Lance Armstrong Pushed Banned Substances to Teammates; Threatened to Replace Riders Who Refused to Dope Like Him, Says U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Report
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has revealed a total of 26 people provided testimony against seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, in the wake of the cyclist’s demand that the nation’s peak anti-doping agency name his accusers.
In 1,000 pages of damning evidence and sworn testimony, posted on USADA’s website Wednesday, it emerged 15 cyclists had claimed they had knowledge of Armstrong's doping activities when he was a member of the U.S. Postal Service Cycling team.
The evidence included financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that, according to USADA, proved the “use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team,” the organization said.
What was the other shocking twist?
USADA's cache of evidence was supported by one of Armstrong’s former teammates, George Hincapie, who issued a statement after the documents release, confirming his own role in the doping conspiracy.
Hincapie said he told investigators the truth “about everything I knew.”
In a summary of its case, USADA said: “The evidence is overwhelming that Lance Armstrong did not just use performance-enhancing drugs, he supplied them to his teammates. He did not merely go alone to Dr. Michele Ferrari for doping advice, he expected that others would follow,” the report continued, referring to the cycling physician who was banned by USADA for his role in the sport’s steroid scandal. “It was not enough that his teammates give maximum effort on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping program outlined for them or be replaced. He was not just part of the doping culture of his team, he enforced it and re-enforced it. Armstrong’s use of drugs was extensive, and the doping program on his team, designed in large part to benefit Armstrong, was massive and pervasive.”
The eleven riders who testified against Armstrong -- and whom were suspended for their own doping -- included Hincapie, Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.
Andreu previously told Celebuzz he believed Armstrong, 41, decided not to fight charges brought by USADA because he knew his own guilt.
“I had no idea that USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) had so much evidence to take away so many results from Lance,” Andreu said.
“Perhaps he settled to keep this information from the public.
“Lance fights everything, so I’m surprised he chose not to fight the charges,” added Andreu, who in 2006 confessed to doping while on the U.S. Postal Service team with Armstrong in 1999.
In a statement late on Wednesday, a lawyer for a defiant Armstrong maintained the testicular cancer survivors innocence.
"Tygart's statement confirms the alleged 'reasoned decision' from USADA will be 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," attorney Tim Herman said.