Armstrong scraps independent drug-testing plans

February 13th, 2009 - 1:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 13 (DPA) Cycling legend Lance Armstrong has scrapped plans to undergo independent dope testing amid claims the programme would be unworkable.
Armstrong’s agent, Bill Stapleton, said that the cyclist would still continue to be tested by the internal anti-doping programme of his Astana team, which is run by Rasmus Damsgaard, a Danish anti-doping research scientist.

The seven-time Tour de France winner will post the results on his web site www.livestrong.com. According to Stapleton, Armstrong has been tested two or three times since December.

Last month, Armstrong announced on his return to cycling after three-and-a-half years in retirement that he had hired Don Catlin, the man who revealed the secrets of THG and EPO variant darbepoetin, as the man to certify that he is clean.

The private anti-doping programme was meant to subject the 37-year-old Armstrong to an average of one test every three days.

The anti-doping programme was launched just before Armstrong’s start in the Tour Down Under in Australia but Catlin, who is considered one of the main anti-doping experts in the United States, said the project had proved to be unworkable.

“In the real world, when you try to implement a programme as grandiose as what you had in mind, it just becomes so complicated that it’s better not to try,” Catlin told Wednesday’s New York Times.

“We’re all disappointed, but it’s just not going to be possible.”

Armstrong will next compete in Saturday’s Tour of California and also intends to ride in this summer’s Tour de France.

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