A Dutch investigator commissioned by the International Cycling Union, to independently verify allegations against Lance Armstrong that, in 1999, he used a banned substance, has vindicated the seven-time defending Tour de France Champion.
Last year, the French newspaper, L’Equipe published a series of stories that accused Armstrong of testing positive for EPO, a red blood cell-boosting hormone that increases an athlete’s endurance. The article citied results of six urine samples provided by Armstrong during the 1999 Tour. The tests, however, were done on backup samples, which were only identified by a set of numbers.
The investigator, Emile Vrijman, latched onto that fact, castigating the journalists, WADA and French Ministry of Youth and Sport for “the failure of the underlying research to comply with any applicable standard … . (T)he deficiencies in the report render it completely irresponsible for anyone involved in doping control testing to even suggest that the analyses results that were reported constitute evidence of anything. To suggest in any way that any of the analyses results could properly be associated with a particular rider or riders, is misleading and constitutes at least gross negligence.
“The process that generated those results and the subsequent reports was so deficient that it would be improper in this report to discuss these reports in more detail as it would give the reported results more credibility than they could possibly merit.”