Wherever cycling goes, it is constantly dogged by rumours of illicit, performance-enhancing drug taking. Barely a year goes by without some champion or other being accused of doping, with even squeaky-clean Lance Armstrong coming under some serious scrutiny.
The seven-time Tour de France winner has been dogged by rumours for a while now, but none worse than those from his former TUS Postal teammate Tyler Hamilton, who claimed on US current affairs giant 60 Minutes that Armstrong tested positive for EPO in 2001, only for him to cut a deal with the International Cycling Union (UCI). However the UCI today slammed the claims, saying that Armstrong has never failed a drug test, and that Hamilton was not to be trusted.
‘The allegations are completely unfounded,’ read a UCI statement. ‘The UCI can only confirm that Lance Armstrong has never been notified of a positive test result.
‘The UCI can only express its indignation at this latest attempt to damage the image of cycling by a cyclist who has not hesitated to abuse the trust of all followers of cycling on several occasions in the past. At no time did he see fit to inform the UCI of the events he claims to have witnessed 10 years ago, and which he is now using in his attempt to harm the UCI.
‘The UCI will continue to defend its honour and credibility by all means available, and reserves the right to take any measures it deems necessary against Mr Hamilton or any other person. The UCI confidently awaits the results of the inquiry being conducted by the US justice system. It hopes that the investigations may be concluded swiftly and the truth ascertained, so that the sport of cycling may be spared further unnecessary damage.’