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Thursday 30, Oct 2014

  Armstrong Banned From Riding George Hincapie Gran Fondo

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Armstrong Banned From Riding George Hincapie Gran Fondo

According to a statement by USA Cycling, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has been barred from participating in the non-competitive Gran Fondo Hincapie as it comes under the umbrella of USA Cycling.

The Gran Fondo Hincapie, which is named after George Hincapie, is a 128 km touring trek set for this weekend around Greenville.

USA Cycling spokesman Bill Kellick said USA Cycling has informed USADA that the Hincapie Gran Fondo constitutes a cycling ‘activity’ that is ‘authorized’ by USA Cycling as those terms are used in the World Anti-Doping Code and in the Anti-Doping provisions of the UCI (International Cycling Union) Cycling Regulations and added under these provisions, an athlete’s suspension bars participation in an authorized activity such as this. Kellick added the UCI has confirmed USA Cycling’s interpretation and added that the World Anti-Doping Code vests jurisdiction in UCI and in USADA to determine whether an athlete has violated the terms of any suspension, as well as to assess any sanctions that might accompany an adverse determination. The USA Cycling spokesman said USA Cycling was asked by the US Anti-Doping Agency to look into the matter after it learned that Lance Armstrong was planning to ride and reunite with several of his teammates, including George Hincapie.

A number of current professionals competing in the race, including Larry Warbasse expressed disappointment with the statement of USA Cycling. Warbasse said he doesn’t think Armstrong is the evil guy he has been depicted to be, in all these books and movies, but he supposes that is ultimately going to be left up for people to decide for themselves. Warbasse said Lance took the brunt of the USADA investigation, much harder than anyone else and in his opinion, and he might deserve a bit of a break.

Hincapie said the Fondo is not supposed to have an intended or implied message; at least that’s not what we are shooting for. The former cyclist said it is just a celebration of cycling with friends and fans that also support what we feel are important causes. The former teammate of Armstrong said he knows he had made mistakes along with some of the other riders in attendance, but he believes in, and hope for, second chances for everyone and added he is very fortunate to count many former and current professionals as friends, and will leave it to his peers to decide how they regard me, and the event.

In 2013, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping. He was handed out a life ban from the sport and admitted that all his seven consecutive Tour de France wins were fuelled by performance-enhancing drugs. During a television interview broadcast with American talk show host Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, Armstrong admitted to using substances like Testosterone, EPO, Human growth hormone, and other drugs for dominating international cycling. The Texan also admitted that he bullied others who accused him of being a cheat and repeatedly denied he ever used banned performance enhancing drugs.

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Tuesday 28, Oct 2014

  Armstrong Had Prior Authorization To Ride Fondo, Says Hincapie

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Armstrong Had Prior Authorization To Ride Fondo, Says Hincapie

George Hincapie, American retired road bicycle racer, has remarked that his former teammate Lance Armstrong had prior authorization from “the appropriate governing body” to ride in the Gran Fondo Hincapie in Greensville, South Carolina.

Lance Armstrong was to reunite with several former U.S. Postal Service teammates, including George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, and Kevin Livingston. He was also to reunite with other  active American professional riders including Tejay van Garderen, Brent Bookwalter, and Larry Warbasse (BMC Racing), Tom Danielson and Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp), and Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing).

The planned attendance of Armstrong drew the attention of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and USA Cycling because of his lifetime ban. In a statement, USA Cycling said that the banned cyclist is prohibited from participating from any event sanctioned by the national federation according to WADA Code. The Hincapie Fondo, as a non-competitive event, was in no way required to be sanctioned through USA Cycling.

USA Cycling’s director of communications, Bill Kellick, said no one here gave him a green light to participate and said we had no prior knowledge. The Hincapie Fondo is listed by USA Cycling as a “Fun Ride or Tour” and not a competitive event. USA Cycling director of communications Bill Kellick had remarked the event is a permitted, non-competitive ride with no officials, so there is no one there to stop Armstrong from participating but he added that if he does participate, it would be up to USADA to determine what, if any, penalties would be imposed beyond the lifetime ban and then it would be up to USA Cycling to impose those penalties.

In 2012, Hincapie testified against Lance Armstrong before USADA that he and Lance made use of banned performance enhancing drugs but mentioned in his sworn affidavit that he continues to hold Lance Armstrong in “high regard.” Hincapie had remarked he continues to regard Lance Armstrong as a great cyclist, and he continues to be proud to be his friend and to have raced with him for many years. The former cyclist had remarked he does not condemn Lance for making those choices, and he does not wish to be condemned for the choices he made.

On hearing this, George Hincapie remarked issued a statement and expressed his disappointment and said Lance Armstrong had been given “the green light” to participate after someone from the Hincapie Fondo had reached out to “the appropriate governing body.” However, Hincapie did not specify which “appropriate governing body” had been contacted. In the statement, George Hincapie said Lance will not be joining us at the Fondo this year and added that more than a month ago we conferred with what we thought was the appropriate governing body regarding his participation. Hincapie said at that time we were given the green light for him to ride and our intent was never to cause a stir, but we are disappointed to learn they’ve reversed course at the eleventh hour and added we will of course comply with the ruling, and look forward to a great event.

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