WADA Rules Out Action Against Swiss Lab

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A Swiss laboratory accused of covering up
doping offences by Lance Armstrong will not be removed from the list of World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratories, WADA president John Fahey
told AFP on Tuesday.

US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief Travis Tygart alleged last month that
the lab “tipped off” the US rider about the illegal blood booster
erythropoietin (EPO) after a “suspicious” sample he gave following the 2001
Tour of Switzerland.

It was a USADA investigation that led to Armstrong, who has since admitted
he was a serial dope cheat, being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

But Fahey, speaking in an interview with AFP after a London news
conference, said WADA would not act on Tygart’s allegations as they pre-dated
the time when the global body had started to accredit testing facilities.

“No, he spoke about an event prior to the establishment of WADA
(accreditation),” Fahey replied when asked by AFP if WADA, founded in 1999,
would act on Tygart’s allegations against the Swiss facility.

“Clearly we have certain rights in respect of accredited laboratories and
the personnel within those laboratories in recent times,” the Australian added.

“But he (Tygart) spoke about a time back in 2001 when there was no WADA in
existence (as it is today). We may have just been kicking off around that time
so it’s not relevant.

“Was he accurate? I can’t really add to what he’s said. There have
certainly been many stories of that time connected to Lance Armstrong and
various other people who were relevant to samples he gave in the sport of
cycling going back to the turn of the century.

“Those facts will, I believe, always have some level of conjecture attached
to them. So I’m not suggesting Mr Tygart was wrong, I’m simply saying there’s
nothing there that allowed WADA to move on because it related to an alleged
event at a time before we were accrediting laboratories.”

Last month Martial Saugy, head of the Lausanne laboratory, denied Tygart’s
claims by saying: “Did I give the keys to get around EPO tests? The answer is
clear: no.”