Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) even firmer in yellow ahead of the final stage in the 2016 Aviva WOmen's Tour.
  • jules

    Unacceptable from Lizzie any way you cut it

    • JBS

      I dunno, if what I read from the article is correct, then this is UKAD stuffing up and trying to pin it on the athlete. If she provided accurate and full details on the whereabouts, and the testers turned up to the wrong spot I can’t see how the athlete is at fault. She’s a good cyclist, but that wouldn’t include precognition in her skill set.

      This is all assuming her story is true. Its not like the Olympics starting next week would sway any decision by the panel. But based on the evidence provided I can’t see how any of this is her fault

      • Robert Merkel

        One of the whereabouts violations appears to be the situation you described (or something similar).

        Another was an acknowledged stuffup on her or her team’s part, the final one was apparently the result of an illness in the family.

        It’s not relevant to the court’s decision whether her story on the last violation checks out or not (you need three whereabouts violations to cop the suspension), but I’d certainly be interested to know.

        Be interested to hear Nicole Cooke’s thoughts on the matter also, if she’s prepared to venture them.

        It will also be interesting to see the full CAS decision when it appears on the website (which might be a while).

        • JBS

          Sorry, I agree with all of that except the “not relevant” bit. It’s incredibly relevant, if there is no fault on the last instance, there is no way it can be considered a violation. Two strikes is still not good, but you need three strikes for a penalty, that’s the rules, not two violations and a UKAD “oops our bad”.

          You can’t charge someone with a violation if, for example, they accurately state they will be in Melbourne on 2/8/2016 and the testers turn up in Sydney. Key word there is “accurately”. If she stuffed around the whereabouts, totally different story.

          • Robert Merkel

            Just to clarify, the last violation, chronologically (as I read the article) was the “family emergency” one. Hope my comment makes more sense in that context.

            • JBS

              OK, I was assuming (obviously wrongly) that the contentious strike was the one that triggered proceedings. Thanks.

              Not that it changes anything. She should be sitting on two violations any way you cut it. Bad, but not punishable.

              • jules

                Even though the CAS found in her favor on one count, it’s still suspicious to me. Apparently the testers didn’t look for her hard enough. These cases are not black and white. An athlete deliberately evading the testers can make it hard for them. This is why the whereabouts system was implemented. But there is still some grace allowed. It appears Lizzie has used up every bit of grace and benefit of the doubt on offer. The question is: why?

                • JBS

                  See:
                  “If she stuffed around the whereabouts, totally different story.”

            • jules

              Why would she rush off for a family emergency when she knew she was on 2 strikes? She could easily have updated her log. It’s a huge stuff up, at a minimum.

              • Dave

                Or why not deal with the first one (the one overturned by CAS) while sitting on just one, or while sitting on two?

                A one month suspension pending appeal and another 10 weeks of sitting on two confirmed tests should focus the mind a little.

              • MD

                “Why would she rush off for a family emergency?” Ask yourself the same question. If you don’t have the imagination to know why someone would rush off for a family emergency regardless of other circumstances in their life, then I guess there is no way anyone can explain it to you. Most of us can imagine a family circumstance that would trump any personal career factors.

                • Dave

                  If you were going to go somewhere for family reasons and bail on a work commitment, wouldn’t you give them a quick call first rather than going completely off the grid?

                  • MD

                    If I was calling in sick for work? yes. If my toddler had just been hit by a car? hell no. My point isn’t whether she did the right thing or not, and my point also isn’t that I somehow have knowledge that you and the rest of the world doesn’t – no one on these forums knows the circumstances. My point is that just as it doesn’t take much imagination to concoct a mental scenario in which this is proof of her guilt, it also doesn’t take much imagination to construct a real-life scenario in which she is innocent. Forums appear to be a place where most people want to tear down anyone who is successful, always looking for the most negative possibility to the exclusion of all other equally likely positive ones – perhaps that’s just human nature (and I’m as much a cynic as the next guy, more so probably).

                    • jules

                      I am a fan of Lizzie. She might just be very disorganized. I dont know for sure one way or the other. But this is sus.

                • jules

                  You’re missing the point. The whereabouts system doesn’t stop her going anywhere or changing her plans. It just requires her to notify the system. For a world champ on two strikes, it’s very hard to believe it could be an oversight.

          • jakub

            That’s apparently not the way she missed the test.

            “That first missed test, on Aug 20 2015, is the one CAS cleared her of, ruling that the UKAD Doping Control Officer had not followed required procedures nor made reasonable attempts to locate Armitstead.

            Armitstead was staying at her team hotel at the UCI Women’s Road World Cup in Sweden when the doping control officer arrived.”

            Seems more like Froome’s case, when hotel staff simply refused to tell in which room he was staying. You might argue that as an athlete you should be aware of this and notify the staff about such possibility.

            • Dave

              > You might argue that as an athlete you should be aware of this and notify the staff about such possibility.

              Absolutely!

              Or leave your phone on.

              • MD

                You’ve never missed a 6am phone call after traveling? I sure have (and don’t tell me it’s part of her job, it was part of mine as well – the sleeping brain doesn’t care). And hotels (certainly in the UK were there is a national obsession about privacy) have a policy of not giving out personal information about guests regardless (and it’s unlikely that the same person would be at the desk when she checked in as when the testers arrived). Who knows what really happened, but there appears to be a lot of people who want to believe the worst or who have little ability to imagine alternatives that are just as plausible.

                • ebbe

                  Actually, if we forgive the first miss because it may have been the officers fault, missing two other tests within 9 months, both (all three actually) just before major races which L.A. happened to win, is still quite extraordinary. Some might even say “an extraordinary series of events would have to occur for that story to be true”, and therefore label it untrue.

                  Oh, and here’s what Katie Compton had to say about missing tests: https://twitter.com/KatieFnCompton/status/760250937877274624

                  • Dave

                    A cricketer I know personally had one during his second year in the testing pool.

                    He got his act into gear after that and has not had a single one in over five years since then.

                    • ebbe

                      Yep, I can imagine. If only for the fear of being banned while you did nothing wrong (doping-wise that is). If you have nothing to hide, you’d make absolutely sure they can find you…

                      I don’t know if you’ve read the stories on Robert Gesink, but if anybody has a genuine right to claim “family emergencies” it’s him. One emergency after another, for several years straight. He still managed to keep his whereabouts up to date. And that was (partially) even before there was a smartphone app.

                      More on that (in Dutch): http://wielerprikbord.nl/read.php?8,17271,17274

                • ebbe

                  If 6 AM is a problem, then she shouldn’t have indicated 6 AM as her available time slot for that day.

                • winkybiker

                  There is no reason for the hotel to give out specific information, but perhaps they can just call her room. Or is it policy now for hotels to not even acknowledge that a guest has checked in?

            • Robert Merkel

              Jakob, to summarise, she missed three tests.

              The one which was discussed at CAS involved an apparent failure by the testers to find her when she was at the nominated location. With that one struck off the list she only two strikes and is legally in the clear.

              However, as far as the court of public opinion in which I am judge, jury and executioner, I am curious about one of the other tests which she missed, in which she stated that she had to be elsewhere because of a family emergency.

              • Dave

                You would think that while she was sitting on two missed tests she would have taken a couple of actions to ensure she couldn’t get a third:

                (a) doing something about appealing the first one
                (b) been VERY careful and diligent in updating her ADAMS properly, it only takes a couple of minutes

                • Steve

                  how do we know she didnt appeal it? thats probably why it went to CAS, because UKAD dismissed her claim of negligence on their part.

            • JBS

              Well it is kind of is how she missed it. Sure its not different cities, but she lodged that she was in her hotel room, etc. She was in her hotel room, but the testers failed to find the hotel room. Geographic distance is much smaller than my example, but they still didn’t try hard enough to find her where she said she’d be (and was).

              • jakub

                “Officers will do their utmost to ensure ‘no-notice’ testing to uphold the ‘integrity’ of the anti-doping procedure. UKAD went on to explain that in the event of testers needing to contact an athlete through a hotel reception, for example, it would become an ‘announced test’ and another would be done at a later date.” The fact that UKAD is consulting lawyers for a possibility of appealing the CAS ruling makes it seem even more suspicious for Armitstead.

                • Milessio

                  Note, “Armitstead undertook in-competition testing the following day (21 August 2015), as leader of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup.
                  So, if she was/is a doper, what would she have done during the ~24hrs to make sure she passed that test?

                  Seems a rather unlikely that UKAD will appeal as: ‘Judicial recourse to the Swiss Federal Tribunal is allowed on a very limited number of grounds, such as lack of jurisdiction, violation of elementary procedural rules (e.g. violation of the right to a fair hearing) or incompatibility with public policy.­­­’

                  • jakub

                    EPO microdosing becomes undetectable after few hours, that’s why there are talks about night-time testing. Exactly that was my point – it is almost impossible to overturn CAS ruling, but the mere fact that UKAD is discussing such a possibility possibly suggests something.

                    • Dave

                      The next step is the Swiss courts.

                      They could lodge a case there, and apply for an immediate injunction to set aside the CAS ruling (restoring the original UCI suspension) until it is heard.

                    • jules

                      where are UKAD discussing overturning the CAS ruling? the article says they are awaiting the reasoned decision.

                    • jakub

                      There was an article on cyclingnews yesterday.

                    • Nomad

                      On the microdosing: I recall hearing somewhere that WADA had improved the sensitivity on the test to around 24 hrs (However, I’m not finding anything in the literature on it).

                      Otherwise, the detection window for IV microdosing EPO is 9 hrs for beta and 7 hrs for alfa:

                      http://m.asheducationbook.hematologylibrary.org/content/2013/1/627.long?view=long&pmid=24319242

        • JBS

          Sorry, I agree with all of that except the “not relevant” bit. It’s incredibly relevant, if there is no fault on the last instance, there is no way it can be considered a violation. Two strikes is still not good, but you need three strikes for a penalty, that’s the rules, not two violations and a UKAD “oops our bad”.

          You can’t charge someone with a violation if, for example, they accurately state they will be in Melbourne on 2/8/2016 and the testers turn up in Sydney. Key word there is “accurately”. If she stuffed around the whereabouts, totally different story.

      • Paul Jakma

        Well, the one she got off she was in a hotel and didn’t answer her phone when the tester tried contacting her. According to reports, Lizzie claimed she’d had the phone on ‘silent’. Why would you set the phone you gave as ADAMS contact number to silent? And only Lizzie can be responsible for that.

    • On Your Bike

      you are charged with speeding in your car but it turns out the officer got the wrong car and it was another car, not yours. However you still have to go to court to clear this up… when you go back to work and explain this to your boss and his response is ‘unacceptable Jules, any way you cut it’ what would your response be ??

      • jules

        I wouldn’t use Lizzie’s case which is quite different

        • On Your Bike

          same .. an officer mistakenly stuffs up and charges you with something you didn’t do … that unacceptable Jules and you shouldn’t have been speeding.. ‘we agree’ say your colleagues and so do I, unacceptable any way you cut it Jules.. speeding is not allowed and you should know better, we know your excuses for the last 2 times you were caught speeding so don’t give us any of you excuses this time about it being the authorities mistake.. you must have been speeding any way you cut it .. Phew, thank goodness I live in a democracy. TTFN

          • jules

            I think you may have misinterpreted the circumstances of the missed test. I doubt it was a straight error by the testers. They couldn’t find her. She’s supposed to make herself findable.

            • On Your Bike

              ‘CAS ruled that there was no negligence on Armitstead’s part’ … ‘failure removed from her record, due to an error on the doping officer’s part’ .. not my words, so on what grounds do you doubt? I know you proved to the court and the police that it wasn’t your car or you that was speeding but I have my doubts, I think you were as you were in the area in your car at the time !

            • JM McGill

              And, she did not answer her phone when the tester called her. Apparently it was on silent.
              She needs to pull the other one, it has bells on

      • Cam

        But then when you are charged with speeding twice more and you know you lose your license after three strikes and you have no reasonable explanation for the second and third violations – your boss starts to lose patience…

      • exemplary1

        Not even close sister.

  • geoff.tewierik

    DAF

  • Howie

    Wow.

  • Robert Merkel

    Re the secrecy, I’d be looking into precedents with whereabouts violations both in cycling but also in other sports. Were they announced before a CAS appeal concluded?

  • Darren Yearsley

    Different rules for hot people. Thank god.

  • Flashing Pedals®

    Complete news blackout – pre olympics, that’s unusual. Most athletes, in a similar position, are named in the “mess” quite early on.
    UK Journalists, are usually all over these types of articles -ie Mo Farah / whereabouts going walkabout / Nike-Oregon-coach drug scandal Christine Oghuru similar story missed tests / now lizzie armistead. …….

    • Dave

      This is one of the bits that smells.

      It would have been a public farce if she was from, for example, Belgium.

    • MD

      It’s supposed to be kept out of the press until the athlete is found guilty! They aren’t supposed to be tarnished by public opinion if they are found innocent. The fact that it happens with depressing regularity that someone is tried in public even though later declared innocent by the authorities does not mean that is how it is meant to be. All the “blackout” suggests to me is that for once the leakers didn’t leak and upheld the integrity of their jobs for a change. If every allegation was immediately followed by trial in the media and internet forums, we wouldn’t need the authorities to make a finding at all.

      • Dave

        The thing is, she was found guilty!

        I do not support this new UCI policy of keeping schtum until after any potential appeals to CAS.

      • ebbe

        And you don’t think keeping this under wraps until the *world champ* had a chance to defend herself but UCI stringing *amateur* athletes up the very same day potential cheating is found is… strange, at least?

        • MD

          I’m assuming you are talking about the fact that the UCI along with all other sporting codes has been dumped in the sh!t but the IOC? The IOC wanted to punish Russia for have a systematic state level process for hiding doped athlete positive tests. Rather than have the guts to make a call, it devolved the decision to all the sporting codes including the UCI, but with the caveat that athletes with past suspensions or under suspicion ought to be excluded. The UCI (and other codes) was in the unenviable position of basically being told to exclude those Russian athletes yet take the public criticism for doing so (rather than the IOC doing so). Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. BTW, the Russian cyclists who would have taken part aren’t amateur in the way I suspect you intend the word (which isn’t a mark against them, merely an observation that they are as professional as the British Olympic team are. LA should be treated the same was as any cyclist who is charged with something – initially innocent until proven guilty, and justice hasn’t run it’s course until the appeal is accepted or rejected. Anything else would be “strange” at the very least.

          • ebbe

            Actually, no I wasn’t talking about that ;-) I was talking about Brian Cookson confirming mechanical fraud being *used* (the word “used” being essential here! – it turned out it was not “used”) at CX worlds in January. This statement from Cookson came months before there was a reasoned decision (as far as I know there still isn’t), or the amateur athlete in question had a change to appeal that reasoned decision.

            But indeed, the current Russians saga is also interesting: From UCI’s press statement (which is so badly written it is nearly unreadble) we could surmise that UCI decided to nominate 3 Russian riders for being banned by purely looking at past digressions… whether they had already served a ban for it or not. Naturally, these names were then passed on to IOC, who effected the ban. http://www.uci.ch/pressreleases/uci-statement-the-eligibility-russian-riders-the-rio-206-olympic-games/ – I’m not sure how much pressure was put on UCI to name at least some names, but in my book both UCI and IOC share responsibility for banning athletes, and taking money from these athlete’s pockets, who are *not* currently proven dirty.

      • Flashing Pedals®

        Shane Sutton was tried by media – with obvious result.
        I’m well aware of the way the ADAMS system operates – and the need for professional discretion, to preserve anonymity (but that’s not a particular British trait – by that, I mean, anonymity re trials, etc).
        The BC excuses, bandied around, erm, No. Neither clever PR or helpful to the athlete in question, when analysed, retrospectively.

        Explain, why, a well seasoned and travelled cyclist, subject to the ADAMS system, whom is aware of the need for being available and declaring, with clarity, whereabouts, for testing (most riders specify an early test, if needed – as it has less disruption) then turns the phone off?
        I’m assuming that LA has been tested at 7am before, so why turn the phone off, and no, “i needed sleep” doesn’t cut it.

  • flx

    Why even test in women’s cycling? We all know they’re 100% clean.

  • Berne Shaw

    All told three missed tests by such a mature reigning world champion is unconscionable. Innocent until proven guilty however this a a giant black mark upon her regardless.
    People with nothing to hide hide nothing.

    Follow the smoke to the fire. She misses first test. Ok. She misses second test OMG coaches say hey one more four year suspension !!!! Then she allegedly cavalierly misses third??? Crikes! Is this what a person with everything to gain and nothing to hide does?

    • Paul Jakma

      Well, she was found guilty. Somehow though CAS has ruled it isn’t Lizzie’s fault that she put her phone on silent…. Can’t wait to read that judgement, except CAS suck at publishing judgements in a timely fashion (here’s a good one: Try find an official english translation – as are _supposed to be produced_ of Kittel’s CAS judgement on their site, or anywhere!).

  • Valiant Abello

    Unacceptable. Heart breaking also, she’s a personal hero of mine

  • roger

    Sad to hear but anyone claiming this is an innocent mistake when she clearly escaped justice on a technicality is deluding themselves. We’ve heard how another ‘LA’ skated along above the rules with impunity before. This should trigger a deeper inquest into British cycling. If their alarm bells weren’t screaming at test#2 they are complicit. Hopefully this time the peloton is angry enough to ensure that cheater doesn’t win in Rio and treats the stained rainbow jersey with the contempt it deserves.

    • James_Casper

      Well put.

  • winkybiker

    This case is further evidence that the whole anti-doping system is not easy to administer fairly. What is easy is to increase the penalties. In my view, and automatic life ban from all aspects of the sport is the only credible deterrent. Nothing retrospective, just a clear policy going forward. A slight modifier is that the automatic lifetime ban would perhaps only be applicable above a certain age, say 18. Below age 18, and 1st offence, banned until you are 18 or for 5 years whichever comes later. Young people are by nature susceptible to nefarious influences. Above a certain age (or second offence), you’re old enough to look out for yourself.

    And Ms. Armistead should be ashamed of herself and permanently and immediately retire from the sport. If she’s not guilty, she is mind-bogglingly careless. We won’t miss her.

  • Robert Merkel

    One additional piece of information (HT Bridie O’Donnell) is that the contentious missed test was disputed at the time with UKAD, but wa not further appealed to CAS due to the cost.

    Take a look at @johnarmitstead’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/johnarmitstead/status/760432215759134720?s=09

  • bigdo

    She’s been cold busted basically and they’re still going to let her go and compete… Lol.. If that’s the way she wants to compete fine… But everyone with a tiny grain of competence knows what’s happening. She’s doping and likely has been for some time… Damn shame.. But her recent run these past couple of years definitely indicate a huge surge in performance… She’s been dominant and consistently so. So much so that I’d say, it made me raise an eyebrow more than once…

    And while what Lizzie has done is admonish able, she’s by no means alone in her ambitions. People just have to accept the FACT, that most of the top athletes in ANY sport where there’s big money on the line are on some sort of ‘program’. It’s not just the Russians people… Wake up… All of you Froome fan boys also need a heavy dose of reality.

    • Shane Ingram

      I’m unimpressed. LA has evaded serious consequences on a fragile technicality. Assuming I am a clean athlete, one strike in an allowable three would put me on high alert, two would make informing the testers of my whereabouts my highest daily priority.

      When an athlete has had three strikes in 12 months, a reasonable person would expect the athlete would claim the last one as a family emergency (what other reason could you use) and also assume the athlete is cheating.

  • Dave

    So much for these Olympics having higher standards. The Russians should appeal to CAS as well.

  • Michele Graham

    This is an entertaining read on how you EXPECT a professional rider to make sure they don’t miss a test.
    https://rouleur.cc/journal/racing/chris-juul-jensen-doping-inspector-calls

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