Lance Armstrong announced he will be butting out of UCLA doping guru Don Catlin's custom made anti-doping program. Armstrong announced -- amid huge fanfare at a Bill Clinton conference last fall -- that he would undergo Catlin's state of the art anti-doping program to prove he was ahead of the curve in dope testing, and to prove he was clean. Does this mean he is neither? What spin will be weaved on this announcement. To the Sydney Morning News:
LANCE ARMSTRONG may have scrapped plans to put himself through an independent anti-doping program run by world-renown expert Don Catlin but he will undertake the control system in place for his Astana team.
Armstrong's management was quick to clarify the status of his testing protocols after news reports said Catlin and Armstrong's management had been unable to put their proposed testing regime in place.
Armstong's agent and lawyer, Bill Stapleton, said: "After a thorough review of the efficiency of a separate testing program, the decision has been made to transfer the comprehensive program we had planned to do with Don Catlin to Rasmus Damsgaard, a renowned anti-doping expert who runs the Astana team's internal testing program."
More on Armstrong and Catlin after the jump...
As Velo News notes, Armstrong withdraw from Catlin's company, however will continue to post his (public) results online:
After starting an independent anti-doping program by taking samples at the Tour Down Under last month, Lance Armstrong and Anti-Doping Research, Inc., agreed to end the program, Oliver Catlin, the company's CEO and program manager, told VeloNews Wednesday.
Catlin, the son of company founder Don Catlin, said expense was a factor, but administration of the program, coordination with other testers and communicating the results to the public also were challenges that led to the "mutual decision to end the program."
In a statement, Armstrong's attorney and agent, Bill Stapleton, said the racer will "transfer the program we had planned to do with Don Catlin to Ramsus Damsgaard." He also said that Armstrong's detailed test sample results would be posted on his Livestrong.org Web site immediately
W\hat does Catlin say about this:
Apparently the well-publicized testing program was too awkward to carry out, or did Armstrong gather in the publicity then flee the responsibility? Oliver Catlin says this:
"With Armstrong's every-three-day concept, there was a high likelihood that we would run into other testers (from the UCI or other programs)," he said. Attempting to gather multiple samples on the same day could be time consuming and possibly invalidate the samples, he said.
"There were countless challenges to deal with in the program. It was not any one of them (that led to the decision to end the relationship), but en masse, collectively, it led to the decision."
Oliver Catlin declined to give his opinion of whether race fans can be confident in Armstrong's performance without his organization's testing.
"From what I know, there tends to be polarized camps when it comes to Armstrong, and I don't think there is anything in this situation that will change either camp's opinion."
Great dodge man...read between the lines...