In an interview with the Dutch television channel NOS last evening, Hein Verbruggen is calling Lance Armstrong a "liar".
In a previous interview with the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, back in November, Armstrong alleged that the former UCI president had aided him with covering up a couple of positive test for "doping".
Armstrong tested positive for cortisone at the 1999 Tour, but escaped further investigation when he provided a backdated prescription for the substance. In his interview, Armstrong stated that Verbruggen had assisted him with covering up the affair. To wit:
"Hein just said, ‘This is a real problem for me, this is the knockout punch for our sport, the year after Festina so we’ve got to come up with something’. So we backdated the prescription."
“The positive test for cortisone at the 1999 Tour de France wasn’t even carried out by the UCI but by the French ministry. The cortisone came from an ointment that he had on prescription. So it didn’t pose any problem.”
However, in an interview with the Associated Press back in November, Verbruggen did disclose that he might have had a conversation with Armstrong about the positive test.
"I might have told him that the UCI needs a prescription but I am sure that was handled by our anti-doping department, not me."
In addition, Verbruggen also responded to the allegations that were made by two of Armstrong’s former teammates, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, that the UCI was involved in a similar cover up, wherein Armstrong allegedly tested positive for the banned substance EPO back in the 2001 Tour de Suisse. Again, Verbruggen, denied the accusations as he has previously done.
“At the 2001 Tour de Suisse, there were doubts about his haematocrit level, which could have indicated EPO use. Armstrong was close to the limit but he was below it, so he was absolved,” Verbruggen said. “It would have been impossible for me to cover up a positive test as the laboratory sent the report to other bodies and not just the UCI. So Armstrong is lying.”
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