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Thursday 11, Oct 2012

  George Hincapie Puts Last Nail On Lance Armstrong’s Sporting Career Coffin

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George Hincapie Puts Last Nail On Lance Armstrong’s Sporting Career Coffin

One of Lance Armstrong’s former team-mates and closest allies, George Hincapie, has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. The 39-year-old American, who rode alongside Armstrong in each of his seven Tour de France wins, released a statement a few hours ago that he cheated. Regarded as Armstrong’s unofficial lieutenant during his record breaking feats in the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005, Hincapie joined a list of former Armstrong teammates, including Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, to admit to doping. Landis, Hamilton, and Hincapie were among 11 riders identified as having provided evidence to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in its investigation into doping in cycling.

Hincapie has been hailed as “America’s premier classics rider” following his tremendous second-place finish at 2005 Paris-Roubaix, the highest ever placing for an American rider. A fifteen-time Tour de France veteran, Hincapie is also the only American to win the Ghent-Wevelgem and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne classics and also the only supporting rider to ever be on a Tour winning team eight times.

Hincapie said he was approached by US Federal investigators two years ago and more recently by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. He added that he stopped making use of drugs six years ago and decided to come out clean in public about his own past in a bid to restore credibility to the sport. Hincapie added that he used banned substances during a part of his career and it was difficult for him to acknowledge the same. The cyclist rendered an apology to his family, fans, and teammates and said that he is looking forward to playing a significant part in developing, encouraging and helping young riders to compete and win with the best in the world.

Hincapie said he had disclosed the details of his doping to investigators. It is believed that the veteran American cyclist who raced alongside Lance Armstrong acknowledged to Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, that he had used a banned drug that boosts the number of red blood cells (EPO), and also engaged in blood transfusions, which is another banned practice. It is also believed that Hincapie had provided USADA with testimony that implicated Armstrong in alleged doping, including testosterone and EPO use and blood transfusions.

George Hincapie had never tested positive for any banned substances during his career. He told Lance Armstrong was very upset after his team got crushed in a race in Italy and said he believed other riders were “using stuff” and that something needed to be done. George Hincapie said to the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he was “generally aware” that Armstrong was using testosterone throughout the time the two were teammates. Hincapie testified that Armstrong contacted him for using his apartment in Girona, Spain to attend some guests and showed up with Luis Garcia del Moral, a doctor who worked with the team, and carrying what he believes was a blood bag.

An attorney for Armstrong, Tim Herman, bashed the coming report from USADA and said Lance Armstrong was the victim of a “witch hunt.”

In light of his cooperation with USADA, Hincapie is expected to receive a six-month suspension preventing him from competing in elite-level sports. This would be some good news for him as he retired from professional cycling in August and has plans to act as a mentor to other cyclists.

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Wednesday 22, Aug 2012

  Armstrong Suit Against Anti-Doping Group Dismissed

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On Monday, a federal judge dismissed the latest lawsuit filed by champion cyclist @Lance Armstrong that was aimed at stopping the case against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said the court cannot interfere, contrary to the will of Congress and agreement of Lance Armstrong to arbitrate, on the basis of a speculative injury. The USADA had accused the cyclist of using, possessing, trafficking, and giving performance enhancing drugs to others and covering up doping violations.

Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, requested the court for action against the anti-doping agency for a host of reasons and said he has never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. The cyclist also accused the USADA and its CEO, Travis Tygart, of being out to get a “big fish” for justifying existence of the agency.

Judge Dismisses Lance Armstrong’s Suit – Video

The assertions of Armstrong were ruled out by Judge Sparks in his ruling. The Judge added that Armstrong did not have the right to due process “fail as a matter of law, and must be dismissed.” Last month, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, in Austin, Texas, dismissed the original bid of Lance Armstrong o stop the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) from proceeding with its case and termed the lawsuit a “lengthy and bitter polemic.” The lawsuit was not entertained by the Judge though he did allow the lawyers of Armstrong to file an amended lawsuit.

Armstrong has been accused of doping since long. The USADA said in a June letter to Armstrong that it collected blood samples from the cyclist in 2009 and 2010 that were “fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.”

Attorneys of the cyclist said he has “passed every drug test ever administered to him in his career – a total of 500 to 600 tests… more drug tests than any athlete in history.” The attorneys added that it was the International Cycling Union and not the USADA that has proper jurisdiction in the case.

The Texas court ruling means that the seven-time Tour de France winner would now have to face the doping charges and could lose his record-breaking seven Tour de France titles, if he is found guilty.

US District Judge Sam Sparks noted “troubling aspects” of the USADA’s case despite dismissing Armstrong’s case against USADA by remarking upon the contrast between determination of the agency to pursue with the hearing “in direct conflict” with the “equally evident desire” of cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, not proceeding against him. The case of Armstrong may ultimately be escalated to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if he decides to answer the charges.

Armstrong has previously accused the agency of pursuing a vendetta against him when the USADA handed out lifetime bans to three of the six men named in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy case. Luis Garcia del Moral, Michele Ferrari, and trainer Jose “Pepe” Marti. Marti was a trainer for the USPS and Discovery Channel Cycling Teams during the period from 1999 through 2007 and Dr del Moral was team physician for the USPS Cycling Team from 1999 through 2003. Dr Ferrari was a consulting doctor for the same team between 1999 and 2006.

Armstrong Suit Against Anti-Doping Group Dismissed

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Armstrong Suit Against Anti-Doping Group Dismissed