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Lab chief: Lance Armstrong’s 2001 test was suspicious, not a failure

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Lance Armstrong’s contentious 2001 Tour of Switzerland drug test was suspicious, but wasn’t proof of EPO doping, even by today’s stringent standards, the laboratory chief who oversaw the procedure has told AFP.

That test taken 11 years ago forms part of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) damning dossier which has condemned the seven-time Tour de France winner as being at the the heart of sport’s biggest ever doping conspiracy.

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Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, two of Armstrong’s teammates testified that the Texan rider had admitted to testing positive at the race in Switzerland but boasted of the result being covered-up.

“There was no positive test on the Tour of Switzerland in 2001,” said Martial Saugy, the director of the Lausanne laboratory which conducted the tests.

However, the laboratory did flag up that three tests, one of which later was revealed to be Armstrong’s, had been judged to be “suspect”, just on the borderline of a positive result in that era.

Saugy is adamant that if the USADA believe this to represent a positive test, then it would be an opinion which would be hard to back up legally.

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“There’s no way today that this could be defended as a positive result, it’s impossible,” added Saugy.

“Since 2003, procedures oblige to take into account the risks of a false-positive which could verify that urine had not been affected by the physiology of the cyclist or degraded by bacteria.

“This was not done at the time and the urine no longer exists because the rules did not require keeping it.”

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Furthermore, the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn an EPO test on Danish rider Bo Hamburger on appeal — on the grounds that the probability of a positive test was not sufficient — means that laboratories and federations have become more cautious in their procedures.

“Armstrong had another suspect result during the 2002 Dauphine Libere. The politics of the UCI at that time, if there was such a result involving an important competitor, was to meet them and ask for an explanation,” claimed Saugy.

“That was their approach to prevention.”

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“The UCI said to me at the end of June 2002: ‘we warned the rider for whom you had a suspect result in 2001, he gave another suspect return at another lab and he would like to know by which method it was tested’.

“The rider was Armstrong. It was then that I learned about it.”

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Stephen Colbert rips ‘idiot’ GOP senator for defending Trump’s unconstitutional self-dealing

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"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert returned from New Zealand for a new show that aired Monday evening.

"I have been as far from the insatiable black hole of news that is Donald Trump as you can get on this planet.

I've heard there have been some developments over the last 10 days that did not go well for Donnie,"

The host ripped Trump's 71-minute press conference.

"Seventy-one minutes is not a press conference, it's a one man show," he explained. "If you liked 'Fleabag,' you'll love Donald Trump in 'Douchebag,'" he said.

[caption id="attachment_1555275" align="aligncenter" width="800"] ‘The Late Show’ graphic (screengrab)[/caption]

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Texas Republicans are abandoning the state’s GOP Speaker: ‘We no longer support him’

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Some of the most powerful Texas House Republicans said Monday they no longer support GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen, marking the biggest blow yet to his political future amid the fallout from a secret recording released last week by a hardline conservative activist.

Five Republicans considered senior members of the lower chamber issued a statement withdrawing support for him: State Reps. Four Price of Amarillo, Dan Huberty of Houston, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Chris Paddie of Marshall and John Frullo of Lubbock.

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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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