UCI head says manager of retired Armstrong has reached out
The president of cycling's international governing body said Lance Armstrong's manager contacted the organization this summer to ask how the retired cyclist would go about participating in anti-doping testing in order to clear the way for a possible comeback.
UCI chief Pat McQuaid, reached by phone at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, said Armstrong's longtime agent Bill Stapleton requested information on how Armstrong would go about getting into the biological passport program, in which athletes' blood tests are gathered and compared over time."He had an interest in possibly racing next year, so we pointed them in the right direction, which was USADA," McQuaid said, referring to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has testing jurisdiction over all elite-level athletes in Olympic sports in the United States. McQuaid said he had no qualms about a potential Armstrong comeback. "I have nothing but great admiration for Lance Armstrong as a man and as an athlete," he said. "He has huge numbers of admirers all over the world, and from a sports point of view, it would be a positive thing. However, whether he can still achieve at his former level, I don't know. I don't know if he knows." Armstrong, who will turn 37 on Sept. 18, enrolled in USADA's out-of-competition testing pool in early August, according to agency spokeswoman Erin Hannan. He competed in a nonelite mountain bike race, the Leadville Trail 100, later that month, but the two events were unrelated, as he was not required to be in the testing pool to enter that race. However, any athlete planning to come out of retirement has to have been in the testing program for at least six months. Athletes registered for the program must periodically provide a detailed account of where they plan to be for the next several months, commonly known as the "whereabouts" system, and can be tested at any time with no advance notice.
Bonnie D. Ford covers Olympic sports and tennis for ESPN.com.
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