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Tuesday 04, Aug 2015

  Cannondale-Garmin Rider Fails Test For Testosterone

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Tom Danielson of Cannondale-Garmin has tweeted that he tested positive for synthetic testosterone in an out-of-competition test performed On July 9. The positive test has not been formally announced by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) but it informed the cyclist about the positive test result on August 2.

The cyclist denied he used banned performance enhancing drugs and said he was clean. Danielson has been suspended by his Slipstream Team, pending the outcome of his B-sample.

Danielson wrote on Twitter that he received a call from USADA while he was eating dinner with his team the night before Tour of Utah. The Cannondale-Garmin rider said USADA notified him that an out-of-competition test given on July 9 tested positive for what he understands as synthetic testosterone. The 37-year-old Danielson will sit out the Tour of Utah as he awaits the results of his B sample. Tom Danielson won the last two editions of the race.

The American rider also tweeted that he will have the supplements he takes tested for possible contamination. Danielson, who served a suspension of six months from September 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013, after he admitted to blood doping while being with Discovery Channel team, faces a lifetime ban from the sport should his B sample confirm the positive test. The Connecticut-born rider was stripped of his results from March 1, 2005 to September 23, 2006 after admitted to doping and lost the Tour of Georgia and Tour of Austria overall, as well as a stage victory and sixth overall in the Vuelta a España.

Danielson testified in the Lance Armstrong-USADA case and primarily worked as a domestique in recent years for riders Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky, and Daniel Martin. The American rider rode for The Discover Team, which was a incarnation of US Postal, in 2006 and 2007. While testifying in the case Lance Armstrong case, Tom Danielson remarked he was presented with a choice that to him did not feel like a choice at all and added in the environment that he was in, it felt like something he had to do in order to continue following his dream. The cyclist also remarked at that time he crossed the line and that is something he will always be sorry for and went on to remark at that time he accepts responsibility for his choices and apologize to everyone in his life for them – in and out of the sport.

Danielson spent his childhood years in Connecticut and attended Fort Lewis College in Colorado. The American professional road racing cyclist holds the record for the fastest ascent of Mt. Washington in the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. Danielson also holds the record for the Mt. Evans Hill Climb that traverses the highest paved road in North America. The rider raced for the American UCI ProTour team Discovery Channel and won the 2005 Tour de Georgia and the 2006 Tour of Austria.

Danielson is sponsored by Cannondale, Full Speed Ahead (FSA), Mavic, Smith Optics, Prestige Imports, Vega Sport, Icon Lasik, and Biotta for 2015 cycling events.

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Thursday 24, Jan 2013

  Ex-UCI Head Says Riders Were Warned

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Ex-UCI Head Says Riders Were Warned

The world governing body of cycling warned Lance Armstrong and other riders when they came close to testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, according to the former President of UCI, Hein Verbruggen.

Verbruggen, in an interview with the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland published on Wednesday, said dozens of the top riders and team managers were invited to the headquarters of the UCI in Aigle “one by one”, where the chief doctor of the cycling body, Mario Zorzoli, gave them presentations on its anti-doping strategy and information about suspect values. The former UCI President this was part of a conscious strategy to try to reduce doping.

Verbruggen justified his defense of Armstrong during his tenure despite the fact that the world governing body of cycling warned him about his red blood cell values being suspect. He further added that he is not responsible if a cyclist is tested 215 times and he is always negative and the problem lies in the test itself.

The Australian anti-doping expert instrumental in developing the biological passport for the UCI between 2008 and 2012 before he resigned, Michael Ashenden, remarked he was not aware of any other international federation pursuing a similar strategy.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency have refused to cooperate with the independent commission set up by the UCI to look into claims that the governing body covered up a positive drug test in 2001 in return for a donation of $125,000 from Lance Armstrong.  Meanwhile, Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling, has remarked that he is fully supportive of UCI president Pat McQuaid who since his election in 2005 has done an impressive job in frequently difficult circumstances and added that it is absolutely vital for the future of our sport that we all remain united.

Verbruggen, who is still an honorary president of the UCI, and his successor, Pat McQuaid, have been under intense pressure ever since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal wherein the disgraced cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and admitted doping throughout each of them. A lifetime ban was imposed on the cycling icon by the UCI after the United States Anti-Doping Agency submitted its reasoned decision that was supported by the testimony of many of 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).

The evidence brought forward by USADA included direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data, and laboratory test results that proved the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirmed the deceptive activities of the USPS Team.

After this, Lance Armstrong and two other members of the USPS Team, Dr. Michele Ferrari and Dr. Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy while three other members of the USPS Team (Johan Bruyneel, the team director; Dr. Pedro Celaya, a team doctor; and Jose “Pepe” Marti, the team trainer) decided to contest the charges and take their cases.

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Thursday 22, Nov 2012

  USADA Bans Accepted By Danielson, Vande Velde, And Zabriski

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USADA Bans Accepted By Danielson, Vande Velde, And Zabriski

After making statements that they doped during their respective times as teammates of Lance Armstrong, Garmin-Sharp riders Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, and David Zabriskie have accepted their bans imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

While Vande Velde has been banned from September 9 2012, and lost his results from June 4, 2004 through until April 30 2006, the suspension of Zabriskie starts from September 1, 2012 and he loses all results from May 12, 2003, until July 31st 2006 and Danielson has been banned from September 1 2012, and loses his results from March 1 2005 until September 23, 2006. Each rider has received a ban of six months. The bans imposed by USADA on Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma Quick Step), Michael Barry (Team Sky), and George Hincapie (BMC), all former US Postal riders have also been accepted by the riders.

In a statement released by Garmin-Sharp, the team said Slipstream Sports was created for the formation of a team where cyclists could compete 100% clean and it is good to see the incredible strides cycling has taken to clean itself up. The statement further read that cycling has never been cleaner and Garmin-Sharp finds itself at a critical moment in cycling’s evolution: confronting its history.

Fourth in the team’s debut Tour de France in 2008, Vande Velde, turned professional with US Postal in 1998 and started the Tour the following year and rode until the end of the 2003 season for it. Velde said he used EPO during his stints at Liberty Seguros and at CSC under Bjarne Riio. The USADA report stated Vande Velde who was a somewhat reluctant doper who nonetheless worked with Dr. Michele Ferrari and submitted to his doping regimen of EPO for many seasons.

Vande Velde admits to his doping and made apologies for his past in a statement and said he loves cycling and he failed and succeeded in one of the most humbling sports in the world. He added that he competed drug free as a young pro rider, but decided to go for performance enhancing drugs when presented with a choice, a decision which he deeply regrets. Velde added that he won races before and after doping and selected the wrong path. He said actually he never won after doping and decided to come out clean and racing well before Slipstream and believed in the team because of its unbending mission of clean sport.

Zabriskie, who joined Garmin in 2008, at the same time as Vande Velde and Danielson rode with Lance Armstrong from 2001 to 2004 and said he was introduced to doping by Postal team boss Johan Bruyneel who is currently fighting USADA’s charges. Zabriskie said he accepts full responsibility of his decision to use performance enhancing drugs and was happy to come forward and tell USADA his side of whole story to help bring the issue to the fore and assure a safe, healthy, and clean future for cycling. According to USADA, Danielson was directed towards Johan Bruyneel by Dr Ferrari.

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Thursday 01, Nov 2012

  Anti-Doping Law Flouted By Ban On Armstrong

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Anti-Doping Law Flouted By Ban On Armstrong

According to experts, the decision of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to ban @Lance Armstrong and stripping him of his seven Tour de France wins rides roughshod over established anti-doping rules.

Many sport law specialists have remarked that the anti-doping agency report that triggered the downfall of the disgraced cyclist and the endorsement of the same by the governing body of cycling, UCI, ignored the statute of limitations that ordinarily applies in such cases.

Lance Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of all his titles. His results after August 1998 were annulled and all his sponsors, including Nike, left him. This was after former teammates of the cyclist (Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie) condemned him with sworn eyewitness testimonies saying that Armstrong used and even encouraged the use of performance enhancing drugs and even threatened those who refused to take drugs by telling them their place in the team will be given to someone else.

Now the specialists suggest that Armstrong may even have grounds for making an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the decision.

Antonio Rigozzi, a doping law professor at the university of Neuchatel in Switzerland, said the case is certainly unique in its scale but it is not a reason not to apply or even ignore the (anti-doping) rules, as we have seen.

According to anti-doping rules, there is a limit of eight years to bring alleged violation cases but eyebrows were raised in legal circles about the agreements made with the former teammates of the cyclist to testify against him.

Alexis Schoeb, a Swiss lawyer specializing in sport, remarked that the fact that former cyclists who are currently owning up the use of drugs are treated in another way and the eight-year limitation has been respected while there is no such rule in the case of Lance Armstrong and this surely suggests that there is a touch of double standards.

USADA pulled off a political coup by allowing access to the public on its website to a very detailed report that practically made any appeal doomed to failure, French lawyer Jean-Jacques Bertrand said and added that dispassionate judges who apply the law as it stands are required for handling this case.

Meanwhile, more humiliation is on the way for Armstrong as his effigy will be burned at a Kent town’s annual bonfire celebration to mark a failed 1605 plot to blow up parliament and kill King James I. A 30ft (9m) model of the Texan rider will go up in flames in Edenbridge. With this, the cyclist joins the list of Cherie Blair, Katie Price, Gordon Brown, Mario Balotelli, Wayne Rooney, former French president Jacques Chirac, ex-British prime minister Tony Blair, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and Russell Brand; effigies of all of them were burned in the past. Armstrong’s effigy holds a sign reading: “For Sale — Racing Bike. No longer required.” The effigy of Lance Armstrong also sports a badge around its neck that says “Jim Fixed It For Me”, a reference to the late British television presenter Jimmy Savile who was accused of widespread child sex abuse.

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Wednesday 17, Oct 2012

  Lance Armstrong’s Cat-And-Mouse Game

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Lance Armstrong’s Cat-And-Mouse Game

Disgraced seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong recently said he wanted to see the names of all his accusers. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) soon obliged him by giving him 26 names, including that of 11 former teammates. The agency even provided him with evidence of 200 pages filled with vivid details, from hotel rooms transformed into makeshift blood transfusion centers to the ex-wife of the cyclist rolling pills of cortisone into foil and handing them out to all the cyclists.

The agency remarked that Lance Armstrong’s desire to win at all costs was what made him go dependent on first EPO and then blood transfusions and other performance enhancing drugs like growth hormone and testosterone. He tried the biggest tricks in the game to run the most sophisticated doping program in cycling and had the habit of running from places whenever and wherever anti-doping team came to test him. From 1999-2004, Armstrong won the Tour as leader of the U.S. Postal Service team and again in 2005 with the Discovery Channel as the primary sponsor.

USADA accused Armstrong of depending on performance enhancing drugs to fuel his victories and more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates. Among the 11 former teammates who testified against Armstrong are Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, and George Hincapie. The USADA report said Hincapie alerted Armstrong when he found drug testers at the hotel in 2000 after which Armstrong dropped out of the race to avoid being tested. The USADA also interviewed Toronto cyclist Michael Barry, Frankie Andreu, Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie besides Andreu’s wife, Betsy, who was one of Armstrong’s most consistent and unapologetic critics.

The report went to the governing body of cycling, UCI, and it also went to the World Anti-Doping Agency that also has the right to appeal but so far has supported the position of the USADA in the case against Lance Armstrong.

Recently, Canadian cyclist Michael Barry released a statement in which he admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs after feeling pressure to perform from the United States Postal Service Cycling Team.

Armstrong insisted that he never cheated though he find it easy not to fight the USADA charges than to save his reputation and integrity by contesting the charges levied against him. His attorney, Tim Herman, called the report 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, in a letter sent to USADA attorneys, said dismissed any evidence provided by Landis and Hamilton and said the riders were “serial perjurers and have told diametrically contradictory stories under oath.

USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart said the cyclist was given the chance to take his case to arbitration and declined and rather decided to accept the sanctions in August. Once he decided not to contest the charges, the anti-doping agency stripped him of all his titles and banned him for life and now Armstrong’s bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics is also in the danger of getting lost. However, the International Olympic Committee will wait for cycling’s governing body to act on the doping case before it thinks about taking away his Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games

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Sunday 14, Oct 2012

  Investigators Claimed Lance Armstrong Was Doping Ringleader

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Investigators Claimed Lance Armstrong Was Doping Ringleader

If the claims made by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) are right, the seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong cheated his way to the top of the cycling world through an elaborate doping scheme that has never seen before in the sport.

The anti-doping agency claimed that doctors were paid off, competitors were warned about tests in advance while hotel rooms were transformed into blood banks as riders were given late-night transfusions. The agency revealed the findings of its investigation into Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team more than six weeks after it banned Armstrong for life and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. The anti-doping agency also claimed that financial payments, emails, and laboratory test results prove the use of performance enhancing drugs by the cyclist and the USPS team and Armstrong was not only a willing participant but the ringleader ordering teammates to cheat.

The agency released a 200-page summary of the dossier it had sent to UCI, the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, and the World Triathlon Corporation, or WTC. The USADA report included testimony that the cyclist and his team made use of a wide range of performance enhancing drugs such as erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, human growth hormone, and masking agents. Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Christian van de Velde, Tom Danielson, David Zabreskie, and George Hincapie were identified among former Armstrong teammates who testified against him. Armstrong was accused of trafficking drugs and 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 lawyer of Lance Armstrong called the investigation a “hatchet job” and “witch hunt.” Armstrong has always vehemently denied cheating and has never failed a doping test but decided not to fight the charges made by the USADA. He was thereafter banned for life and stripped of all his titles, including his seven Tour de France titles.

The most surprising witness against the cyclist was George Hincapie, who rode alongside Armstrong when he won each of his Tour de France titles and was one of his most loyal and trusted friends. Hincapie recently admitted that he cheated and used performance enhancing drugs during his association with Armstrong.

The dossier of USADA was the most comprehensive report detailing his alleged transgressions and the agency remarked that it had offered undeniable proof Armstrong was the center of a sophisticated doping program. The report said the goal of Lance Armstrong led him to depend on EPO, testosterone, and blood transfusions and to expect and require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals. It added that the cyclist not just used, but also supplied performance enhancing drugs to his teammates.

Armstrong’s lawyers condemned the investigation as an inquisition based on unreliable accusations and sloppy procedures. Sean Breen, one of Armstrong’s lawyers, said the agency has continued its government-funded witch hunt of only Armstrong in violation of its own rules and due process and has no jurisdiction and the witch hunt is in blatant violation of the statute of limitations.

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Saturday 13, Oct 2012

  Bradley Wiggins Shocked At Evidence Against Armstrong

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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”.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Bradley Wiggins Shocked At Evidence Against Armstrong