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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 July 2006, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Rogge defends under-fire cycling
Olympic chief Jacques Rogge
IOC president Rogge has come to the defence of cycling
Cycling remains a "credible" sport despite the positive drugs test given by Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, says Olympic chief Jacques Rogge.

Landis tested positive for unusual levels of testosterone and awaits the result of a B sample analysis.

But Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, insisted cycling is working hard to stamp out doping.

He said: "A sport is credible whenever it conducts the necessary amount of testing in and out of competition."

Rogge said cycling was not alone in facing a major problem with performance-enhancing drugs.

"Doping is an issue for all sports," he said. "There are a sports with a number of doping cases that don't catch the front page of the newspapers, the television hardly speaks about them.

"So it's because of the media that people may have the perception that there are more problems (in cycling)."

The cycling world cannot accept that riders will cheat to destroy the sport that we love

Pat McQuaid

Speaking earlier in the week, world cycling chief Pat McQuaid vowed to launch "a crusade against doping" in the wake of the latest drugs scandal.

And Irishman McQuaid, the International Cycling Union President (UCI), admitted: "I am very angered by this.

"Whatever decision we take we will gain the upper ground against these guys."

McQuaid insisted that while Landis' first urine sample had tested positive the ICU would wait for the "B" sample before sanctioning any punishment.

The American, whose positive test came after winning stage 17 of this year's race, has denied any wrongdoing and hopes to prove he has naturally high levels of testosterone.

But McQuaid admitted that the revelations of the first test had already added to the cloud of suspicion hanging over the sport.

"I would certainly say so," he said. "To have the winner of our major event declared positive like this.

"If the test is confirmed we will need to carry out a complete audit of the sport, from top to bottom, and take some tough decisions."

Floyd Landis
Landis could be stripped of his title if his positive test is confirmed

The sport's most famous event had already been thrown into chaos on the eve of the first stage when pre-race favourites Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich were both named in a doping probe in Spain.

Ullrich, team-mate Oscar Sevilla and manager Rudy Pevenage were all suspended by their T-Mobile team.

And Giro d'italia winner Basso, the 2005 Tour de France runner-up, was also excluded, despite denying drugs allegations.

With Roberto Heras handed a two-year ban for using the banned blood-boosting drug EPO after winning the Tour Spain in February, it means the victors of all three of cycling's major Tours are now either banned or facing possible bans.

And on the back of the latest revelations over Landis, McQuaid said: "We just can't take it anymore.

"The cycling world cannot accept that riders will cheat to destroy the sport that we love. It's impossible to have a small circle who are willing to risk anything in this way.

"I would be confident it is a small number of guys but I intend to have an audit of the sport at the highest level. We will get on top of this."

McQuaid believes that a strong response to the Landis situation would prove the UCI's commitment to keeping the sport clean.

"It would be regrettable for cycling but prove the effectiveness of the measures to fight against doping," he said.

"It would reaffirm that the UCI is determined to continue its fight against doping with the greatest severity."

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