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Lance Amstrong tested positive four times in 1999 Tour de France


Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

UCI likely to face renewed criticism after it was claimed that Lance Armstrong produced four positive tests for use of banned substances during 1999 edition of the Tour de France rather than just one as previously reported.

Armstrong had previously admitted to using corticosteroids for a saddle sore during the 1999 Tour. The Texan, though, had produced a back-dated Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) which had been accepted by the UCI.


A leaked internal UCI memo now shows that Armstrong, who went on to win seven Tours before later being stripped of his titles, produced four positive tests on July 4, 14, 15 and 21, according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.


The original TUE, prepared by team doctor Luis García Del Moral, cleared Armstrong to use corticosteroids despite being added to the banned substance list days before the prologue in Le Puy du Fou.


The internal UCI memo from January 2013 reveals that Armstrong faced 12 doping controls during the 21-day race, while UCI attorney Philippe Verbiest claimed that the quantities of corticosteroids found in Armstrong were minimal, despite being high enough to be considered illegal.


"Until the 1999 Tour de France there had been no testing for corticosteroids," Verbiest said. "Riders, teams and team doctors didn’t have to bother about mentioning corticosteroids or medicines containing them at doping controls.

"This all of a sudden changed. The testing for corticosteroids was announced to the riders only a couple of days before the start of the Tour."


Verbiest concluded that the levels of corticosteroids found were "indeed an ointment and not a prohibited systematic use."


Armstrong was handed a lifelong ban from competitive sport by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) last year following their report into the former cyclist's doping practises at the US Postal team.


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Meanwhile Anthony Moran, vice-president of Cycling Ireland, has resigned following the national governing body's backing of UCI president Pat McQuaid who is seeking re-election in September.


Moran is understood to have been the only member of the seven-man panel not to support McQuaid, who has been widely criticised for his handling of the Armstong affair. Cycling Ireland, though, voted 5-1 in McQuaid's favour with one member abstaining.


Cycling Ireland released a statement saying: “Cycling Ireland today has accepted the resignation of Anthony Moran from the Board of Cycling Ireland. Moran, who was Vice-President of the Board, has been an active Board member since his election in 2009, and Cycling Ireland would like to acknowledge his work, specifically in the area of High Performance and Development.”

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]