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In brief: Swiss director calls Armstrong’s results ‘suspicious’

A Swiss anti-doping director has questioned test results taken from seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. (Associated Press)
A Swiss anti-doping director has questioned test results taken from seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. (Associated Press)

Cycling: The director of the Swiss anti-doping laboratory informed federal authorities last fall that Lance Armstrong’s test results from the 2001 Tour de Suisse were “suspicious” and “consistent with EPO use,” The Associated Press has learned.

Martial Saugy made the statement in September, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

The revelation came to light Wednesday as attorneys for Armstrong demanded an on-air apology from CBS’ “60 Minutes” after Saugy told a Swiss newspaper that the lab found suspicious levels of EPO, a blood-boosting drug, in four urine samples from the race Armstrong won. But Saugy said he didn’t know if any belonged to the seven-time Tour de France winner.

That was contrary to what he said in his statement made to officials from the FBI, the Food and Drug Administration and anti-doping authorities, the person familiar with the investigation said. Though Saugy was not under oath, there are potential legal ramifications for lying to authorities working on a federal probe.

“60 Minutes” first reported that Saugy told U.S. officials and the FBI that there was a “suspicious” test result from the 2001 Tour de Suisse. “This was confirmed by a number of international officials who have linked the ‘suspicious’ test to Armstrong,” CBS News Chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager said in a statement.

In a letter sent to Fager, lawyer Elliot Peters said the May 22 segment about Armstrong was built on a series of falsehoods.

Ohio claims Pryor shouldn’t be driving

College football: The NCAA is interested in Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s cars. The state of Ohio says he shouldn’t be driving one.

Pryor was seen driving a sports car to a team meeting on Monday hours after coach Jim Tressel’s forced resignation, even though his Ohio driving privileges have been suspended.

Pryor’s driving privileges have been suspended for 90 days because he failed to produce proof of insurance when he was pulled over for a stop-sign violation on Feb. 19 in Columbus. Pryor received repeated requests to appear in traffic court to show that he had valid insurance before he eventually paid a $141 fine and court costs on April 2. But Ohio authorities say he has never produced proof of insurance.

Pryor is being investigated by the NCAA for the cars he has driven over his three years as a Buckeye, The Columbus Dispatch has reported. The newspaper also said NCAA investigators are looking into more than 50 vehicle transactions involving Ohio State athletes, their families and friends and two Columbus dealerships.

Said Lindsey Bohrer, a communications officer for the Ohio Department of Public Safety: “Our records do not indicate that (Pryor) has driving privileges in Ohio.”

Bettman predicts schedule tinkering

NHL: Commissioner Gary Bettman believes the NHL will adopt a more balanced schedule when the relocated Winnipeg franchise likely moves to the Western Conference in 2012.

In his annual state-of-the-league address before the Stanley Cup finals opener, Bettman also said he hopes the NHL will begin issuing harsher suspensions for rough play.

Bettman is grateful his league doesn’t have the specter of labor talks hanging over an otherwise successful season. He plans to let the labor impasses in the NFL and the NBA play out before hammering out hockey’s next collective bargaining agreement with union head Donald Fehr, who attended the commissioner’s address.

“The good news, at least from my standpoint, is that it’s way too early to focus on collective bargaining,” Bettman said at Rogers Arena.

Guard Rubio agrees to play for T-wolves

NBA: Ricky Rubio has agreed to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves next season, ending a two-year negotiation with the team.

A person with knowledge of the agreement confirmed that the Spanish point guard will play in the NBA next season. The person requested anonymity because Rubio is still playing for his team in the Euroleague playoffs.

The Timberwolves drafted Rubio fifth overall two years ago despite a buyout of his Spanish contract that topped $6 million. The enormity of the buyout caused Rubio to stay overseas rather than immediately come to the NBA, and there was talk that the precocious teenager did not want to play in Minnesota.

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