Anti-doping agency outlines 'undeniable' case against Lance Armstrong
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is finally coming forward with its case against Lance Armstrong. 200 pages. 26 interviews, 11 by former teammates. Emails. Bank statements. All of which, they say, paint a picture of the kingpin of a doping ring. Armstrong, through his attorney, calls it all lies — a taxpayer-funded hatchet job.
Lance Armstrong is a cheat. Not just any cheat though, a kingpin of a ring of cheaters.
At least, that's the picture painted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which on Wednesday released a 200-page report that documented what it says is undeniable evidence that Armstrong cheated his way to his Tour de France titles, encouraged, even required other members of his team to cheat by using performance enhancing drugs and actively concealed all of it.
Armstrong, of course, denies all of the allegations — his attorney, Sean Breen, described it as a "one-sided hatchet job."
It's 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," he said.
But USADA stands by its report and has banned Armstrong from cycling for life and stripped him of his seven Tour de France victories. In releasing its report Thursday, the USADA outlined 26 interviews it conducted, including 11 with Armstrong teammates, all of which outlined a conspiracy to win cycling races through using performance enhancing drugs.
"(Armstrong's goal of winning multiple Tour de France titles) led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his team-mates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own," the USADA said, according to a report from the BBC. ""It was not enough that his team-mates give maximum effort on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping programme outlined for them or be replaced. He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team, he enforced and re-enforced it."
In the wake of such damning statements, and Armstrong's August decision not to challenge the report, the International Olympic Committee is now reviewing the USADA report — a first step before the IOC would take back Armstrong's Olympic medals.
The report also included documents, bank statements and emails that the USADA says back up the claims of the eyewitnesses.
According to The New York Times, Armstrong managed to beat cycling drug tests by dropping out of races, hiding where he was training, and using a banned, sophisticated procedure known as blood doping, where his blood was removed from his body a month before a race and then reinfused immediately before a race — in order to improve the amount of oxygen his blood can carry.
It's a difficult technique to test for, but as part of the USADA investigation, it conducted tests that strongly indicate Armstrong was using blood doping to improve his performance.
“It has been a frequent refrain of Armstrong and his representatives over the years that Lance Armstrong has never had a positive drug test,” the report said, according to the Times. “That does not mean, however, he did not dope. Nor has Armstrong apparently had nearly as many doping tests as his representatives have claimed.”
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