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Cycling News
Scroll down to read these articles from the web site of L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt
Ballenberger  
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"No Proof" for Armstrong- 12/17/05
Millar on the Saunier Duval team- 12/15/05
Armstrong in front of Italian justice- 12/14/05
Heras Affair- Pinera resigns- 12/14/05
McQuaid is angry- 12/10/05

“No Proof” for Armstrong- 12/17/05

Responding Saturday in the Belgian journal Het Nieuwsblad to accusations by the French
daily L’Equipe, Lance Armstrong stated that there is “no proof” against him.  The seven
time winner of the Tour de France repeated that he is “the victim of a big French
conspiracy”.  The Texan stayed consistent with his earlier declarations to the American
press when he affirmed that “The journal has no proof.  This is all part of a witch hunt and
a publicity stunt”.

L’Equipe revealed on August 23 that Armstrong’s urine samples taken in 1999 during the
first of his seven victories in the Grand Boucle (Tour de France) contained EPO.  “If I had
had something to hide in 1999, I would have been a fool then to collaborate with Ressiot”,
the journalist who specializes in matters of doping who brought up the issue.

Interrogated further by the Het Nieuwsblad about having used doping products in 1999, a
time when tests for detection of EPO were not used, the cycling champion said indignantly,
“In 2001 there were tests for EPO, and I rode even faster.  If all this were true, why haven’t
they taken away my victory in 1999?” he retorted.

Millar on the Saunier Duval team- 12/15/05

The Scot David Millar, still suspended for doping until 23 June 2006, has signed with
Saunier Duval beginning in June until the end of 2007.  This was announced on Thursday
by the Spanish team.

“David Millar signed a contract with the team until the end of 2007”, the web site of
Saunier Duval indicated.  “David Millar will be back on the road next June”.  “Millar is a
great rider and with Saunier Duval we think he deserves a second chance to show his
talent”, continued the Spanish team.

David Millar, who was found to have used EPO in 2001 and 2003 in the Cofidis affair, was
suspended for two years by the British Cycling Federation starting in August 2004.  The
TAS, or the sporting court of appeals which was brought into the case by the rider,
confirmed the sanction but modified the date of his return.  Millar, 28 years of age, who
was stripped of his title of world time trial champion after his doping affair became public,
was let go last year by the Cofidis team.

Armstrong in front of Italian justice- 12/14/05

Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France, must appear in March 2006
before a court in Rome for a trial of defamation brought by the rider Filippo Simeoni.

The preliminary trial judge, Nicola Insiti, fixed the first audience of the trial for March 7,
2006, after having rejected a motion of non-jurisdiction by the defense of the American.

Armstrong, who recently retired from his sporting career, is the defendant in a complaint
by the Italian rider.  Armstrong accused the rider of having lied during his testimony in the
doping trial against the sports doctor Michele Ferrari, a medical counselor and friend of
the Texas rider.

Dr. Ferrari was sentenced in October, 2004, to one year in prison for distribution of
products harmful to the health of athletes.  “Sooner or later the truth comes out and
justice prevails.  I am confident and have always been convinced that I am in the right.  I
await March 7 with confidence”, affirmed Simeoni, quoted by the Italian press agency
ANSA.

Heras Affair- Pinera resigns- 12/14/05

The director general of the Liberty Seguros team Manuel Pinera announced his
resignation following accusations of EPO doping by his star rider Heras.  The winner of the
Tour of Spain for the 4th time in September, 31 years of age, was tested positive for
erythropoietin during the next to last stage of the Vuelta (Tour of Spain).

“I am leaving because there are certain behaviors that I do not support and that I cannot
change, despite my position of director general”, Pinera announced in the Spanish journal
AS this Wednesday.  A majority shareholder of Active Bay, the enterprise which manages
the team, Pinera announced that he will sell back his shares to his partners, sporting
director Manolo Saiz, and to the team manager, Pablo Anton.

The resigning director wanted to be reassuring however, and announced that there
should not be any problems with sponsorship of the Spanish team Liberty Seguros.  “I am
sure that the sponsorship of the team will continue”, he stated.  “I believe that we have the
best team of riders in the world”.  

McQuaid is angry- 12/10/05

Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union, called the project of the grand
Tours “obscene” on Saturday, breaking away from the ICU and offering money to teams
for their participation, while reaffirming the mission of the ICU “to develop cycling in the
world”.  The Irish leader was reacting to the de facto divorce announced Friday by the
three grand Tours (France, Italy, Spain), but said he was “optimistic”, however, stating that
“a long term solution is still possible if everyone is ready to sit at the table together and
negotiate in a reasonable manner”.  

On Friday in Paris, the companies who organize these grand Tours, and who also
represent 11 of the 26 Pro Tour events, refused to engage with the Pro Tour.  They
defined their own rules for participation after 2006, and announced incentives, with
additional payments and a competition worth 2 million euros.  “For the ICU, what counts is
that money at the top be used to develop the sport at its base.  And when I see millions
offered just for assuring participation of teams, I think that is bad, it is obscene”, declared
Mr. McQuaid to journalists in Manchester who were there to cover the second stage of the
world cup of track cycling.

The president of the ICU stated that it “will be necessary to see what the reaction of the
teams might be”, adding that they will have until 2007 to make a decision, since “there will
be no changes in 2006, the teams will race in all the events” of the Pro Tour.  He
recognized that the organizers of the grand Tours “will have their races and the right to
promote participation, and the ICU can’t do anything about that”.  But “there are things
that are controlled uniquely by the ICU, such as schedules, rules and regulations, creating
trophies and classifications”, he recalled.  “Nobody else has the right to do these things,
and the ICU will not tolerate this happening”, he warned.
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