Team manager Mark Gorski has issued an official statement which tries to keep the lid on two of the current Lance stories.
Firstly Lance Armstrong and his team manager have now confirmed that the 2001 Tour De France will be their squad’s main goal for the season. This follows Lance’s statement on his own personal website that he won’t ride the ‘Tour if the allegations made by French media continue.
Secondly Gorski has now admitted Actovegin – since banned by the UCI – was used by the Postal squad, with full approval of the French medical controllers. What he is stating though is that none of the team riders used the product (alleged to promote cardiovascular performance).
The full statement follows, but the cynical side of us can’t help wondering why this admission didn’t appear several weeks ago when the ‘Actovegin scandal’ first reared it’s head, and also that Lance never specifically named Actovegin in full in his denial of it’s usage, instead using the phrase “Activ-o-something”. Still the fact remains Lance Armstrong has never tested positive for any banned substance nor tested positive for excessive blood haemocrit levels despite having been tested on every day he held the leaders jersey. And you can bet the French went through those tests very carefully indeed.
Anyway, here’s that press statement;
“Since the preposterous rumor continues to fester in the international press, I want to clearly state that none of the nine riders representing the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team at the 2000 Tour de France used Actovegin.
Prior to the start of the 2000 Tour, Actovegin was brought into France by our team physician with the full authorization of the Agence Française de Securité Sanitaire des Produits de Santé, the French medical control agency. Actovegin was available to be used to treat severe skin abrasions due to crashes and to aid one of our staff members who has diabetes.
Due to his ongoing frustrations at the many claims that have been brought against him, team member and two-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong publicly suggested he might not participate in the 2001 Tour. Lance and Directeur Sportif Johan Bruyneel have assured me that our goal remains the same – to defend the yellow jersey in the 2001 Tour. This will continue to be our team’s main competitive focus and we will enter the 2001 season with a goal of winning cycling’s greatest event for the third consecutive year.”