Lance Armstrong Failed Four Drug Tests During 1999 Tour de France, Admits International Cycling Union

Lance ArmstrongDuring the 1999 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong returned four test samples that contained traces of corticosteroids. The International Cycling Union not only knew about the positive tests, but also accepted a retroactively dated therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for a cream that Armstrong was said to be taking for saddle sores. The UCI claims it did not know the TUE was backdated.

Although one of the positive tests was already publicly known, The Independent reports that UCI has confirmed it in fact knew about four positive tests from that competition. Armstrong admitted earlier this year that his TUE had been backdated.

However, things actually get worse for the UCI. The organization retested those samples six years later, in 2005, to find that they also contained blood-boosting EPO. Since the B samples had been destroyed over that period, Armstrong could not be charged with a doping offense.

After an internal memo leaked that revealed the UCI had known about the additional positive tests, and the 2005 retests, the organization released a statement.

“It should be stressed that this case was handled knowing only the facts which were apparent at that time,” reads the statement. “For example, the UCI did not know that the medical certificate handed over to Dr. Schattenberg, a member of UCI’s anti-doping commission, in July 1999 had been post-dated. Armstrong only admitted this during his interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was broadcast on 17 January 2013.”