Doping Agency Says 11 Teammates Testified Against Lance Armstrong

Published On : 10/10/2012 12:30 PM
By : EYDER PERALTA
From : NPR
Categories : Sports, Nation
Steve Ruark/AP Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event, which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has made public all the evidence it has against cyclist Lance Armstrong. This is the culmination of a battle that has raged for years: The USADA has said its evidence proves beyond doubt that the now-dethroned seven-time Tour de France winner doped, and Armstrong has always maintained his innocence.

The USADA has released about 200 pages worth of material, including the testimony of 11 of Armstrong's former teammates. We're working through the report and we'll keep this post updated. Meanwhile, here's a recap of the latest:

Steve Ruark/AP

Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event, which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

— USADA says the evidence shows the US Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

In the report it says that Armstrong not only doped himself, but he required his teammates to adhere to the same kind of doping program.

— 11 former teammates of Lance Armstrong admitted to doping.

— George Hincapie, whom Armstrong has referred to as a "brother," issued a statement admitting to doping and signaling that he testified against Armstrong.

— Armstrong's attorney Tim Herman called the USADA's case a "one-sided hatchet job."

Our Original Post And Earlier Updates Continue:

According to a press release previewing the more than 200 pages of documents, USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart says 11 of Armstrong's former teammates testified that Armstrong had doped.

"The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," Tygart says.

Tygart goes on to say:

"The evidence also includes direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding.

"Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalized team-run doping conspiracy. All of the material will be made available later this afternoon on the USADA website at www.usada.org."

Armstrong has always maintained his innocence but in August decided he would not fight the charges brought against him by the USADA.

Because of that, the USADA stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. The organization is now sending all its evidence to the Union Cycliste Internationale, which can chose to appeal the USADA's decision.

"The evidence demonstrates that the 'Code of Silence' of performance enhancing drug use in the sport of cycling has been shattered, but there is more to do," Tygart said. "From day one, we always hoped this investigation would bring to a close this troubling chapter in cycling's history and we hope the sport will use this tragedy to prevent it from ever happening again."

There's no word yet when all the documents will go online. We'll update this post with more as it becomes available.

Update at 2:39 p.m. ET. Armstrong Supplied Teammates:

From the report, here is the sweeping conclusion of the USADA:

"The evidence is overwhelming that Lance Armstrong did not just use performance enhancing drugs, he supplied them to his teammates. He did not merely go alone to Dr. Michele Ferrari for doping advice, he expected that others would follow. It was not enough that his teammates give maximum effort on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping program outlined for them or be replaced. He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team, he enforced and re-enforced it. Armstrong's use of drugs was extensive, and the doping program on his team, designed in large part to benefit Armstrong, was massive and pervasive."

Update at 2:14 p.m. ET. The Report:

Via The Race Radio, here is the full 200-page "reasoned decision" by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. As we told you, it is now up to the Union Cycliste Internationale if it wants to appeal the decision.

Update at 2:00 p.m. ET. A 'One-Sided Hatchet Job:

In a statement sent to USA Today, Armstrong's attorney attacked the Tygart press release.

"Tygart's statement confirms the alleged 'reasoned decision' from USADA will be a one-sided hatchet job — a taxpayer-funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat -induced stories," Herman said.

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. USADA Will Withhold About 800 Pages:

Phillip Hersh of The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter that the USADA will not release 1,000 pages, instead it will be about 200 pages as previously expected.

Matt Slater of the BBC says the USADA is holding back about 800 pages because some of the USPS team members are appealing.

Update at 12:02 p.m. ET. Hincapie Admits To Doping:

George Hincapie, who has long been reported to have testified against Armstrong, has made it official today with a statement on his website.

"Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them," Hincapie said. "I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans."

Hincapie does not mention Armstrong by name, but he said that he cooperated with federal authorities and the USADA.

"I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew," he said. "So that is what I did."

This is important because in the past Armstrong has described Hincapie as a "brother to me." According to CBS News, Hincapie told federal officials that "he and Armstrong supplied each other with the endurance-boosting substance EPO and discussed having used another banned substance, testosterone, to prepare for races."

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET. The Names:

According to Tygart, these are the teammates who testified against Armstrong and also admitted doping:

"Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie."
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