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Sunday 20, Jan 2013

  Armstrong Comments A “Fraud,” Says WADA Head

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Armstrong Comments A “Fraud,” Says WADA Head

WADA President John Fahey said the explanation of Lance Armstrong that he used performance enhancing drugs to create a level-playing field in cycling is a convenient way of justifying the fraud committed by the disgraced cyclist.

Fahey remarked that the assertion of the banned cyclist in the Oprah Winfrey television program that he was not cheating when he started doping through his seven Tour de France wins “gives him no credibility” and added that excuse was not plausible. The WADA President added that Armstrong was wrong and cheated and there was no excuse for what all he did and he didn’t succeed in getting a redemption if he was looking for it. He also added that the cyclist did not appear to be remorseful and said the cyclist didn’t give any names, who all supplied performance enhancing drugs, and what officials were involved.

Lance Armstrong said he started doping in the mid 1990s but did not dope when he finished third in his comeback attempt. In the interview, the cyclist admitted to making use of banned substances, blood-booster EPO, blood doping, blood transfusions, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormone and further admitted that he used the banned substances or indulged into blood doping for all his Tour de France wins. He went on to add that it was humanly impossible to win seven straight Tours without doping and refused to implicate anyone else.

The winner of seven consecutive Tour titles further said that he views Italian doctor Michele Ferrari as a good man and smart man and still do when asked by Winfrey to talk about the doctor. Armstrong was almost as reluctant to discuss claims by former teammates Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis and said there is no truth to the story that there was a positive test or he paid to the labs or had a secret meeting with the lab director. During the interview with Winfrey, Armstrong said he might not have been caught if not for his comeback in 2009 and he was sure his “fate was sealed” after longtime friend, training partner and trusted lieutenant George Hincapie, was forced to give him up to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Meanwhile, World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman said nothing short of a confession under oath – “not talking to a talk-show host,” is what will help the cyclist to request a reconsideration of his lifetime ban from sanctioned events. USADA chief Travis Tygart remarked that the confession of Lance Armstrong was just a start and said the cyclist has finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit. Tygart further said Armstrong will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes.

Armstrong’s cancer charity foundation, issued a statement that it was disappointed by the news that Lance misled people during and after his cycling career, including us, and added that the cyclist apologized to its staff and the same was accepted in order to move on and chart a strong, independent course.

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Saturday 19, Jan 2013

  Disgraced Cyclist Admits Being Ringleader Of An Elaborate Doping Scheme

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Disgraced Cyclist Admits Being Ringleader Of An Elaborate Doping Scheme

Lance Armstrong, who was banned for life and stripped of all his titles, has finally admitted that he was the ringleader of an elaborate doping scheme on the U.S. Postal Service team that swept him to the top of the podium at the Tour de France seven times.

In a two-part interview on Thursday night with Oprah Winfrey on her OWN network, the disgraced former cycling champion described him as a “flawed character,” and admitted to using banned substances, blood-booster EPO, blood doping, blood transfusions, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormone; the cyclist refused to implicate anyone else and said it was humanly impossible to win seven straight Tours without doping.

The disgraced cyclist mused that his return to professional cycling in 2009 was the reason he was caught and when longtime friend, training partner and trusted lieutenant George Hincapie, was forced to give him up to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, he was certain that his “fate was sealed.” Armstrong said he owes an apology to many, including his former masseuse and personal assistant, Emma O’Reilly. He went on to acknowledge that he had lied repeatedly about his doping for years and it has been one of the worst-kept secrets for the better part of a week.

Armstrong, wearing a blue blazer and open-neck shirt, was direct and matter-of-fact and there were no tears and very few laughs. Armstrong said what he called “my cocktail” contained the steroid testosterone and the blood-booster erythropoetein, or EPO. He said blood-doping was so routine and described it as “like saying we have to have air in our tires or water in our bottles.” The cyclist said he doped to create a level-playing field in cycling, a statement that was described by WADA President John Fahey as a convenient way of justifying the fraud committed by the disgraced cyclist. Fahey added that the disgraced cycling champion didn’t appear remorseful and his assertion of creating a level-playing field “gives him no credibility” and added that excuse was not plausible.

His confession drew different responses from anti-doping officials. While his long-time nemesis USADA chief Travis Tygart said this was just a start and Lance has finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit, he also added that the cyclist will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes. On the other hand, World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman said nothing short of a confession under oath – “not talking to a talk-show host,” will help Lance to get his lifetime ban from sanctioned events reconsidered.

In the past, the cyclist has long denied using performance enhancers and it was only after the U.S. Anti Doping Agency accused him of being at the heart of a sophisticated doping program that the “perfect world” of Lance Armstrong came to a halt. After the USADA report, the cycling icon lost nearly all his endorsements and was forced to walk away from the Livestrong cancer charity.

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Sunday 13, Jan 2013

  Armstrong’s $250k ‘gift’ Was Refused By USADA

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Armstrong’s $250k ‘gift’ Was Refused By USADA

Travis Tygart, in an interview aired in the US on Wednesday on CBS television’s 60 Minutes Sports, said a representative of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong in 2004 tried to offer a $US250,000 ($A239,000) donation to USADA. Tygart, who headed USADA’s investigation into Armstrong, said he had no qualms in refusing the donation and remarked that the purpose of the donation was a clear conflict of interest for USADA.

The USADA chief also remarked that he also received death threats, including one chilling warning he would get a bullet in his head. Tygart went on to add that Lance Armstrong doping scandal included the use of untraceable mobile and makeup to hide needle marks. He went on to say that the cyclist had been tipped off in 2002 by Swiss drug testing laboratory director Martial Saugy about how to beat the erythropoietin (EPO) test after one of the samples of the cyclist from the 2001 Tour of Switzerland was described as “suspicious.”

Tygart said the lab director sat next to him and said the Lance Armstrong samples indicated EPO use. When the USADA chief asked Saugy if he had given the keys to defeating the EPO test to Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel (Armstrong’s then manager), the laboratory director nodded his head yes. Saugy also said to Tygart that the world governing body of cycling had asked him to hold a meeting with the cyclist and Bruyneel for explaining the EPO testing process. Six of Armstrong’s samples taken during his first Tour de France win in 1999 eventually tested positive, Tygart added who also remarked that the samples were originally reported as negative but they were re-tested in 2005 and all the samples were flaming positive.

Armstrong’s most trusted lieutenants, George Hincapie, in his affidavit to USADA claimed that he texted a warning to Armstrong that he was about to be tested during a race in Spain in 2000 and Lance dropped out of the race to avoid testing. The cyclist was shunned by his fans and sponsors after the USADA issued its reasoned decision against the seven-time winner of Tour de France. The USADA report on the doping scheme included hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony, emails, financial records, and laboratory analysis of blood samples. Eleven 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) testified against the cyclist.

According to a report by the New York Times, the cyclist is considering making a public confession to mitigate his lifetime ban and make a return to competitive sports. It is also believed that the cyclist met his nemesis Tygart for more than an hour in early to mid-December to discuss the possibility of a public admission that he made use of drugs and blood transfusions during his career. Armstrong is expected to give his first post-ban interview on the Oprah Winfrey television network next week (Friday AEDT) and is expected to address years of accusations of cheating and charges of lying about the use of performance enhancing drugs. If he provides “new” information on others who are cheating to USADA and World Anti-Doping Agency, there is a possibility that Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban may get reduced to eight years. Any further reduction will require the agreement of WADA and cycling’s international federation.

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Tuesday 18, Dec 2012

  Armstrong Stripped Of Prestigious BBC Award

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Armstrong Stripped Of Prestigious BBC Award

In the wake of the USADA report and the UCI’s ban on Lance Armstrong, the cyclist has been stripped of a prestigious BBC award. The 41-year-old cyclist won the British broadcaster’s Overseas Sports Personality of the Year prize in 2003 after he captured his final Tour de France win, but his name was absent from the list of previous winners in the program for the 2012 event.

The BBC says in a statement that it took the decision “following the UCI’s decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles.” This year, Olympic gold medalist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins was voted the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, with heptathlete Jessica Ennis second and US Open winner Andy Murray bagging the third place.

The woes of the Texan rider don’t end here. On December 6, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order and denied the request of Lance Armstrong to keep certain documents under permanent seal. The ruling of Magistrate judge Deborah A. Robinson freed documents into the public domain centering around another investigation into Armstrong and this time it will be at the hands of the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, or the OIG. The lawyers now want to know everything about the cycling affairs of the United States Postal Service and how much money was paid to the cyclist to his communications with trainer Michele Ferrari and drug-makers capable of manufacturing performance-enhancing substances.

       The cyclist initially fought a sweeping subpoena from the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General but the Department of Justice stepped in to enforce the subpoena. In a filing dated October 10, 2011, Robert Chandler, an attorney with the Department of Justice’s civil division, made 21 requests of Armstrong, ranging from financial disclosures of information regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs. The subpoena also asked the cyclist for disclosing documents related to blood analysis and training, complete with scheduled use of performance enhancing drugs, and to produce any and all communications preserved through audio or video recording on which any prohibited substance or method is discussed or the use of any prohibited substance or method by any person is discussed.

The governing body of cycling (UCI) initially resisted allegations that the cyclist used anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs but succumbed to massive evidence provided by USADA and testimonies of many of the cyclist’s former teammates, including Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, and George Hincapie.

Hincapie, the veteran American cyclist who raced alongside Lance Armstrong during all of his seven Tour de France victories and his trusted lieutenant, acknowledged that he took banned substances and that he had disclosed the details of his doping to investigators. His testimony was the last nail in the coffin of Lance Armstrong’s career after he implicated Armstrong in alleged doping, including EPO and testosterone use, as well as blood transfusions. The United States Anti-Doping Agency charged Armstrong and five others associated with the Postal team with engaging in an alleged doping conspiracy aimed at dominating the Tour de France.

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Thursday 29, Nov 2012

  WADA Will Not Appeal Reduced Sanctions

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WADA Will Not Appeal Reduced Sanctions

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has remarked that it will not appeal against the decision to sanction six of the former teammates of Lance Armstrong. The United States Anti-Doping Agency handed down bans to George Hincapie, Michael Barry, David Zabriskie, Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer, and Christian Vandevelde for their own doping confessions but the terms were later reduced to a period of six months each after they all agreed to provide written testimony on the US Postal case.

The sanctions have already started and Michael Barry and George Hincapie have both signalled their retirement, while the remaining cyclists will all be free to race as of next spring. Vande Velde, Zabriskie, and Danielson all ride for Jonathan Vaughters’ Garmin-Sharp and receive the support of the team ever since they were linked or accused of doping in 2010. The 38-year-old Leipheimer has indicated his desire to race next season but was fired by Omega Pharma QuickStep after news of his confession broke, leaving him without a team for 2013.

WADA Director General David Howman remarked that fight against doping benefits from evidence that is provided voluntarily by athletes where it results in the dismantling of conspiracies and the discovery of intentional doping. The WADA Code itself supports the concept of reduced sentences for athletes in this situation, said Howman and added the culture of Omerta within professional cycling may only be broken if athletes are encouraged to take a step forward and confess to their doping in the past. Zero tolerance policies have been adopted by Team Sky and GreenEdge and they have fired staff members who have confessed to taking drugs, even as far back as 1998.

Howman further added that we need to encourage athletes to come forward with information that is useful to anti-doping cases as very often that information is the most effective evidence and furthers the rights of clean athletes and it is the reason why WADA has reservations about the zero tolerance idea that is presently being suggested. Though all of us want a clean sport but there must be some incentive for people to come forward and help the anti-doping authorities for achieving that goal. The WADA Director General added that there is no point to ask anyone to disclose fully matters from the past that is not in the knowledge of any one and possibly will never will be known if the outcome for it is a long sanction or the loss of job and this leads to a code of silence or a continuation of the ‘omerta’ that obviously ran rampant in cycling and further added that the World Anti-Doping Agency is always open to suggestions that enhance the fight against doping in sport, but there needs to be a thorough realization of how zero tolerance might effectively operate before embracing it as a principle.

However, many still view that the punishment for all who doped should be same and just accusing another and getting a light suspension is not a fair practice.

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Monday 05, Nov 2012

  UCI Sued By Sponsor For £1.25m

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UCI Sued By Sponsor For £1.25m

Australian clothing firm SKINS has threatened to sue the governing body of cycling, UCI, for its failure to crack down on doping and run a clean sport.

The Australian company’s Swiss lawyers wrote to UCI saying the company had been involved in professional cycling since 2008 in the belief that the sport had cleaned up its act after the 1998 Tour de France that was hit by scandals. In a statement issued through its lawyers, the company said it concluded that it must revise that view. The statement reads SKINS, as a supplier and sponsor, is particularly concerned with its brand image and is firmly against doping as it strongly believes in the true spirit of competition.

The company said it had acted accordingly after the Lance Armstrong scandal, which saw the Texan stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after a USADA investigation into alleged systematic doping. It was indicated by the firm that the manner in which the governing body of cycling dealt with the case of the disgraced cyclist and its fight against doping in general is the primary reason for the total loss of confidence in professional cycling by the public and added that this loss of credibility and confidence for cycling “harms SKINS, as well as any other sponsor or supplier.”

The company sponsors Cycling Australia, USA Cycling, the Rabobank, Europcar and Telekom teams and BikeNZ in New Zealand, among others.

Meanwhile, a giant effigy of Lance Armstrong went up in flames recently as part of one of the biggest bonfire parties in the UK. The cyclist, accused by the USADA of using and promoting the use of performance enhancing drugs, was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life, pipped the likes of Jimmy Savile and Chancellor George Osborne after suggestions from members of the public. The effigy came complete with a ‘Jim Fixed It For Me’ medallion and a sign which read ‘For sale, Racing bike no longer required’.

In another development, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has applauded the USADA for its case against the disgraced cyclist who was accused by some of his former teammates of using and encouraging the use of performance enhancing drugs within the USPS team. WADA recently said that it would not appeal against the sanctions imposed by the USADA on Armstrong and said WADA has no concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence against the cyclist. USADA accused the Texan rider of spearheading “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.

The seven-time champion of Tour de France was accused by teammates including Frankie Andreu, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, and Tyler Hamilton of using EPO, growth hormone, and other performance enhancing drugs. The veteran American cyclist who raced alongside Lance Armstrong during all of his seven Tour de France victories, Hincapie, said he made use of banned substances during his professional career and remarked he is looking forward to play a substantial role to develop, encourage, and help young riders to compete and win with the best in the world.

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Saturday 03, Nov 2012

  WADA Would Not Appeal Against Armstrong Verdict

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Wada would not appeal against armstrong verdict

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will not be appealing against the ban imposed on American cyclist Lance Armstrong, according to an announcement by the anti-doping agency.

Armstrong, the winner of seven Tour de France titles, was banned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testimony from former teammates, including Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Frankie Andreu, and Floyd Landis, who all were involved in what the USADA called the most sophisticated doping program ever seen in sport. The ex-teammates of the disgraced cyclist testified that Armstrong used and even encouraged the use and provided performance enhancing drugs and threatened cyclists in the team who didn’t doped of losing their place in the team.

The evidence against Armstrong showed prolonged use of a range of performance enhancing drugs including erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, human growth hormone, and masking agents, according to the USADA.

The 41-year-old Armstrong, a cancer survivor, has denied cheating and never failed a doping test but was stripped of all titles and given a lifetime ban after electing not to fight the charges made against him. The USADA banned Armstrong for life and stripped him of all his titles and results since August 1, 1998, a decision that was later ratified by the UCI, the governing body of cycling.

After the USADA sent the report to the the governing body of cycling, UCI, and World Anti-Doping Agency, they had the option of taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) or ratify the sanctions imposed by USADA on the cyclist. The UCI said Lance had no place in cycling and annulled all his results besides banning him for life. Now, WADA that had the option to challenge the ruling made by USADA has joined USADA and UCI against the cyclist.

WADA President John Fahey said in a statement that the anti-doping agency has no concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence against Lance Armstrong. Fahey added that the Armstrong doping scandal has resulted in a proper and right sanction for the cyclist and has served as a revelation to the world of sport for which USADA must be applauded. WADA also called on the governing body of cycling to disclose details of its independent investigation that it vowed to undertake after widespread doping revelations. Fahey said the anti-doping agency has had no communication from the UCI with regard to the Armstrong-reasoned decision, the UCI management decisions, or their upcoming inquiry and added that WADA would like to make a contribution to the inquiry, if it is established and resourced beyond reproach. Fahey further added that this is not a situation wherein just because an athlete didn’t return a positive test there was nothing for the UCI could do.

After being exposed as a drug cheat, Lance Armstrong has been asked to pay back millions of dollars in prize money, threatened with lawsuits, dropped by sponsors, and stepped down as the chairman of his charity foundation, Livestrong. The International Olympic Committee is even considering taking back his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

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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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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”.

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