Pound: Armstrong has 'too much time on his hands'

Updated: June 20, 2006, 12:42 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound told the Globe and Mail that Lance Armstrong looks "silly" for calling for his ouster.

"Maybe now that [Armstrong] has retired, he has too much time on his hands," Pound said in an e-mail to the newspaper.

"For someone beating the ethical drum, you might have thought that transparency and courage would suggest he would have the decency to let me know directly, rather than through a leaked disclosure [of Armstrong's letter] to certain media, that he was launching his ill-considered attack," Pound told the newspaper.

In an eight-page letter sent to IOC president Jacques Rogge and published on Armstrong's official supporters' Web site (thepaceline.com), Armstrong on Sunday accused Pound of violating IOC rules by his conduct during the independent investigation into allegations last August of doping against Armstrong by French newspaper L'Equipe.

Armstrong was cleared in May. Lawyer Emile Vrijman, who led the investigation, said WADA and the French national doping laboratory had effectively pronounced Armstrong guilty of a doping violation without sufficient basis.

Armstrong, who has consistently denied using performance-enhancing drugs, asked the IOC to force Pound to step down as chairman of WADA. The IOC executive board begins a three-day meeting Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"The IOC has received the letter, and it is very likely it will be discussed during the executive board meetings," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Monday.

Pound was critical of the Dutch report, saying it was prepared by a lawyer with no expertise in doping control. WADA said the report was "so lacking in professionalism and objectivity that it borders on the farcical."

Pound, reached Monday by The Associated Press in Lausanne, said he hasn't seen a copy of Armstrong's letter.

"I have no idea what he has in mind, it's somewhat surprising," Pound said. "The real story is he should be complaining to what happened in L'Equipe ... not picking on me."

Pound said the issue "doesn't even seem to be an IOC thing. ... This is a matter to be resolved between the UCI [cycling's governing body] and WADA."

On June 2, Pound said WADA "completely rejected" a report written by Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman for the UCI that cleared Armstrong. The cycling union appointed Vrijman in October to investigate the handling of urine samples from the 1999 Tour by a French anti-doping lab. His report released on May 31 exonerated Armstrong "completely" of any doping infractions.

L'Equipe reported in August that six of Armstrong's samples tested positive for EPO. There was no reliable test for EPO in 1999, but urine samples were preserved and analyzed later when improved testing technology was developed.

In a new WADA statement issued Monday in Montreal, the drug agency reiterated its criticisms of Vrijman's report, citing a "lack of professionalism" and a "distinct lack of impartiality in conducting a full review of all the facts."

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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