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UCI responds to Landis accusations: You, sir, are a liar

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

AIGLE, Switzerland -- The International Cycling Union said Tuesday that no riders tested positive for EPO at the 2001 Tour de Suisse, disputing comments made by disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping and served a two-year ban, has claimed that seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong tested positive at the Tour de Suisse and officials covered it up.

"Due to the controversy following the statements made by Floyd Landis, the International Cycling Union wishes to stress that none of the tests revealed the presence of EPO in the samples taken from riders at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland," the UCI said in a statement. "The UCI has all the documentation to prove this fact."

Armstrong won the Swiss race in 2001. Landis claimed that Armstrong tested positive while winning in 2002, a timeline Armstrong himself said left him "confused," because he did not compete in the event in 2002.

It also was in 2002, Landis claimed in e-mails to cycling officials and sponsors, when Armstrong paid off the UCI's former president to conceal the positive result.

"The UCI wishes to reassert the total transparency of its anti-doping testing and categorically rejects any suspicion in relation to the concealment of results from parties involved in this field," the cycling body said.

Last week, Landis admitted for the first time what had long been suspected -- that he was guilty of doping for several years before being stripped of his 2006 Tour title.

Landis, who promised to provide more details, also implicated at least 16 other people in various doping acts, including longtime Armstrong confidant George Hincapie, Olympic medalist Levi Leipheimer and Canadian cyclist Michael Barry.

The leaders of the IOC and World Anti-Doping Agency said last week that Landis should provide evidence to back up his allegations.

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FEDS LOOKING INTO ARMSTRONG?:

NEW YORK -- The New York Times is reporting federal authorities investigating whether Lance Armstrong and other top cyclists engaged in doping are examining whether to widen their probe to include other charges involving fraud.

Investigators are particularly interested in whether money from the United States Postal Service, which sponsored Armstrong's team for nine years, was used to buy performance-enhancing drugs, according to the report posted on the newspaper's website on Tuesday.

Authorities also plan to look at the contract between Armstrong and S.C.A. Promotions, which refused to pay a $5 million bonus to the cyclist in 2004 after a book alleged he engaged in doping.

Armstrong has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs.