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Monday 14, Jul 2014

  Lance Armstrong Grilled Under Oath

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Lance Armstrong was recently forced to provide sworn videotaped testimony about his doping history. The deposition day for the disgraced former cyclist came as part of a fraud case filed against him by SCA Promotions, a sports insurance company in Dallas.

Armstrong made a request to the Texas appeals court and the Texas Supreme Court for stopping the deposition from happening but his request was rejected by both courts. This forced the ex-cyclist to provide answers to questions raised by SCA Promotions attorney Jeffrey Tillotson, who is the sole opposing attorney to interview Lance Armstrong under oath about doping. Tillotson also questioned the cyclist under oath when he denied doping and lied about using banned performance enhancing drugs in 2005-06.

SCA Promotions has filed the lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and is seeking the return of $12 million in costs and bonuses it paid him for winning the Tour de France in 2002-04. This case was thereafter moved to arbitration and a panel is expected to hear the case after some weeks. Lance Armstrong was subpoenaed for the deposition as part of the process for gathering evidence before the hearing.

The cyclist is also facing a separate fraud lawsuit filed by the federal government. In this case, prosecutors are seeking more than $96 million from Lance Armstrong and Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis, who accused Armstrong of doping and encouraging doping within the USPS team, and may get a share any award under the U.S. whistleblower law. The cyclist was expected to testify under oath at a June 23 deposition in Austin but the judge in this whistleblower suit accusing Lance Armstrong put on hold a deposition of the former cyclist. Originally brought by former teammate Floyd Landis in June 2010, this lawsuit was joined in part by the Justice Department in February 2013. Singer Sheryl Crow, the former girlfriend of Armstrong, is listed as a government witness besides Armstrong’s ex-wife, Kristin Armstrong. Cyclists Frankie Andreu, George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton, and Floyd Landis may be part of a list of potential witnesses against Armstrong. The case is U.S. v. Tailwind Sports Corp., 10-cv-00976, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

The 42-year-old former cyclist, who won a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles, was banned for life and stripped of his Tour de France victories after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found Armstrong guilty of using banned drugs. Armstrong later confessed to doping in January last year during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong sued SCA Promotions in 2004 by claiming a breach of contract after the sports insurance company refused to pay his bonus for winning the Tour de France. SCA Promotions withheld the payment and claimed Lance Armstrong cheated to win the race. In a testimony in 2005, the ex-cyclist said he “never” used performance enhancing drugs and race the bike straight up fair and square. With help of the false testimony, Armstrong was able to win a $7.5 million settlement from the company in 2006. Terms of the settlement agreement stipulated that this case could not be reopened.

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Thursday 17, Apr 2014

  Armstrong Finally Reveals Names Under Oath

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Armstrong Finally Reveals Names Under Oath

Lance Armstrong has revealed names and offered additional “new” details about his doping practices. The now-banned cyclist who won seven consecutive Tour de France titles was compelled to make responses to questions under oath in a lawsuit.

The answers by Armstrong came last November but were made public now after being filed in federal court by an attorney for former cycling teammate Floyd Landis as part of another lawsuit. Lance Armstrong revealed that he received performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career from trainer Pepi Marti, Dr. Pedro Celaya, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, and Dr. Michele Ferrari.

He also said masseuse Emma O’Reilly, bike mechanic Julien de Vriese, and motorbike courier Philippe Maire delivered the drugs that he used to cheat in races. It was remarked by Lance Armstrong that Johan Bruyneel participated in or assisted with his use of performance enhancing drugs, and knew of that use through their conversations and acts and he added he usually paid for the substances he used. It was also revealed during Landis lawsuit that Armstrong would typically supervise his own use of PEDs, but on certain occasions, the use of PEDs was supervised by Dr. Celaya, Dr. del Moral, or Dr. Ferrari.

In January 2013, Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs to stay on top of cycling. In a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, the disgraced cyclist said he had doped during all of his Tour de France victories. However, the final nail in his “coffin” was made when he had to provide answers under oath in a lawsuit filed against him by Acceptance Insurance that sought to recover $3 million from him for bonuses paid to him for winning the Tour de France from 1999 to 2001. The cyclist reached an undisclosed settlement to end it and cancel the deposition a day before he was scheduled to give a deposition in that case. Though he managed to avoid that case, his remarks under oath were filed by attorneys for Floyd Landis, former cycling teammate, as an exhibit in a separate federal whistleblower lawsuit of Landis against Armstrong.

Armstrong also said he believed that banking hotshot Thom Weisel knew of doping on the USPS team. Bay Area banking hotshot Weisel, one of Lance Armstrong’s most important patrons, was implicated by the cyclist in a November 12 document related to a Texas lawsuit filed against him by an insurance company. Armstrong said Weisel, on information and belief, was aware of doping by the USPS team and in professional cycling in general. The accusations were denied by Weisel. Interestingly, Weisel donated generously to the legal defense fund of Floyd Landis when he launched a strident legal attack on anti-doping authorities after testing positive for exogenous testosterone at the Tour de France.

The cyclist also said he believed his cycling team’s general manager, Mark Gorski, was aware of doping by the USPS team while Armstrong told former cyclist Chris Carmichael in 1995 of his use of performance enhancing drugs. Carmichael, a member of the 1984 Olympic road team, said he never saw Armstrong using any banned substances and seeing is believing in his eyes.

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Monday 16, Dec 2013

  USADA Chief Slams Door Shut On Armstrong

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USADA Chief Slams Door Shut On Armstrong

Travis Tygart, the CEO of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has remarked that he has now closed any door of chance for Lance Armstrong cooperating with the agency and getting his life ban reduced.

Tygart, speaking at a seminar at the Ulleval Stadium in the capital of Norway, said Armstrong told him prior to Thanksgiving that he was not interested in speaking to the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA chief went on to add that the banned cyclist could have done good to image of cycling if he had come all clean when he was first charged by the anti-doping agency.

Armstrong was in discussion with USADA about speaking under oath and remarked that he would be open to speak before UCI’s independent commission but does not want the United States Anti-Doping Agency to get involved.

Former US Postal Service rider, Steffen Kjærgaard, may be called as one of the witnesses called for testifying against former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel. Kjærgaard admitted to doping and was a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the 2000 and 2001 editions of the Tour de France. He also spoke at the seminar at the Ulleval Stadium.

In January this year, Lance Armstrong made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey talk show and admitted to doping. The cyclist however refrained from admitting that he used performance enhancing drugs after his return to the sport in 2009, as claimed by USADA in its reasoned decision.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency disclosed that the USPS Team doping conspiracy was designed professionally for pressuring and grooming athletes to make use of dangerous drugs and evade detection while ensuring secrecy of superior doping practices to gain an unfair competitive advantage. USADA’s reasoned decision was supported by different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence and testimonies from Armstrong’s former teammates: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

Armstrong also denied before Oprah that the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, and its then President Hein Verbruggen, had helped him cover up his doping. He however claimed last month that Verbruggen had been complicit in a bogus and the backdated prescription for a saddle sore cream for covering up a positive test for a corticosteroid in the 1999 Tour de France.

Meanwhile, wife of Frankie Andreu has questioned the motives of Armstrong for his apparent contrition. Betsy Andreu remarked the disgraced cyclist is still trying to manipulate the situation to his advantage and was acting out of self-interest. She added nothing has changed with Lance and he is still desperately trying to control the narrative but the problem for him is not many are listening. Betsy also noted that Lance has a history of reaching out to people before key legal dates and said she believes that Armstrong’s episodes of reaching out to the likes of ex-pro cyclists Christophe Bassons and Filippo Simeoni are influenced by a court appointment in the whistleblower case and the arbitration hearing of Bruyneel.

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Wednesday 04, Dec 2013

  Masters Racer Suspended For Doping Violation

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Masters Racer Suspended For Doping Violation

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has suspended Richard Meeker, the U.S. masters racer who tested positive for a banned substance last year, for a period of two years. This was after Meeker provided a urine sample on September 6, 2012 after competing in the masters road championships in Oregon that tested positive for 19-norandrosterone and 19-noretiocholanolone, which are metabolites indicating the use of a prohibited anabolic steroid.

The Masters racer however has claimed that he is the victim of a tainted supplement and added he has the proof. In a statement to the media, Meeker’s attorney Howard Jacobs, who represented athletes such as Floyd Landis and Marion Jones in their doping cases, remarked that Richard Meeker discovered which supplement contained 19-norandrostenediol, an anabolic steroid prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The statement further revealed that the Masters racer tested many supplements he had been taking and kept USADA informed of his progress. Meeker shared the final results with the United States Anti-Doping Agency but was still suspended for two years for the doping violation.

Meeker agreed that the positive test constitutes a first doping offense and believes his test results may have been positive due to his use of a dietary supplement that he bought and used before his positive test.

Richard Meeker, an elite Masters cyclist with many road cycling championships to his credit, holds an international license as a member of USA Cycling and the UCI. Reeker’s suspension will expire on September 5, 2014 and he will not be eligible to compete in any competition under the jurisdiction of the UCI, USA Cycling, the USOC, any other signatory of the WADA Code, any body that has accepted the WADA Code, any body whose rules are consistent with the WADA Code, or any of the clubs, member associations, or affiliates of these entities.

The 51-year-old remarked he was shocked to learn of the finding of this sanction, as he had always been a proponent of clean sport and have never knowingly taken any prohibited substances. He went on to add that cycling is his hobby and not his career and it would make no sense for him to use an illegal substance.

Meeker’s case was reviewed by the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), according to USADA. It was found that Meeker had failed to establish the source of the prohibited substance in his sample and had committed a doping violation under WADA Code 2.1. The Masters racer was stripped of all results dating back to the Masters Road Championships and he will be eligible to return to racing next fall. Meeker remarked he return to amateur cycling competition in September 2014, and will prove through his results that he had always raced clean.

The two-year period of ineligibility for Meeker began on September 6, 2012, the day his sample was collected. The cyclist has also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved at and subsequent to the Masters Road Championships competition, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

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Thursday 17, Oct 2013

  Cultural Shift In Cycling Hailed By Tygart

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Cultural Shift In Cycling Hailed By Tygart

USADA chief Travis Tygart has remarked he is happy with the cultural shift in cycling in the wake of the fall of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong from grace.

Tygart remarked there is still more to do but we are now getting awfully close to dismantling the system that allowed this to happen and added that clean athletes have more chance in cycling to be successful than they ever have. The USADA chief went on to say that ultimately it’s the riders’ culture and they have to embrace it to keep it clean and there will always be a few who try to gain an unfair advantage, but right now, the majority have an opportunity to be successful, not to have to leave the sport, but to be in a position to win without having to cheat with performance enhancing drugs, that is a significant cultural shift. Travis Tygart added clean cyclists can have renewed hope that their rights will be upheld and a culture of integrity will be embraced and the fact that the president who oversaw the sport during this dirty, corrupt period is gone — and said he thinks this is a huge victory for clean athletes.

Tygart, the chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency, says he believes clean cyclists now have a better chance of continuing successful careers than ever before. USADA brought down one of the most successful and powerful men in the world of cycling and provided a wide range of evidence including different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence. USADA accused Armstrong and the US Postal cycling team of running the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen. The US Anti-Doping Agency revealed that USPS Team doping conspiracy was designed professionally for grooming and pressurizing cyclists to make use of dangerous drugs and evade detection. It was also designed in such a way that cyclists can ensure secrecy of the conspiracy and gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency was supported by many of the former teammates of Lance Armstrong (Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie). USADA gave Armstrong the opportunity to tell the entire truth but he decided to exercise his legal right not to contest the evidence, which meant that he was banned for life and his competitive results from 1998 onwards were disqualified.

The downfall of Armstrong is attributed by many as one of the biggest reasons behind the ouster of ex-UCI president Pat McQuaid who was recently defeated by Britain’s Brian Cookson in the UCI presidential elections. It was alleged in cycling circles that McQuaid and his predecessor defended the doping practices of Lance Armstrong by hiding his positive test results and they were even accused of taking cash from the cyclist to cover up the tests, an allegation which is denied by both former UCI presidents.

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Wednesday 24, Jul 2013

  Armstrong Fights Feds’ Suit

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Armstrong Fights Fed’ Suit

On Tuesday, Lance Armstrong urged a federal judge to dismiss the False Claims Act lawsuit filed against him by the Justice Department. The cyclist argued that the Postal Service got the worth of its money out of its sponsorship deal and that the claims are barred by the statute of limitations.

The lawyers for Armstrong said in the filing in U.S. District Court in Washington that the Postal Service that sponsored the cycling team of Lance got exactly what it bargained for, including tens of millions of dollars’ worth of publicity, exposure to more than 30 million spectators at international cycling events, and hundreds of hours of television coverage. The Postal Service paid about $40 million to be the title sponsor of the teams of Lance Armstrong from 1998 to 2004 and is believed to have reaped at least $139 million in worldwide brand exposure in four years — $35 million to $40 million for sponsoring the Armstrong team in 2001, $38 million to $42 million in 2002, $31 million in 2003, and $34.6 million in 2004.

Early this year, the Justice Department joined the whistleblower lawsuit filed by Floyd Landis, an ex-teammate of Armstrong, against the seven-time Tour de France winner. Whistleblowers, under the False Claims Act, can share with the government in any recovery of money based upon their disclosures. It is claimed by the government that Lance Armstrong violated his contract and was “unjustly enriched” while cheating to win the Tour de France. These claims were made after the cyclist, to the surprise of everyone, admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used banned performance enhancing drugs to win the Tour.

The filing of Lance Armstrong says the government alleges that a single fact was hidden, and relies on that allegation to justify sitting on its claims for a decade and the Postal Service Cycling Team, like many other teams in the peloton, was doping. Armstrong’s lawyers said that the government’s actions at the time are far more telling although it now pretends to be aggrieved by these allegations. It was also remarked by the lawyers that the government did not fire the Postal Service Team nor did it suspend the team pending an investigation and the matter was not even referred to its phalanx of lawyers and investigators at the Department of Justice for review. Armstrong’s lawyers went on to remark that the government instead renewed its contract to sponsor the team rather than exercise its right to terminate the sponsorship agreement. The lawyers argued that government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure and acclaim that go along with being his sponsor as Armstrong had recently won the 2000 Tour de France. They added that it is now far too late for the government to revisit its choice to reap the benefits of sponsorship rather than investigate allegations of doping as that was more than a decade ago.

In their defense, the government noted that the contract with the Postal Service required riders to follow the rules of cycling that included bans on performance enhancing drugs and methods and team officials assured the Postal Service that the team wasn’t doping. The lawsuit also named former team Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel and team management company Tailwind Sports as defendants.

Armstrong Fights Feds’ Suit

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Friday 28, Jun 2013

  Armstrong Urges Cycling To Come Clean

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Armstrong Urges Cycling To Come Clean

Lance Armstrong recently surprised all by jumping in to play the role of an anti-doping crusader, during a question and answer session on Twitter.

The American rider raised a question for British cycling boss @Brian Cookson who is campaigning to unseat Pat McQuaid as president of the International Cycling Union when elections come around in September. Armstrong asked Brian if he has any plans to convene a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to fully understand the mistakes of previous generations. Brian replied that he would back such a process, if legal and other issues can be worked out.

Lance Armstrong: “Question for @cooksonforuci – any plans to convene a Truth and Rec Commission to FULLY understand the mistakes of previous generations?”

Brian Cookson: “@lancearmstrong See my reply to @CrisTT Also would support a full truth and rec process if legal and practical hurdles can be overcome.”

(The reply to @CrisTT read: “I would prioritise the allegations which implicate the UCI in cover-ups. Must be investigated independently and quickly.”)

The president of British Cycling also remarked that he would prioritize the allegations which implicate the UCI in cover-ups – must be investigated independently and quickly. Cookson also remarked that he was also in favor of longer bans for convicted dopers, but wanted teams and the “enablers” of doping to be targeted as well as riders. The British Cycling chief added that he wanted to see cycling grow, with a particular focus on women’s cycling and was determined to safeguard place of the sport at the Olympics. The road to his election may be smooth with an extraordinary general meeting of Cycling Ireland’s members voted 91-74 against putting McQuaid forward for another term in charge. Also, McQuaid’s attempt to qualify for the presidential vote via the Swiss cycling federation is the subject of an appeal.

Cookson decided to stay mum on questions raised by journalist Paul Kimmage who had asked if he has a party to sue Floyd Landis and if suing whistleblowers is in his manifesto. He replied that Paul is one of many journalists who deserve respect for the work they have put into exposing doping in cycling and he cannot answer his concerns directly because they involve legal actions which are still live but committed to answering them in full as soon as he is able to. Cookson added that the UCI, if he gets elected in September, will not use the courts to silence whistle-blowers, journalists or other dissenting voices and this should not be taken as UCI’s inability to communicate its own point of view or correct inaccuracies or unbalanced comment when appropriate but and added that he is a firm believer in freedom of debate as being good for the long-term health of any sport.

In the last few months, there have been rumors that Armstrong has given an impression to cycling authorities about his doping activities but they have so far come to nothing. Cycling authorities have been talking for a while about a “year zero” commission for dealing with the blood-doping era of the sport since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal but the process has failed to even get started due to legal concerns about how it would work in practice, and more fundamental worries about who would pay for it.

In another development, UCI president Pat McQuaid is waiting for a visit and an apology from Lance Armstrong and said the cyclist should travel to UCI headquarters in Switzerland to tell all about his doping history and offer to help clean up the sport. He also defended himself, former president Hein Verbruggen, and the UCI by saying the facts show the UCI was always the most advanced federation in the fight against doping and the problem was the products that couldn’t be tested for at the time. McQuaid added that there were no tests available for the products and the UCI was not to blame.

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Saturday 15, Jun 2013

  Leading Anti-Doping Prosecutor Joins Doping Inquiry

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Leading Anti-Doping Prosecutor Joins Doping Inquiry

Richard Young, who played a central role in the cases of Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones, has joined the investigation of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) into the use of banned substances in the National Rugby League and the Australian Football League.

Young, the Colorado-based sports lawyer and a leading anti-doping prosecutor, was enlisted by ASADA to help the doping watchdog on an ongoing basis as it prepares to enter the fifth month of its investigation. An ASADA spokesperson said the agency confirms that it has engaged Richard Young to assist in its investigation. The lawyer, known for his pursuit in sealing the downfall of Lance Armstrong, was enlisted to help ASADA move its own investigation towards a successful conclusion.

The expertise of Richard Young in the anti-doping field is unmatched as he is the principal draftsman of the World Anti-Doping Code and has unrivaled reputation as an investigator and trial lawyer in cases involving performance enhancing drugs. Young was the senior prosecutor in the BALCO episode that led to American sprinter Jones being stripped of her Olympic medals besides being the lawyer of USADA in the 2007 case against disgraced Tour de France winner Floyd Landis and was even the lead outside lawyer of USADA on the Armstrong doping case. Young was instrumental in dealing closely with witnesses (in the Armstrong case) who were initially unwilling to come forward and was central as several top riders lifted the lid on the practices employed by the seven-time Tour de France champion and teammates.

Young is past Co-Chair of Holme Roberts & Owen’s Litigation Practice Group and has been the managing partner of the Colorado Springs office and is the managing partner at the firm Brian Cave LLP of the Colorado Springs office for 20 years. Young has been nationally-recognized as a “Leader in His Field” for Sports Law: Athletic Disputes, by Chambers USA 2011, and as a member of the Law Dragon Top 500 Lawyers in the country. In Colorado, he has been awarded Colorado Law Week’s Lawyer of the Year (with his Landis trial team), Best Sports Lawyer, and is rated by Super Lawyers as a Colorado Super Lawyer. He has handled high profile cases for the World Anti-Doping Agency, the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the United States Olympic Committee, USA Swimming, the International Weightlifting Federation, and other Olympic National Governing Bodies and International Federations.

After a legal wrangle over the level of co-operation provided by the first Sharks player who was interviewed, Wade Graham, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority quickly cancelled its interviews with the NRL club in its sights and Young is believed to work from Colorado Springs on the ASADA case though the anti-doping agency didn’t rule out him being flown here in the future. The lawyer is no stranger to cases of performance enhancing drugs in Australia; his services were sought in 2006 by ASADA to front the investigation into Australian weightlifting that led to several lifters and coaches being suspended.

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Sunday 31, Mar 2013

  Disgraced Cyclist Faces Possible Criminal Case In Spain

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Disgraced Cyclist Faces Possible Criminal Case In Spain

American former professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong is being investigated for possible criminal charges in Spain.

According to sources in the United States and Spain, the investigation relates to the doping activities of the disgraced cyclist who was accused by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of enforcing “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

It is believed the crimes may have been committed in Spain, a country often accused of being soft on doping, and they are under investigation to decide if charges should be brought by the winner of the seven consecutive Tour de France titles and Spanish associates who worked with him on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team. The investigation is ongoing in multiple regions of Spain — Alicante, Valencia, Girona, and Tenerife and is described as being in a “very active and sensitive” phase.

The cyclist was a resident of Girona, Spain, for many years during his reign as the Tour de France champion. He lived in Spain with the singer Sheryl Crow in 2004 and his former teammate, Floyd Landis, said during that period he babysat the cyclist’s “blood fridge” in Spain to make sure the temperature remained constant when the Texan rider traveled out of town with the singer.

Spanish laws don’t make it a crime for athletes to use performance enhancing drugs for personal use though they be fined and their licenses may get suspended in some cases. However, the cyclist may get into bigger trouble if investigators can prove trafficking, distribution, and commercialization of doping drugs that carry a prison term of two years and fines of as much as 400,000 euros.

Lance Edward Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005 but was later disqualified from those races and received a lifetime ban from cycling for doping offenses. The cyclist was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996 that had spread to his brain and lungs and was declared cancer-free in February 1997 after undergoing cancer treatments including brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. The 41-year-old rider was a member of the US Postal/Discovery team between 1998 and 2005 and retired from racing at the end of the 2005 Tour de France, but returned to competitive cycling with the Astana team in January 2009.

In 1992, he began his career as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team and his breakthrough victory was the 1993 UCI Road World Championship held in Norway. Lance Armstrong became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne and finished 6th in the time trial and 12th in the road race in the 1996 Olympic Games. The American cyclist announced his retirement from competitive cycling on February 16, 2011, while still facing a US federal investigation into doping allegations. After denying doping allegations for a big part of his career, Lance Armstrong admitted to using drugs throughout his career and said he used EPO, blood transfusions, and testosterone but remarked he stopped doping for his 2009 and 2010 comeback Tour de France rides.

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Wednesday 13, Mar 2013

  People Will Forgive Me, Says Lance Armstrong

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People Will Forgive Me, Says Lance Armstrong

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has claimed the time is not far when the public will forgive him for being the biggest drug cheat in the history of the sport, just as they did Bill Clinton for his affair while in office.

Armstrong said Clinton is his hero and a tough guy. He added that the former president is smart and has surrounded himself with good people and he is president of the world a decade later, it can be done. Lance added his aim is to  ‘put a stake in the ground’ before things can improve. Armstrong remarked that he saw the rehabilitation of the former President as a model for his own and he will be back on the top again in a decade. The banned cyclist, with breathtaking arrogance, said Bill Clinton was a ‘hero of mine’ and that he wanted to emulate him and become ‘president of the world’.

The cyclist who was stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles denied being a bully and said he was only ever ‘defiant’ and bragged about having his own ‘constituency’ as if he were already on the campaign trail. The comments of Lance Armstrong reinforce the view of many that the cyclist is unrepentant for doping which helped him stayed on top of the sport for long. The cyclist was banned for life and stripped of his Tour wins, his Olympic bronze medal was taken away, his sponsor deserted him, and Armstrong was forced to step down from the board of his cancer charity Livestrong. Many were horrified that he did not cry and that he did not express any regret during his ‘tell all’ confessional with Oprah Winfrey. His recent interview demonstrates that the 41-year-old cyclist is even more cold and calculating now than he appeared in the past.

The 41-year-old banned cyclist denied he ever bullied anyone, which is a claim that his former teammates would dispute for sure. The cyclist has been sued by former teammate Floyd Landis and he is reportedly being investigated by the FBI for witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and intimidation. His woes multiplied in the recent times with the US government deciding to join a doping lawsuit filed by Landis alleging that the disgraced cyclist defrauded government sponsors by using performance enhancing drugs while on the state-funded US Postal Service team. In a statement, Armstrong attorney Robert Luskin said Lance and his representatives worked constructively over these last weeks with federal lawyers to resolve this case fairly, but those talks failed because we disagree about whether the Postal Service was damaged.

The lawsuit was based on the False Claims Act, which allows citizens to sue for alleged fraud against the government and receive as much as a third of any money recovered and plaintiffs can recover as much as triple the amount of the 1999 to 2004 sponsorship, which was worth an estimated $30 million (£19.7 million). In addition to this lawsuit, Texas insurance firm SCA Promotions lodged a suit against Lance Armstrong seeking $12 million (£7.9 million) for bonus money paid to him for the Tour de France triumphs that are now null and void.

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