Bradley Wiggins Shocked At Evidence Against Armstrong

Tour de France 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins recently said he is shocked to learn the scale of evidence against the disgraced seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong. Armstrong was labelled a serial drug cheat by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Wiggins, who became Britain’s first Tour de France winner, clinched a gold medal in the road time trial at the London Olympics, and led Team GB to eight gold medals in the London Olympics and the Beijing Games, insisted he was already suspicious about Armstrong, who maintains his innocence, after persistent rumors of drug use. Wiggins added that the deluge of evidence against the American still came as a surprise to him and said it is certainly not a one-sided hatchet job. The Briton said he has no sympathy for Lance Armstrong and said he is frustrated that the behavior of the American cyclist remains the main talking point in cycling at the end of his memorable year.

The concerns of Wiggins were supported by British Cycling head Dave Brailsford who said the emergence of Armstrong as a confirmed drug cheat may lead the general public and fans to the achievements of riders such as Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy.

One of the teammates who testified against Armstrong was Michael Barry, who admitted to doping while a member of Armstrong’s US Postal Service team. Some other teammates of Armstrong who have accused him of using performance enhancing drugs include Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Christian van de Velde, Tom Danielson, David Zabreskie, and George Hincapie. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has accused Armstrong and his USPS team of using a range of performance enhancing drugs such as erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, human growth hormone, and masking agents. The cyclist was even accused of encouraging teammates to use drugs and conspiring with team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctor Pedro Celaya, doctor Luis del Moral, doctor Michele Ferrari, and trainer Jose Pepe Marti.

The anti-doping agency said Armstrong was the ringleader of the most sophisticated doping conspiracy in sporting history and charged him with six offenses covering the use of banned substances, the trafficking of drugs, the administration of drugs to teammates and supporting and abetting a massive cover-up between 1998 and 2005. A total of 26 witnesses including 11 fellow riders from the United States Postal Service team testified against Armstrong in a doping case the USADA described as “more extensive than any previously revealed in professional sports history”. The agency said the USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed for grooming and pressuring athletes to make use of dangerous drugs, evade detection, ensure secrecy, and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices. The dossier by USADA has been sent to the International Cycling Union which now has 21 days to challenge its findings and appeal to the World Anti-Doping Agency or comply with its decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong himself remained defiant after release of the USADA report, tweeting that he was “hanging with family”.

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