportif Ignacio Labarta was also arrested in the 'Operation Puerto' raids,
as was former Kelme team doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy
Carmichael defends Armstrong
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong's coach during his Tour de France wins,
has defended the seven-time Tour champion against the latest allegations
that he used performance-enhancing drugs early in his career. Commenting
on the claim that Armstrong confessed to using EPO and other substances
in a conversation with doctors in 1996, Carmichael told Cyclingnews,
"I was placed in the room and I can tell you that that conversation never
"It is ridiculous," he continued. "You have Lance's doctor giving an
affidavit that he has no recollection of that conversation occurring.
Supposedly my wife was in the room as well. She doesn't remember that
at all! She remembers being in Indianapolis supporting Lance. There are
only a few people [in the room] that remember that whereas the other people
in the room don't."
Carmichael speculated as to the motive behind the new round of attacks
from the French media. "I think this is another case of it's a week before
the Tour de France. When does this stuff always break loose? Before the
Tour de France. L'Equipe and Le Monde obviously want to keep this stuff
out there and circulating to go up against Lance. It seems like eventually
they would tire of something when there is no way to prove that this is
When asked about the other major doping story in the world of cycling,
Operation Puerto, and how it might affect the sport compared to the Festina
scandal of 1998, Carmichael said, "I believe in the sport of cycling.
I believe that the sport can sell itself. It's a beautiful sport. Whether
it is the Tour de France or Tour of Flanders or the Giro d'Italia -- it
has a rich tradition. So I don't think the sport of cycling is going anywhere.
I only know of the Spanish situation from what I have read in the press,
and it is obviously disturbing. Hopefully they can get this stuff figured
out. If people are cheating they need to be held accountable."
Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
Lance Armstrong was interviewed on the national ESPN Radio programme
Mike and mIke on Monday regarding his hosting that network's annual sports
awards show, the ESPYs. But before getting to the lighter subjects regarding
his role as host, Armstrong was put on the spot about the latest allegations
"The headline is that I've faced this for seven years and I've faced
it," Armstrong responded. "We are batting a thousand. And if you are such
a dirty job and cheat your whole life, you would have to get caught at
Armstrong further explained the specific arbitration that he is battling
for the general sports audience. "A lot of these sponsors insure athletes
bonuses. And the insurance company will give you the odds, and they didn't
pay it because they said I cheated."
As well as allegations arising from testimony in the SCA promotions case,
Armstrong has also come under fire from three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond
who claimed over the weekend that Armstrong had threatened him when LeMond
expressed disappointment over Srmstrong's invovement with controversial
Italian preparatore Dr Michele Ferrari. Armstrong denied the allegation,
telling AP it was "ridiculous," and adding "Greg is just not in check
with reality. It's ridiculous. Greg is obsessed with foiling my career.
I'm apoplectic when I read stuff like that."
June 27, 2006 - Carmichael
defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
June 26, 2006 - LeMond:
"Armstrong threatened my life"
June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
June 18, 2006
- Lance Armstrong's open letter against Dick Pound
June 4, 2006 - UCI hits back at WADA
June 3, 2006 - WADA slams the Vrijman report
2, 2006 - L'Equipe stands by its story, UCI supports Vrijman's findings
1, 2006 - UCI, WADA and Armstrong react to Vrijman's report
May 31, 2006 - UCI lawyer
asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared
14, 2006 - Two more weeks for Armstrong investigation
Andreus disappointed over revelations
The lawyer of Frankie and Betsy Andreu, whose court testimony in 2005
gave rise to the latest allegations against Lance Armstrong, has said
that the Andreus were "shocked and disappointed when their confidential
depositions were made public."
According to Adam Paskoff of Paskoff & Tamber, LLP, the Andreus testimony
was given reluctantly in the first place. "Frankie and Betsy Andreu were
subpoenaed by a Texas Arbitration Panel in the matter of Lance Armstrong,
et al. v. SCA Promotions. The Andreus responded that they would not willingly
comply with the Texas subpoena," Paskoff said in a statement. When the
subpoena was confirmed, "the Andreus were compelled to answer the subpoenas
under penalty of contempt of court."
SCA Promotions had acted as the insurer for a $5 million bonus offered
by Tailwind Sports, owner of Armstrong's US Postal team, in the event
that Armstrong won the 2004 Tour de France. When allegations were made
in David Walsh and Pierre Ballester's book L.A. Confidential: The Secrets
of Lance Armstrong that Armstrong had used performance-enhancing drugs,
SCA Promotions refused to pay the bonus and Armstrong and Tailwind sued.
In their subsequent testimony, the Andreus "truthfully answered specific
questions regarding statements made by Mr. Armstrong on October 27, 1996
in Indiana University Hospital," said Paskoff, adding that they were not
the source of a report of the conversation in Walsh and Ballester's book.
Paskoff defended the Andreus against allegations that they had some motive
for by testifying against Armstrong. "My clients remain steadfast in the
truthfulness of their testimony," he said. "The Andreus stand nothing
to gain by their testimony and in nearly 10 years, the Andreus have never
sought to profit from their information. The Andreus had no interest in
t he outcome of the arbitration matter involving Mr. Armstrong. Present
in the hospital room were seven people including Mr. Armstrong. Contrary
to recent reports, neither Mr. Armstrong's mother nor Dr. Craig Nichols
Paskoff concluded that it was "unfortunate that transcripts from testimony
provided in closed legal proceedings were released" and added that the
Andreus were "unaware, shocked and disappointed when their confidential
depositions were made public after being provided assurances by both parties
that their testimonies were provided for the limited purpose of the arbitration
matter and sealed pursuant to an order of the Texas Arbitration Panel."
Click here for
the full statement.
Rabobank drops Dekker from Tour squad
The Rabobank team yesterday announced its Tour squad with one adjustment
to its initial plans: Bram de Groot replaces Thomas Dekker in the line-up.
Besides the new Dutch national champion, Michael Boogerd, Rabobank will
field Erik Dekker, Bram de Groot, Joost Posthuma, Pieter Weening, Juan
Antonio Flecha, Oscar Freire, Denis Menchov and Michael Rasmussen.
Joost Posthuma did not attend the team presentation in Valkenburg due
to a back injury, although he is expected to be fit for the Tour.
"This is our best possible team at this moment," team manager Erik Breukink
said. "There were too many doubts concerning the condition of Thomas Dekker
to take him to the Tour de France. Thomas had the same doubts. The final
decision was taken after careful consideration with Thomas. This situation
will be very difficult for him. I highly respect him for being with us
in this decision."
Breukink said that Bram de Groot's place was clinched after his eighth
place in the Netherlands championship. "I think everybody has enjoyed
the way he competed during the national championship," he said.
Breukink pointed at Denis Menchov, winner of the 2005 Tour of Spain,
as the Rabobank's top rider for the general classification but added,
"This team has many options for the Tour de France."
Eisel to the Tour without expectations
By Susan Westemeyer
Francaise des Jeux's Bernhard Eisel gives the impression that he will
be riding the Tour de France against his will. After the Austrian nationals
on Sunday, he spoke to team manager Marc Madiot, "and told him about my
condition. And I let him know not to expect any miracles from me. He said
I could go to France with no pressure on me and so I agreed," he wrote
on his personal website, www.eisel.com.
Eisel finished the race on Sunday in 21st place, nearly 3 minutes behind
the winner. "I'll go to Strasbourg on Wednesday and go into the race with
different expectations than I had just a few weeks ago. A month ago I
dreamed of winning a stage, now maybe I can get on the podium (at a stage),
but not more than that. I probably won't be able to come by Tom Boonen
or Robbie McEwen," he said.
Eisel's contract with the French team expires this season, and he admits
that his current form -- or lack thereof -- makes it difficult to renew
or look for an alternative. "It's hard to negotiate, when I'm just standing
around like a stone!" he told www.sport1.at. He expects to receive
an offer from his current team, "but it's a question of money."
He has some specific ideas of where he might or might not go. "The only
team that I wouldn't go to is Gerolsteiner, they have too many sprinters
and nobody will guarantee you in writing the role of number one. If it
is to be Germany, then T-Mobile. That is my absolute dream team, internationally
there is no better address." Outside of Germany, he says, Discovery Channel
and Saunier Duval would also be of interest. "There are alternatives."
Bouygues Telecom for the Tour
The Bouygues Telecom team will lines up in Strasbourg on July for the
start of the Tour de France with exactly the same team as it fielded in
2005, team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has announced.
Laurent Brochard was the team's best finisher in 2005 in 28th place on
general classification, 55:29 down on winner Lance Armstrong, while Jérôme
Pineau place a creditable fifth in the young rider contest and was 43rd
The Bouygues Telecom Tour team will therefore be Pierrick Fédrigo, Walter
Bénéteau, Didier Rous, Laurent Brochard, Anthony Geslin, Laurent Lefèvre,
Jérôme Pineau, Matthieu Sprick and Thomas Voeckler.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)