The French can’t quit Lance Armstrong. Their obsession to prove he’s a drug cheat has reached Detective John Kavanaugh proportions. They haven’t shown a thirst for vengeance like this since ever. If they had showed this much determination during WWII…
The French anti-doping authority has thrown down a challenge to the seven-time Tour de France champion, proposing he agree to retesting of his 1999 urine samples to see whether a French newspaper was right when it reported they contained traces of EPO, a banned blood-boosting hormone that enhances endurance.
Authority head Pierre Bordry insists that Armstrong “prove his good faith” and put the rumors to rest by agreeing to let them retest the 1999 samples. Of course, Bordry’s not bringing up the fact that the French are the ones keeping the rumors alive.
In drug testing, urine is divided into “A” and “B” samples, and both must show traces of a banned substance for the test to be declared positive.
Only remains from six “B” samples have been kept from Armstrong’s 1999 Tour, the French agency said. So even if the “B” samples came back positive in new testing, there are no “A” samples left against which to compare results.
Armstrong responded by claiming the samples were “compromised”.
…The conclusions of the investigation were that the 1998 and 1999 Tour de France samples have not been maintained properly, have been compromised in many ways, and even three years ago could not be tested to provide any meaningful results. There is simply nothing that I can agree to that would provide any relevant evidence about 1999.”
Who knows whether Lance did or didn’t dope during his cycling career. Far be it for us to defend or crucify him without knowing the facts. However, it does seem as though the French are out to get him. They haven’t been able to prove their case despite claiming evidence of EPO in his 2005 samples. It’s simple. Put up or shut up. The same goes for Tour de France president Jean-Etienne Amaury and Greg LeMond.
** It wouldn’t be right of us to reference the R without giving it to you.