Armstrong, Catlin End Private Drug Testing Agreement

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Remember back when Lance announced his return to competitive cycling back in September? At the time he said he was coming back to the sport to raise global awareness of the fight against cancer, but he also said that he was starting his own independent and personal drug testing program, administered by anti-doping specialist Don Catlin, and that the results would be posted online for the whole world to see.

Well, according to VeloNews, the program has been abandoned following the Tour Down Under, Lance’s first race back. A spokesman for Anti-Doping Research, Inc, Catlin’s company, stated unexpected expenses, issues with coordinating with other testers, and overall communications as the reason for ending the relationship.

A spokesman for Armstrong quickly assured the cycling world that the seven-time Tour de France winner was forging ahead with the plan, joining forces with Ramsus Damsgaard to continue the program, and the first results of his tests were posted online yesterday. They reaffirmed Lance’s commitment to racing clean and being transparent to the world with his results.

The article claims that not only is Lance the most tested athlete in history, he’s also the most tested cyclist in the world since announcing his return. Anyone who follows Lance’s twitter feed knows when he gets tested, and I can tell you that I’ve been surprised at how regular it is when he’s not even at a race. It’s pretty crazy, but I’m sure they want to be very thorough when dealing with one of the biggest names in the sport.

Personally, I’m glad to see that Lance is sticking to the program, even if it’s not with Catlin. The sport needs more transparency in general, and he’s setting a good example for others. As the season begins ramping up, it remains to be seen if we can avoid the mass suspensions we’ve had the past few years.

Kraig Becker

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