USADA boss wants further investigation into Vrijman report

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Cycling Union Blasted for Lance Armstrong Doping Cover-Up


PARIS (AP) -- The head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency promised further investigation Monday into a "sordid incident" of collusion between Lance Armstrong and cycling's governing body.

After it was reported in 2005 that Armstrong's Tour de France samples from 1999 showed traces of EPO, Dutch investigator Emile Vrijman was appointed by the UCI to investigate the handling of the urine tests by the French national anti-doping laboratory.

Vrijman cleared Armstrong, concluding that the tests were conducted improperly and fell short of scientific standards.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report published Monday said Armstrong's advisers and the UCI worked together in drafting the so-called "independent" report in order to "protect" the star rider.

"UCI, together with the Armstrong team, became directly and heavily involved in the drafting of the Vrijman report," the report said. "The main goal was to ensure that the report reflected UCI's and Lance Armstrong's personal conclusions.

"In the CIRC's view, based on an assessment of documents in its possession, UCI had no intention of pursuing an independent report; UCI's approach prioritized the fight against WADA and the protection of its star athlete."

USADA CEO Travis Tygart, who played a crucial role in Armstrong's downfall, said there should be a full investigation into how the Vrijman report was handled.

"USADA will work with the current UCI leadership to obtain the evidence of this sordid incident to ensure that all anti-doping rule violations related to this conduct are fully investigated and prosecuted, where possible," Tygart said in a statement.

Armstrong, who testified before the CIRC panel, is trying to overturn a life ban imposed by the USADA. He was stripped of his seven Tour titles from 1999-2005.

The CIRC report said the UCI specifically excluded from Vrijman's mandate an examination of the EPO test, meaning it would not try to find out whether Armstrong had used the substance.

The Vrijman report coincided with an agreement between Armstrong and the UCI that he would donate $100,000 for the purchase of a Sysmex blood testing machine. This prompted allegations that the donation was an indirect payment to help fund the report.

The CIRC did not find "any evidence to corroborate" those allegations but said the UCI acted improperly "in soliciting and accepting donations from an athlete" under increasing suspicion.

Vrijman was invited to speak to CIRC but did not testify.

The UCI and USADA were at odds until Brian Cookson replaced Pat McQuaid as cycling's governing body new president in 2013. The year before, the UCI challenged the USADA's jurisdiction in the Armstrong matter.

"The CIRC has also confirmed that during USADA's case against Armstrong in 2012, and under the direction of former UCI President Pat McQuaid, the UCI intentionally adopted an inaccurate position on its own anti-doping rules in order to try to derail USADA's case against Armstrong and his co-conspirators," Tygart said. "Here again, McQuaid's actions were intended to prevent the truth about Armstrong's doping and the UCI's complicity in it from being exposed."

Tygart said the report confirmed that for more than a decade the UCI treated riders and teams unequally, "allowing some to be above the rules."

"Sadly, the report confirms that greed, power, and profit - not truth - motivated UCI leaders and allowed the `EPO' and `blood doping' era to ride rampant," he said.

Tygart praised Cookson's reform efforts.

"Sport cannot effectively both promote and police itself, without the support of independent anti-doping organizations," Tygart said.

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Lance Armstrong - updated 2/3/2015 - video in slide #2
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USADA boss wants further investigation into Vrijman report
FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, Lance Armstrong, left, prepares to take part in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race, as his girlfriend Anna Hansen looks on, in Snowmass Village, Colo. Authorities say the disgraced cyclist hit two parked cars after a night of partying in Aspen but agreed to let his girlfriend take the blame to avoid national attention. Police say they cited Armstrong after the Dec. 28, 2014, hit-and-run but only after his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, admitted to lying for him. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Lance Armstrong and the company that owned the U.S. Postal cycling team will have to pay a promotions company $10 million after losing an arbitration hearing.
ASPEN, CO - AUGUST 02: Anna Hansen Armstrong and Lance Armstrong attend Aspen Art Museum 2013 ArtCrush Summer Benefit at Aspen Art Museum on August 2, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
ASPEN, CO - AUGUST 02: Lance Armstrong attends Aspen Art Museum 2013 ArtCrush Summer Benefit at Aspen Art Museum on August 2, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
Lance Armstrong, left, readies his motorcycle as Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen observes on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Armstrong rode as the official Grand Marshall in the Annual Mayor's Ride during the 74th Annual Motorcycle Rally. Organizers expect attendance at this week's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to top the estimated 466,000 who made the annual trek last year. The 74th rally starts Monday and runs through Sunday. (AP Photo/Toby Brusseau)
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, Lance Armstrong pauses during an interview in Austin, Texas. Armstrong has given sworn testimony naming several people he says knew about his performance-enhancing drug use. (AP Photo/Thao Nguyen, File)
PERRY, IA - JULY 23: Lance Armstrong (L) departs at the start of the third day of the RAGBRAI en route to West Des Moines on July 23, 2013 in Perry, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JANUARY 14: In this handout photo provided by the Oprah Winfrey Network, Oprah Winfrey (not pictured) speaks with Lance Armstrong during an interview regarding the controversy surrounding his cycling career January 14, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive no-holds-barred interview with Lance Armstrong, 'Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive,' has expanded to air as a two-night event on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The special episode of 'Oprah’s Next Chapter' will air Thursday, January 17 from 9-10:30 p.m. ET/PT (as previously announced) and Friday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The interview will be simultaneously streamed LIVE worldwide both nights on Oprah.com. (Photo by George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network via Getty Images)
21 Jul 1995: Lance Armstrong of the United States performs during Stage 18 of the Tour De France between Montpon Men. and Limoges in France.
22 Jul 1995: Lance Armstrong of the United States performs during Stage 19 of the Tour De France near the Lac de Vassiviere in France.
13 Jul 1995: Lance Armstrong of the United States performs during Stage 11 of the Tour De France between B. d''Oisans and St. Etienne in France.
Lance Armstrong talks at Nike Sportswear and Lance Armstrong Launch 'Stages' Global Art Exhibition at Nike Sportswear at the Montalban Theater on March 7, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Brian To/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 07: Athlete Lance Armstrong attends Nike Sportswear and Lance Armstrong's launch of 'Stages' Global Art Exhibition at Nike Sportswear at the Montalb n Theater on March 7, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Redmond/WireImage)
25 Jul 2001: Lance Armstrong of the USA and the US Postal team on stage 16 of the Tour de France from Castelsarassin to Sarran in France. Mandatory credit: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport
30 Sep 2000: Lance Armstrong of the USA celebrates bronze in the Mens Road Cycling Individual Time Trial at Moore Park on day 15 of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. \ Mandatory Credit: Mike Powell /Allsport
17 Jul 2001: Lance Armstrong of the USA rides into a turn during the Tour de France from Aix-Les Bains to Alpe d''Huez in France.Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /Allsport
Riders of the U.S. Postal Service team, with Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, placed at center with dark glasses, pedal to the finish of the the fourth stage of the Tour de France, a 42 mile team time trial between Epernay and Chateau-Thierry, eastern France, Wednesday July 10, 2002. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 23: Lance Armstrong (L) of the United States Postal Service Cycling Team, and five time winner of the Tour de France, rides with former Olympian Dave Lettieri training during Media Day January 23, 2004 in the region around Solvang, California.(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 23: Lance Armstrong of the United States Postal Service Cycling Team, and five time winner of the Tour de France, speaks during a press conference on media day January 23, 2004 in Solvang, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 23: Lance Armstrong of the United States Postal Service Cycling Team, and five time winner of the Tour de France, gets a tire change while training during Media Day January 23, 2004 in the region around Solvang, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 19, 2009, file photo, Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line during the 15th stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Verbier, Switzerland. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France during a taped interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, reversing more than a decade of denial. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)
FILE - This July 6, 2010, file photo shows Lance Armstrong prior to the start of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Wanze, Belgium. Armstrong has reached a settlement with an insurance company that sought more than $3 million for bonuses it paid him for winning the Tour de France from 1999 to 2001. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
FILE - In this July 10, 2010 file photo, Lance Armstrong drinks during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Tournus and to Station des Rousses, France.. Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity. The move by the sports company ends a nine-year relationship that helped the foundation raise more than $100 million and made the charity's signature yellow wristband an international symbol for cancer survivors. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2010 file photo, Lance Armstrong, cyclist and Livestrong founder, attends the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity. The move by the sports company ends a nine-year relationship that helped the foundation raise more than $100 million and made the charity's signature yellow wristband an international symbol for cancer survivors. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
The head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Travis Tygart, takes an oath prior to answering questions before a senate-led inquiry into the fight against doping in Paris, France, Thursday, April 25, 2013. The hearings are aimed at looking into ways of improving the fight against doping. USADA'S report produced a scathing report detailing systematic doping by Lance Armstrong and his teams, which led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour titles and banned from elite sport for life. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Motorola team cyclists, from left to right: Frankie Andreu and Lance Armstrong of the USA, Alvaro Mejia of Colombia, Andrea Peron of Italy and Steve Bauer of Canada observe a minute of silence in respect of their teammate Fabio Casartelli of Italy prior to the start of the 16th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Tarbes and Pau, southwestern France Wednesday July 19, 1995. Casartelli died during the 15th stage Tuesday after he fell while riding down the Portet d'Aspet pass in the Pyrenees mountains. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Former world champion Lance Armstrong of Austin, Tex. reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 18th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Montpon-Menesterol and Limoges, central France Friday July 21, 1995. The race will end Sunday in Paris. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours) <%% 0 PICTURE_OK HEADER_OK 0 2 %%>
Reigning Tour DuPont champion, Lance Armstrong, heads toward the finish line during the prologue stage of Tour DuPont in this April 26, 1995 file photo in Wilmington, Del. On Wednesday, May 1, 1996, Armstrong will begin defense of his Tour DuPont title in the United States' most lucrative bicycle race, which will roll through South Carolina in about two weeks. For the first time, the $260,000 Tour DuPont will skip the usual prologue or pre-race start in favor of a 48-mile circuit race in the title sponsor's headquarters city of Wilmington. (AP Photo/Tim Shaffer)
Lance Armstrong of the U.S. waves on the podium as he retains the overall leader's yellow jersey after the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Mourenx and Bordeaux, southwestern France, Thursday, July 22, 1999. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)
Overall leader Lance Armstrong of the U.S. speeds on his way to win the 19th stage of the Tour de France cycling race, a 57-kilometer individual time trial around the Futuroscope theme park near Poitiers, western France, Saturday, July 24, 1999. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, who is recovering from cancer, smiles as he answers reporters prior to the start of the 9th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Pau and Loudenvielle in the Pyrenees mountains Monday July 14, 1997. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Texas Gov. George W. Bush, left, laughs as 1999 Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong jokingly checks to see if the yellow leader's jersey he presented the governor is malodorous, Monday, Aug. 9, 1999, in Austin, Texas. Armstrong was treated to a hometown parade Monday, which honored his tour victory and gave his cancer research foundation unprecedented exposure. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
1999 Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong addresses a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday, Aug. 10, 1999. (AP Photo/Khue Bui)
1999 Tour de France cycling race winner Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, holds a press conference at the Futuroscope theme park in Poitiers, central France, Thursday, June 29, 2000. The Tour will start from the Futuroscope on Saturday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Overall leader Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, left, chats with fourth-placed Christophe Moreau of France prior to the start of the 20th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Belfort and Troyes, eastern France, Saturday, July 22, 2000. The race ends in Paris on Sunday. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Overall leader Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, plays with his son Luke prior to the start of the 13th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Avignon and Draguignan, southeastern France, Friday, July 14, 2000. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Three-time Tour de France winner and leader of the U.S. Postal Service cycling team Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas trains outside Luxembourg, ahead of the Tour de France cycling race, Friday, July 5, 2002. The 21-stage Tour will start in Luxemburg on Saturday July 6, 2002, to end in Paris on July 28. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, right, grabs a water bottle that was brought from a U.S. Postal Service team car by teammate Victor Hugo Pena, leaning foreground left, as other teammate Floyd Landis of San Diego, Calif., left, looks on, during the 6th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Forges-les-Eaux and Alencon, western France, Friday July 12, 2002. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
FILE - In this July 24, 2005 file photo, Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, center, waves from the podium as his son Luke, rear right of Armstrong, his twin daughters Grace, center right, and Isabelle, center left, look on, after winning his seventh straight Tour de France cycling race, during ceremonies on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. Armstrong has been stripped of his award in the Legion of Honor, the best-known recognition in France. Armstrong was given the rank of "Chevalier" _ or Knight _ in the "Legion d'Honneur" in 2005, the last year of his seven consecutive Tour de France victories. (AP Photo/Bernard Papon/Pool, file)
FILE - In this July 18, 2005 file photo, overall leader of the Tour de France cycling race, Lance Armstrong, right, relaxes with compatriot and teammate George Hincapie outside their hotel in Pau, southwestern France. Hincapie was the "Loyal Lieutenant" who helped Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles, only to later provide the key testimony that brought his downfall. Now, Hincapie is peeling back the shroud that has long covered the dark era of doping in cycling in a book due out next month that is part memoir, part mea culpa. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati, File)
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