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Lizzie Armitstead's Boels-Dolmans team says it "fully supports" her

Dutch team "trusts completely that there was no intentional wrongdoing" on world champion's part...

Lizzie Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans team says it “fully supports” the world champion, who has spent this week embroiled in the fallout from the revelation that she risked a two-year ban following three 'Whereabouts' failures.

The 27-year-old is now in Rio ahead of Sunday’s Olympic road race, but her preparations have been overshadowed by the revelation that she was provisionally suspended by UK Anti-doping last month and only cleared to ride at the Olympics after successfully appealing to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) against the first of the missed tests lodged against her.

> British Cycling advised Armitstead to include hotel room numbers on whereabouts information

Boels-Dolmans, which Armitstead has ridden for since 2013, has dominated the UCI Women’s WorldTour this season, winning nine of the 13 races to date, with the British rider herself taking four victories.

In a statement, the Netherlands-based team said: that it was “relieved” at the CAS decision and that it “fully supports Armitstead’s position and trusts completely that there was no intentional wrongdoing on Armitstead’s part.

“Because of a pending court case, we did not release information about Armitstead’s suspension,” added the statement.

“UCI regulations do not require a team to do this and we strongly believed it was in the best interest of both Armitstead and the team to let this matter be decided by the CAS first.”

In conclusion, the team said that it “looks forward to supporting Armitstead and its other eight Olympic athletes in the upcoming road race in Rio.”

Yesterday, Armitstead published a statement via Twitter in which she gave her version of events regarding the missed tests on 20 August 2015, 5 October 2015 and 9 June 2016.

UK Anti-doping has said it is awaiting the Reasoned Decision from CAS, which is yet to be published.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Jackson | 7 years ago

If only there was an anti-doping system whereby we didn't need to rely on who we trust or not... perhaps using some kind of test.

dottigirl | 7 years ago
1 like

I think Cooke got it spot on.

I'm still rather flabbergasted that Armitstead would be so negligent/arrogant as to let these 'errors' occur, and also to not follow the BC advice/support given to her.

kitkat | 7 years ago
1 like

I support Nicole Cooke's view in finding it disappointing that Lizzie let her professional standards drop so low. I also think that the team should make more effort in making sure these 'admin' errors don't happen. An appointed souginer chases the team members to make sure their ducks are lined up. 

Carton | 7 years ago
1 like

Unsurprising coming from the Mapei (in terms of dominance) of women's cycling.

That procedures and rules need to be followed is beyond doubt. Zac Purchase and UKAD both respect the decision, even though they might not share it. But a little more transparency would've been nice.

But I honestly believe that Armitstead should give up her Olympic slot, like Kennaugh did, because her team deserves better and her sport deserves better. Let King and Harris have a shot at it. Let whoever wins shine a light on a beautiful race and a beautiful sport, not bring forth a cloud of suspicion.

Given what she's said about anti-doping in the past, the rubber is meeting the road.  To be blunt, it's time to put up or shut up. If she goes ahead on Sunday, she should just take the Bettini line from now on. 

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