tampabay.com

Armstrong to remain retired

By wire services
Published September 16, 2005


The tug of war over who leaked documents accusing Lance Armstrong of doping has caused the seven-time Tour de France winner to end his comeback talk.

Armstrong, who recently said this latest fight to clear his name had stoked his competitive desires, said Thursday he is not interested in returning.

"Dealing with all this stuff again, knowing if I were to go back, there's no way I could get a fair shake - on the roadside, in doping control or the labs," Armstrong said.

"I think it's better that way. I'm happy with the way my career went and ended."

Thursday, Dick Pound , the World Anti-Doping Agency chief, accused Hein Verbruggen, the president of UCI, the international cycling federation, of supplying documents L'Equipe used to accuse Armstrong of doping at the 1999 Tour de France.

The French newspaper published evidence allegedly showing six of Armstrong's frozen urine samples from 1999 came back positive for endurance-boosting EPO when they were retested last year.

The UCI said the French reporter acquired "confidential documents which he was able to consult at the UCI after receiving, under false pretext."

"I don't understand why they're not stepping up to that and saying, "Well, I guess we do know how the name got public. We made it possible,"' Pound said.

The UCI criticized Pound for recent public statements on the "likely guilt of the athlete" without knowing all the facts. And Armstrong's agent accused Pound of smearing Armstrong in public without conclusive proof or due process.

MORE CYCLING: Nicki Sorensen won Stage 18 of the Spanish Vuelta in Avila. He finished the 122-mile stage in 5:05:34, edging Javier Pascual Rodriguez. Defending champ Roberto Heras retained the lead by 4:30 over Denis Menchov. Also, Spain's Santos Gonzalez, who was eighth, was pulled from the race by his team after blood tests showed high red-blood cell level.

BASKETBALL: Connecticut evens series

Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 24 points and 16 rebounds and made the go-ahead jumper in overtime to help host Connecticut beat Sacramento 77-70 and tied the WNBA Finals at 1. Game 3 is Saturday. Connecticut's Brooke Wyckoff's 3-pointer with two seconds left sent the game into overtime tied at 70. After McWilliams-Franklin put the Sun ahead in OT, she got a defensive rebound with 1:55 left and fired a pass nearly fullcourt, hitting Nykesha Sales for a layup.

NBA: Yuta Tabuse, the first Japanese-born player to appear in a game, signed with the Clippers. He averaged 1.8 points in four games with Phoenix last season.

TENNIS: Nadal must wait

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal sat again after rain postponed all matches of the China Open in Beijing. Nadal, whose first match was delayed two days because his opponent, Wang Yeu-tzuoo, was completing business in Turkey, was scheduled to play Justin Gimelstob.

BCR OPEN: Romanians Andrei Pavel and Victor Hanescu reached the quarterfinals in Bucharest, Romania. A Romanian has not reached the final in the event's 12 years. Pavel, who next faces Florian Mayer, beat Oliver Marach 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Hanescu, a French Open quarterfinalist this year who next plays Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, beat Davide Sanguinetti 6-2, 6-3.

WISMILAK INTERNATIONAL: Alona Bondarenko, who had beaten a top-20 opponent only once, beat No.14 Alicia Molik 6-4, 6-2 in the second round in Bali, Indonesia. She led 5-1 in the first set and 4-0 in the second.

ET CETERA

GREYHOUNDS: St. Petersburg Puppy Preview is tonight at Derby Lane. The card's eighth race will start at about 9:30, and Rambition is the fastest of eight qualifiers.

OBITUARY: Lloyd C.A. Wells, who scouted for the Chiefs in the AFL before becoming an adviser to Muhammad Ali, died Monday in Houston of complications of Alzheimer's disease, his daughter said. He was 81. He signed eight future All-Pros for the Chiefs, including Otis Taylor, Buck Buchanan and Curley Culp. He worked for Ali for eight years, later worked with former world champions Thomas Hearns and George Foreman.