Lance Armstrong: Usada report reveals doping evidence
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|Wed, 10-10-2012 - 1:04pm|
After all his denials........Lance Armstrong 'ran doping ring'
Cycling legend Lance Armstrong's team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen" according to a report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Usada says it will deliver the full report in the doping case against Armstrong, 41, later on Wednesday.
It contains testimony from 11 of his former US Postal Service team-mates.
He has always denied doping allegations but has not contested Usada's charges.
"As requested by the sport's governing body, the UCI, Usada has now sent them its 'reasoned decision' as to how it found the seven-time Tour de France champion guilty of running a systematic doping ring. It has also sent 1,000 pages of eye-witness testimony, lab results, scientific data, emails and financial records, evidence Tygart describes as overwhelming, conclusive and undeniable.
"Cycling's equivalent of War & Peace will also be published on Usada's website later today.....it will be gruesome bedtime reading for Lance Armstrong's dwlindling band of believers."
Usada chief executive Travis T Tygart said in a statement that there was "conclusive and undeniable proof" of a team-run doping conspiracy.
They will send their "reasoned decision" in the Armstrong case to the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency and the World Triathlon Corporation.
The UCI now has 21 days to lodge an appeal against Usada's decision with Wada or they must comply with the decision to strip Armstrong, who now competes in triathlons, of his seven Tour de France titles and hand him a lifetime ban.
In his statement, Tygart said the evidence - which is in excess of 1000 pages - against Armstrong and his team was "overwhelming" and "and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team and its participants' doping activities."
Tygart revealed it contains "direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove 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, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding".
He also claimed the team's doping conspiracy "was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices".
Among the former team-mates of Armstrong's to testify were George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for failing a dope test and was recently found guilty in a Swiss court of defaming the International Cycling Union for alleging they had protected Armstrong from doping claims.
Tygart said: "The riders who participated in the USPS Team doping conspiracy and truthfully assisted have been courageous in making the choice to stop perpetuating the sporting fraud, and they have suffered greatly.
"I have personally talked with and heard these athletes' stories and firmly believe that, collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they ever did on a bike.
"Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.
"Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognised competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward."
Tygart called on the UCI to "act on its own recent suggestion for a meaningful Truth and Reconciliation programme".
"Hopefully, the sport can unshackle itself from the past, and once and for all continue to move forward to a better future," he added.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency says Lance Armstrong's team ran the "most sophisticated doping programme the sport has ever seen". BBC Sport
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