10 November 2012
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WADA responds to comments made by Dr. Garnier

WADA is disappointed to read the comments made by its former Medical Director Dr. Alain Garnier insofar as they relate to his suggestion that WADA was inactive in respect of Lance Armstrong.

In 2005, when WADA became aware of the information relating to many positive samples from Lance Armstrong at the Paris laboratory, WADA suggested that the UCI conduct an inquiry into the truth of the matter.

Rather than inquire into the truth of the doping suggestion UCI took other steps and engaged an individual to write a report exonerating Armstrong. The report was not independent and was seriously flawed, and was intensely critical of WADA and its President.

In addition, Armstrong lodged a complaint with the IOC and this was given to the IOC Ethics Commission to examine. As a consequence WADA took independent legal advice and the 2006 meeting at which there was a brief closed discussion was to consider the privileged independent legal advice received by WADA as to those allegations.

It is important to remember that WADA was sued by the UCI for trying to force the Armstrong issue and this, together with the complaint to the IOC, were simply bullying attempts to shut WADA down in an effort to show that Armstrong was cheating.

It is a pity that WADA does not have the power to conduct independent inquiries. If it had been able to do so in 2005 perhaps the Armstrong conspiracy could well have been exposed much earlier.