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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