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The Most Nagging Question of All About Lance Armstrong: If He Was Doping, Why Did He Never Fail a Drug Test? Here's Why, Claims the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency NY Times

"How could [Lance Armstrong], the world’s greatest cyclist, always in the cross hairs of doping officials, never fail a drug test if he was doping," asks a report in The New York Times, which continues, "An explanation emerged Wednesday, when the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released its dossier on Armstrong, citing witness testimony, financial records and laboratory results."

The New York Times article continues: "'It has been a frequent refrain of Armstrong and his representatives over the years that Lance Armstrong has never had a positive drug test,' the [USADA] report said. 'That does not mean, however, he did not dope. Nor has Armstrong apparently had nearly as many doping tests as his representatives have claimed.'”

The story adds: "As part of its investigation, USADA asked Christopher J. Gore, the head of physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport, to analyze test results from 38 blood samples taken from Armstrong between February 2009 and the end of last April. Those taken during the 2009 and 2010 Tours, the report said, showed blood values whose likelihood 'of occurring naturally was less than one in a million,' and other indications of blood doping."

The article notes: "'The most conventional way that the U.S. Postal riders beat what little out-of-competition testing there was, was to simply use their wits to avoid the testers,' the report concluded."

The story adds: "When the testers could not be avoided, Armstrong and his teammates turned to drug masking, the report said. It indicated that during the 1998 world championships, testers were diverted to other riders on the United States team while one of Armstrong’s doctors 'smuggled a bag of saline under his raincoat, getting it past the tester and administering saline to Armstrong before Armstrong was required to provide a blood sample.' The saline infusion restored Armstrong’s blood values to a level that would not attract attention. The report also described how Armstrong, often in conjunction with [Michele Ferrari, a sports medicine doctor] and the team director Johan Bruyneel, was careful to use techniques and drugs that were untraceable through tests."

The article concludes: "The USADA says it tested Armstrong only 60 times, and it cited reports indicating that the International Cycling Union had tested him about 200 times, although USADA said many of the cycling union’s tests were for a health program rather than for prohibited substances. 'The number of actual controls on Mr. Armstrong over the years appears to have been considerably fewer than the number claimed by Armstrong and his lawyers,' USADA said."

To read TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross's lastest insights about the Armstrong affair, entitled "Lance Armstrong Needs Oprah Winfrey in the Worst Possible Way," please click here.