The USADA Report on Lance Armstrong

The USADA Reasoned Decision

USADA have published their report on the decision to impose a lifetime ban on Lance Armstrong for doping and drug trafficking. The report is extensive and damning, complete with testimony from unimpeachable sources like George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer. Indeed every American cyclist who rode the Tour de France with US Postal and Discovery for the seven year period between 1999 and 2005 has now confessed. Except for Lance Armstrong and Kevin Livingstone.

Yet the report isn’t just about Armstrong. It contains references to his old teams, to senior officials in the sport, from US Cycling across to the UCI and beyond. Over one million dollars in payments to Michele Ferrari are detailed for example.

The report goes into extensive detail, offering a chronology of the US Postal team and Lance Armstrong’s role based on sworn affidavits from 26 people as well as extra information from others, whether media reports or more.

The full report is so damning in its entirety that picking the key points is immaterial, it is the weight of evidence rather than any particular selections that matters. Nevertheless here are some summary points:

The 2001 Tour of Switzerland: The EPO test is not black and white. It is scored and riders can report suspicious levels without going over the threshold that guarantees a positive test. In the Tour of Switzerland several samples showed suspicious levels that suggested EPO use. The lab director has said the UCI told him one of these belong to Armstrong. This is not a positive test but highly suspicious. Soon after Armstrong and Bruyneel visited the UCI and donated at least $100,000. The question for me is whether the UCI rushed to investigate or hurried to bury the story?

Follow The Money: USADA have been able to track down over one million dollars in wire transfers between Lance Armstrong and Michele Ferrari.

Almost Funny: On page 119 we get details of David Zabriskie’s hesitations over starting to use EPO:

Zabriskie began to ask questions. He was fearful of the health implications of using EPO… …Would he grow larger ears?

Which is like something Zabriskie would put on Twitter. However this is not so amusing as we get the sorry tale of Zabriskie who sought refuge in cycling as it “provided an escape from the difficult home life associated with a parent with an addiction” and how he came to see Bruyneel as a paternal replacement before being led into taking EPO.

Dr Good, Dr Evil: There’s a split between the avuncular Dr Celaya and his replacement Dr Del Moral. If Celaya initiated the doping programme at US Postal, he was liked because of his personal style. By contrast Christian Vande Velde said del Moral “would run into the room and you would quickly find a needle in your arm” and he seems more aggressive in supplying the team.

Never Tested Positive: But Armstrong was tested over 500 times, right? Wrong, the report suggests he was controlled no more than 200 times and that there were easy ways to avoid being caught. At first there was no test for EPO and when they introduced one, US Postal switched to blood doping, for which there is still no test. However analysis of Armstrong’s blood data reveals strong patterns associated with blood manipulation. So the testers were often unable to test for the banned substances and banned methods being used. In addition the team would somehow get at least an hour’s notice of testing in a race.

It’s here that we see the illicit advice of Ferrari paying dividends. As a new test for EPO is introduced, Ferrari soon grasps that, in crude terms, it compares a ratio of naturally occuring EPO to injected EPO. Therefore he advises riders used altitude tents or travelled to mountain training camps in St Moritz or Tenerife in order to generate more natural EPO and thus give them cover to take artificial EPO on top.

The Comeback: when looking at the blood data from 2009 and 2010 USADA’s expert Professor Gore concludes “the approximate likelihood of Armstrong’s seven suppressed reticulocyte values during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France occurring naturally was less than one in a million”.

Actually this rings alarm bells for me as courtroom experts are notoriously prone to bias, especially when it comes to the field of statistics and probability. But given Armstrong was working with Dr Ferrari during this time and has a track record of blood doping throughout his career we might put a good probability on the likelihood of blood doping.

The Fallout: Christian Vande Velde and Levi Leipheimer both go on the record stating they doped at CSC and Rabobank respectively, Leipheimer even states the name of the doctor, although this is redacted in the paperwork. A bank log in the name of Ferrari’s Swiss company shows inflows from Armstrong… and Vinokourov. A deposition by Leonardo Bertagnolli names a “nephew of Francesco Moser” and cites Liquigas team management as being close to Michele Ferrari. Another statement by Vlodi Bileka names Luis Leon Sanchez as another Ferrari client. Indeed both these statements claim to name numerous clients of Ferrari, from Roman Kreuziger to Enrico Gasparotto and more. This will place others in the sport under question.

Statute of Limitations: this is not applied because of the extent of the fraud. The report says “Armstrong’s affirmative actions to cover up his doping and subvert the judicial process clearly constitute the kind of fraudulent concealment sufficient to suspend the running of the statute of limitation under U.S. law”.

It is about Lance Armstrong: whilst this is about a conspiracy involving several people the considerable lengths Armstrong goes to when someone frustrates him are notable. After Greg LeMond expressed “disappointment” in an interview on the idea of Armstrong working with Ferrari Armstrong reportedly said “I’m going to take him down” and he could make one call to Trek Bicycles to “shut him up”. Similar the report says Slipstream Sports “received several phonecalls from Mr. Armstrong suggesting that Mr. Vaughters should be removed from the management of Slipstream Sports”. There are other examples like this. Perhaps this drive and aggressive determination made him a winner but it seems to have contributed to his downfall.

It’s not about Lance Armstrong: if you take any message, it should be that this is not the prosecution of Armstrong in isolation. “He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team, he enforced and re-enforced it” says the report as it seeks to convict Armstrong, Bruyneel, Celaya, Marti, Del Moral and Ferrari.

What next?
Lance Armstrong and his legal team are already trying to attack USADA and the document. I can see why, after all to come clean now would be very difficult but for me they’re a laughing stock trotting out lines that only embarrass everyone. I can’t see how the Livestrong charity can continue any association with someone now exposed for trafficking drugs, abusing medicines and doing everything that runs counter to healthy living.

Talking of Lance Armstrong’s lawyers, they could be busy for some time if companies like SCA Promotions decide to take him to court. The company tried before to stop bonus payments for winning the Tour de France but if the UCI strips him of his win they will have a case. There is also the possibility of perjury given Armstrong gave statements under oath to SCA.

However my opinions aside there are formal steps to come. The UCI will receive the document and I believe they have 20 days to act. If they agree with the decision they will have to uphold the verdict and strip Armstrong of all his results from 1998. But they could still challenge on grounds of jurisdiction. Good luck to them hear because now this document is public they cannot ignore the extensive testimony. However senior staff in Aigle are notoriously prickly. USADA is clear that cycling’s governing body “responded with disdain and disinterest” towards riders trying to reveal the problems of doping. Statements like this will put the UCI on alert, ready to counter-attack rather than fight the problem.

Bruyneel and Del Moral have asked to go to arbitration. My personal view is that this is a stalling tactic, each extra month that passes before the hearing means an extra month of salary for Bruyneel. Regardless of the precise day, Bruyneel’s career in cycling is finished.

The six active riders who have confessed are Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), Michael Barry (Sky) and George Hincapie (BMC). They’ve put out press releases and if we welcome their cooperation, they have only confessed once all avenues of denial reached a dead end. They are banned from 9 September 2012 to March 2013. Normally they would get a two year ban but the WADA Code allows for the tariff to be reduced by up to three quarters and so they all get the maximum relief of 18 months for their extensive cooperation.

202 pages to tell us what we already knew? Perhaps but the detail is the difference, corroborating witness testimonies meet wire transfers and boxes of documents to tell the tale of the greatest sporting fraud ever. If many cyclists had made up their mind, I think the media and wider public will now join them in understanding what went on although let us remember US Postal/Discovery was just one team up against ONCE, Banesto, CSC and all the others.

Once again remember this is not the trial of Lance Armstrong but a conspiracy on the team. The story isn’t finished as the UCI will have to act, either to approve or reject this document. We should get got a holding response from the UCI and no doubt they will take their time before deciding their next move.

Finally this spreads beyond Armstrong and US Postal. The exploration into the activities of Michele Ferrari has resulted in many new names being flushed out in public, from Amstel Gold Race winner Gasparotto to Tour stage winner L-L Sanchez and Olympic champion and new Astana manager Vinokourov. Now a sworn statement is not enough to convict these riders but diligent investigation is required.

That’s it for now but press refresh as I’ll go back and revisit the document for more points and refine the text above.

225 thoughts on “The USADA Report on Lance Armstrong”

  1. In the end what this really is, is a story about greed. It speaks less to the desire to accomplish the sport’s greatest feats than it does to the desire to count the dollars that accompany the winner. It is so sad that not a single one of the athletes, coaches, doctors and supporting cast stood up and did the right thing in a timely manner. How different could the sport of cycling be today if this conspiracy had been exposed before USPS had the chance to win a single tour? The end result is that the sport is not only tarnished, but still not clean today. I fear it never will be.

    • Sure, it’s about greed, especially for the guys running the show, but a lot of the lesser riders involved made decisions they came to regret, and then spent years in a situation where publicly confessing their past sins would lose them their livelihoods. Of course they should have spoken up sooner, but I don’t think any of us can say what we would do in their situation unless we’ve been there ourselves. I also some of the riders deserve credit for their actions post-Postal. Several of the riders voted with their feet and became founding members of the Garmin program, which in 2008 did not even come with a guarantee of being invited to the top races.

    • Expecting a “totally clean” sport is like expecting a “totally clean” society.

      What we can and should aim for is a sport where doping is rare, not a routine part of the culture and essential to win.

    • Contador can’t really say anything – after all “tainted beef” or not, he’s been found guilty of doping too. It will be interesting to see what , if anything is said by Wiggins, Cavendish, etc. My guess is that they will choose not to comment until after UCI makes its decision known.

    • Per Wikipedia

      Leipheimer, riding for Team Einstein, won the 1996 U.S. National Criterium Championships in Grandview Heights, Ohio,[9][10] but tested positive for ephedrine, a banned substance, at the championship, and forfeited his title, prize money and jersey.[11][12] His family subsequently claimed that this was due to taking allergy medicine Claritin-D to relieve hay fever.[13] [14] The United States Cycling Federation subsequently allowed the use of such medications to treat allergie

  2. I always knew that the nail in he coffin for LA, USPS and Bruyneel would Le with big George Hincapie.. A guy that even LAs legal team could never smear.. In some ways am heartbroken as George was a big hero of mine, but in so many others I am thankful as hopefully this will draw a line under this sorry affair. Yes there was a problem in cycling that no one wanted to deal with.. Now it’s time for the broom to clear away the people like Bruyneel and McQuaid who facilitated this and only then can we look to the future.

    • I take some solace in the fact he didn’t re-join with Armstrong when Radio-Shack started up; opting to race with BMC (and for Cadel) instead.

      • George is a gentleman caught up in the frenzy of that era and chose to believe in himself and we must be grateful for that because as we read the all of the allegations his evidence seems to be the most incriminating, good on you George.

  3. What’s always stuck with me is that how long this has remained secret with so many people involved! It’s one thing to keep a secret between two people, but to keep this kind of thing a secret when so many people knew and witnessed about it?!?!?
    All those times LA was in front of a microphone or a camera saying that he’s clean….there must have been 30+ people in the wings smiling knowingly.

  4. The darkness which this report brings over our sport is, in fact a new dawn. Danny Pate tweeted disgust at the EPO positive for the AG2R rider yesterday (sorry, forgot his name.) More riders are happy to make their disdain public.
    Our sport is being mended. Like an alcoholic, it has accepted its problem and is looking forward. I really believe that some of those who cheated really want to use the shame they feel, at their past to influence those that are following them.
    Or am I naive?

  5. What’s next?
    From a legal perspective it’s interesting to see that the Reasoned Decision states on page 2, that it has been send to the entities with appeal rights. However it does not state, that it has been send to Lance Armstrong even though he also appears the have the right to appeal under art. 13.2.3.a. of the WADA-code.
    Perhaps Lance Armstrong has been waiting to finally see the evidence before deciding to contest the decision of USADA?
    A ground for appeal could be the fact that the WADA-code did not come into effect before January 1, 2009 (see art. 25.1) and that as a main rule it does not apply to violations before the effective date (see art 25.2). The point being; how could Lance Armstrong violate the WADA-code before January 1, 2009, when it didn’t exist?
    I would not be see surprised if we see an appeal from Lance Armstrong. The statements from his attorneys also point to that (in my oppinion).

      • Yeah, he can appeal on basis of a technicality, however that will not remove the boxes of evidence against him! He should just come out with a Oscar-winning made-for-tv performance and fess up, but something in me thinks he will just sink deeper into his own lies!

        • Yes he will just sink deeper into his own sespool of self indulgence
          PS I,ve just burnt all of his books in my fireplace I am totally ashamed to have believed in him

    • I thought LA waived his opportunity for arbitration with USADA, essentially accepting the outcome and perhaps hoping that UCI comes to the rescue. Is there another chance for appeal? I thought this decision was final subject to the UCI accepting USADA’s jurisdiction, etc.

      • The WADA-code says:
        “13.2.3 Persons Entitled to Appeal
        In cases under Article 13.2.1, the following parties shall have the right to appeal to CAS: (a) the Athlete or other Person who is the subject of the decision being appealed…”
        One thing is not to challenge the USADA before they make their decision – another is the right to appeal the decision. I don’t think the WADA-code prevents LA from appealing the final decision.

        This is one of the strange things about the USADA decision; the prosecuter ends up also being the judge – even thought the USADA states in the Reasoned Decision on page 15 regarding the proof, that “[t]he standard of proof shall be whether the Anti-Doping Organization has established an anti-doping rule violation to the comfortable satisfaction of the hearing panel bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation which is made.” As far as I understand the evidence has not been presented to any hearing panel making it obvious that the prosecuter think there is sufficient proof.

        The USADA draws a parallel to the proceedings in the United States to take away the license to practice of a doctor or lawyer. I don’t know how this works in the United States but in Denmark the evidence is presented to the hearing panel even if the lawyer does not have anything to add.

        • The prosecutor does NOT end up being the judge. Had Armstrong decided to contest the USADA finding, the process is that he would have had a hearing before an independent arbitration panel, held according to AAA protocols (one arbitrator nominated by USADA, one by Armstrong, these arbitrators nominating a 3rd).

          Armstrong decided not to contest the evidence, thus the evidence is not heard, is simply stipulated as fact. This is essentially little different to anglo-saxon criminal law. An accused may decide to not to contest (i.e. plead guilty) in which case the process more or less can move straight to sentencing.

    • Yes, this is important stuff. But Armstrong was doping and this has always been an offence before WADA appeared.

      I agree that Armstrong will probably exhaust every legal opportunity.

      It’s hypothetical but I can’t help wonder how things would be if Armstrong had decided to make a confession on his own terms.

      • If the rules before the WADA-code stated that you needed to fail a doping test to be found guilty of doping (I don’t know if they did but I would expect so), then you have Armstrongs attorneys response here (it’s the response from attorney Mark Fabiani regarding Ashenden’s statement on the 9th October):

        “The rules are clear to everyone but USADA: You either pass a drug test, or you fail it… There is no in between. Lance Armstrong has passed every test ever given to him, including every test administered during the 2009 Tour de France.”

        I’m not saying whether Armstrong doped or not – I’m just questioning the base of the decision of USADA…. 😉

  6. My advice is to go to the USADA site and look at the supporting material. The affidavits give a good insight into what went on and the email transcripts and images show that some of the so called nice guys weren’t that nice.

    • +1
      Extensive supporting detail. Similar to the notes in a corporate financial statement, buried in the detail, but often providing the most useful information. I.e., context.

      It is curious to consider the mindset of the LA’s legal representation. In one view, a victory in having the charges dismissed provides a victory for the legal team’s palmares. Another view, is the longer this situation continues, the more billable hours revenue accrues. Seems like a win/win either way.

      • I would also add this article

        I think the sceptics and mildly skeptical have been convinced. Not just about LA but guys like kreuziger etc. Young guys still working with Ferrari.
        Given this what change will these revelations produce? I have the feeling not that much. Nike are standing by LA because the general public don’t care. We have the UCI being run by muppets who won’t effect any real change. I am glad the evidence is out but am still doubtful that this will produce real change and a sport which prevents the younger riders from doping. There will be less but LA has shown that big names like his and Merckx can ride out the storm. So LA will still reap the benefits of his dirty career just like Merckx is now and in many ways Hincapie is too.

  7. The “biggest doping conspiracy in the history of sport?” It’s large, but is it really that much more extensive than, say, Telekom’s industrial-strength doping program? East Germany’s doping factory?

    The whole sport was way dirty for 15 years and still we have unanswered (unasked?) questions, such as: Did Indurain dope? What about Andy, whose brother has just been nailed? What about Cadel and Wiggins?

    …Has there ever been a clean Tour winner in my lifetime?

    • I think it’s the extent of the myth for me. Telekom and others were doing the same but got caught much sooner. As for East Germans, yes that was big too but in time everyone knew what was going on. Still it’s just my opinion, feel free to think otherwise.

    • 15 years? Make that 115. Why do so many people react as if there was no doping before EPO? The big scandals only started once agencies not directly involved in promoting the sport started to crack down. Before that, the situation was similar to what we suspect it is still in many other big money sports: widespread doping but nobody really cares except for some example cases to pretend there is controls. I’d rephrase the question like this

      Did anybody who never took PED’s in their lifetime ever in the history of the sport
      -start the Tour?
      -finish it?
      -finish it in the top 10?
      The way things have been coming out I would not bet a large sum of money for any of these to be answered with ‘yes’.

      • Moncoutie was a rider with decent results and widely regarded as clean (if a bit eccentric with his naturopathy and homeopathy) by teammates in Cofidis, which had substantial doping problems.

        He was 13th in 2002, finished it many times, won two stages, and contested the KoM in the Tour and Vuelta. So not a top-of-the-lot rider, but one with decent results.

        A less firm postulation is Sastre, who is believed by some to have won “clean” at the weird 2008 Tour that was run when CERA tests were implemented. I read that Riis was frustrated with him because he wouldn’t “prepare” properly in an Arvesen interview translation. I think this is because he got scared after all the messes with Saiz (his previous team director, where I am of the idea he doped as many in ONCE) and the death of El “Chava” Jimenez, his brother in law.

      • You have a point but guys like LeMond have pointed out that while there were other forms of doping in the sport, probably from the start, ONLY these oxygen-uptake-improving (excuse me if that’s not the correct description, but you know what I mean) products have made the huge differences in performances, making it very difficult to compete without ’em. Stimulants and the like might keep someone going when they otherwise might slow down or quit, but they couldn’t likely change the actual physiology of the rider much.

    • Is this not just a product of the same part of the American mind which calls teams “World Champions” when they win a US domestic league? Sometimes they just forget about stuff in other countries.

  8. let’s just hope the lying stops. as a casual cycling fan during the lance era, much more now, i always assumed this was going on. many of my friends said it was, all the doping convictions, allegations, etc. maybe we can just accept it and move on.

    don’t know what lance is going to do now. his credibility is gone. not sure i really care to be honest…

  9. And this is why there were no federal charges filed. Nifty story, but not one shred of evidence. Paying someone money is not illegal regardless of their reputation. Being vengeful is not evidence of doping. Suspicious levels are not a failed test. Testimony! you say. Hincapi says he was approached by the Feds; they didn’t see his testimony as something that would stand up in court under cross examination to make any of their charges stick…not one. The title says it all, Reasoned Decision. It is not titled Verdict. If you read the story you come to a conclusion; but all stories provide that in the end. There is not one single item that closes the gap between –“sure looks like he did” — and — “That’s it! We got him.” It is a travesty that USADA published this trash. Our US tax dollars spent to collect a bunch of old news stories and put them in a binder. All this does is defame Armstrong and destroy any credibility USADA had. If the UCI rejects it they are screwed because of the previous allegations, on the other hand, any competent attorney will examine this and say it would not hold up in court as evidence as a stand alone document. By the way, there is no doubt in my mind that he doped, so that is not the issue for me. The issue is the US government funding a joke of an investigation and posturing behind it as some sort of triumph over evil. They tried to bully him into confessing and then couldn’t NOT publish the document. Now we have a face of the US government contriving allegations as evidence, against a private US citizen in front of the entire world.

    • The rules of sport are different from the law, so as you say this is different from a legal case.

      If you don’t want your taxdollars going to USADA, ok. But the US will forfeit the right to have cyclists in the pro peloton, attend the Olympics and take part in many other sports as you need to sign up to the WADA Code to take part in many sports these days.

      • IR – I am perfectly fine with my tax dollars funding USADA. Abusing the authority and position is what needs to be accounted for. They should have investigated (no problem there); reviewed it in context (alot of material is pure second hand hearsay and old information that cannot be substantiated, lets be fair); and then put it on the shelf as “continuing investigation” or something to that effect. In other words let it die on the vine. The material here is subject to review in arbitration. The process is a hearing and legal representation is present. The material should have substance, evidence, somewhere; at least one thing that makes the cut as evidence that you can build a case around.

    • Eye-witness testimony is evidence. If you think it isn’t, then you’re ridiculously uninformed about how criminal law works in the USA. When you have 26 people with eye-witness evidence, pretty much all in agreement, that’s pretty compelling evidence. When you have a paper-trail showing substantial payments, showing there were some kind of services rendered between the 2 accused, this is corroborating evidence.

      Or maybe you think the standards of evidence should be completely different for Lance?

      • Eye witness testimony is not evidence. After cross examination it may be established as credible testimony but the credibility of the testimony is subject to the perception of the jury based on the framework laid by counsel. For example, as a given, you can toss any Floyd Landis eyewitness testimony as credible. (I am going to assume that would be obvious to you).

        • Roger – I sincerely hope you’re not a real lawyer, just playing one on the internet, because this is all wrong. Of course eyewitness testimony is “evidence”. You are right that in adversarial proceedings, parties have the right to test oral evidence through cross examination, but in this case, Armstrong effectively forfeited that right by declining arbitration.

        • Lance had the right to an independent hearing under American Arbitration Assocation rules, before 3 independent arbitors – one nominated by him, one by USADA, one by the first 2 arbitors. A US federal judge ruled that this would have provided sufficient due process.

          Lance *chose* not to contest the evidence, *chose* to forego cross-examination, *chose* to let this evidence stand as stipulated. Thus, little different to a guilty plea at the start of a criminal trial, there was no need to hear and examine the evidence, instead the process moved straight to producing a judgement.

          If you think this is unfair, then presumably you also have issues with the US legal system itself?

          • More importantly, it doesn’t matter if the thing is/was the biggest kangaroo-court in the world. BigTex agreed to be bound by these rules and procedures when he took out his license. If he didn’t want to play by these rules, there was nobody holding a gun to his head, forcing him to sign, he could have become a house-painter instead. It’s just like OJ Simpson beating the rap in criminal court only to lose big in civil court where the burden of proof is far lower. Maybe BigTex will now go on the hunt to find the “real doper” – the guy who coerced the “who’s who” of US cycling into all this systemized doping?

      • Also, ” have a paper-trail showing substantial payments, showing there were some kind of services rendered between the 2 accused” is the biggest red flag for me. If they could have made the actual connection between the money and doping the Feds would have strung him up. This where USADA are reading what they want to into what is there and misrepresenting that as evidence. All it is is evidence that he paid the man —for something.

    • Are you serious? You clown.

      You can’t have read all the evidence, there simply hasn’t been enough time. So you clearly had made up your mind before reading anything.

    • Eyewitness testimony is evidence.

      There is plenty of instances in the report where teammates reported that they saw Lance take PEDs or blood, or distributed said products to them.

    • You can always spot the frothers by the lack of paragraphs.

      He’s banged to rights old chap – best accept a cheat got caught, and honest men can make a living again.

      Like Jimmy Saville – the truth will out.

      How’s about that then?

      • Actually to be frank I’m disappointed. As I stated before, there is no doubt in my mind that he doped and there has not been any since the “the look” back at Ulrich.

        I’m disappointed that after all this time he can still claim he didn’t do it because they can’t tie him to a “smoking gun” (or a drug purchase).

        I think that is why Tygart wouldn’t/couldn’t let it go. He got wrapped around “I know he’s guilty Damn it!” and I don’t think anyone saw Lance dropping the fight. It turned out to be his most brilliant move perhaps. If Tygart can get Lance to arbitration all sorts of things can come out in due process and we get a VERDICT. But since there will not be arbitration we get a REASONED DECISION. No closure.

        Like I said, I think Tygart did not see this coming and since he can’t argue it in arbitration it has to stand out there all by itself. By itself, it does not stand.

        (Paragraphs inserted in deference to Mr. Labrador of Perception. See, I’m sporting.)

        • You say:
          “There is no doubt in my mind that he doped”

          Well, on what, exactly do you base this belief other than the various bits of information presented in this report? Are you privy to other damning information not presented in this USADA report? Absent that, then your “standard of proof” is no better or worse than that of anybody else using this report to make a judgment.

          • Ray – what else do you need? what else does one need, in fact? This report is but the tail end of a string of allegations, suspicions, and cover ups and spins by crafty lawyers. And witness testimony in this case is akin to a confession to the crime/breach of rules. It is absolutely evidence and it is perfectly admissible to make the case against someone.

        • I don’t really understand the weight you seem to be placing on the distinction between a “verdict” and a “decision”. Whether or not a real difference can be argued to exist in some contexts, in this context – breaches of the WADA code – “decision” is the correct word, as the WADA code talks only in terms of decisions; the word “verdict” doesn’t appear in the code.

      • So its not just me who is struck by the similarities with Jimmy Saville?
        – charity great
        – oodles of charisma
        – friendly public persona
        – years of rumours
        – seemingly huge power behind the scenes (for uci read BBC)
        – too big to fail

        Clearly both accused of very different things, Saville potentially of criminal acts, but interesting parallels non the less

        • The comparison I’ve been making for a while is with the Rangers FC Tax situation (for any football fans)

          Compliant media, access for silence, bullying of anyone asking questions. The total moral vacuum that comes from excessive arrogance, too big to fail, governing body fudging the rules.

          It’s all there.

  10. So the 2001 Tour de Suisse basically is equivalent to the “Atypical Finding” of the 2009 WADA Code. Basically some result that is not per se adverse to the athlete, but requires further investigation. E.g. it may be necessary to ask the athlete about their circumstances at the time of the test, to correctly interpret the data. According to the WADA Code and the lab standards protocol (from 2009), the lab reports an atypical finding to the body with results management along with a recommendation. That body then decides how to proceed, in particular, whether or not to deem it an “Adverse Analytical Finding”. Those are the current protocols, but presumably they’re not far off what was acceptable practice before. In the TdS case, the results management body would have been the UCI I think. Basically, the TdS thing is as Martial Saugy described it, and not proof of a cover-up.

    USADAs’ argument about the statute of limitations not applying seems the weakest part of this case. USADAs’ argument rests on precedent from the United States legal system. However, the WADA Code exists outside US law – it is an international agreement outside of US law. Indeed, the WADA Code specifically states that national laws are not meant to be used to interpret it:

    “24.3 The Code shall be interpreted as an independent and autonomous text and not by reference to the existing law or statutes of the Signatories or governments.”

    Indeed, the final arbitor in doping cases under WADA Code protocols are the Swiss courts. An argument based solely on US precedent just seems very very weak.

    • Hmm, the USADA finding discusses this. They say there is precedent from CAS that says the law of the country where the ADA is located governs the statute of limitations. So I guess the lawyers at USADA have thought of this. 🙂

      • Yes, I saw the CAS reference too. Even if we only go back 8 years, the clock could be started from the day Landis started the investigation and this would go back a long way; start the clock today and we go back to when Armstrong was still active.

  11. I’m perplexed by this line from USADA calling USPS “a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding.” How? The Postal Service is not directly taxpayer funded as far as I understand.

      • The US Post Office is an independent agency that has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s.

        I think they “took some liberty” here. It sounds offensive to be ripping off tax payers. It goes to arbitration, it is shown that this is not accurate during arguments and they say “Oops, sorry for saying that.” What is the downside for them? Nothing. Upside – sets the table for people who may not care about cycling (in the US) to be emotionally invested in the outcome. Not necessarily overly effective but they are hedging.

      • The appropriations from Congress to the USPS are for pension and benefit obligations not operations–or at least that’s my Wikipedia-level understanding.

      • The USPS had been making over a billion a year in profit until they were forced into an artificially created budget crisis by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which forced them, for no good reason, prefund 75 years’ worth of future health care benefit payments to retirees within a ten-year time span.

  12. Hmm, more than a million bucks to a doc for training advice and some multi-vitamins…and I thought my local pharmacist was expensive!
    For me the most important point in the investigation is that the doping was systematic; controlled, regulated, even down to code words being used! In that respect I do not believe that it was only US Postal that was organized in their approach – just not possible!
    I grew up in Apartheid South Africa, and there the racism was systematic! If you chose to be ‘different’ and go against the system you would come up against a whole society that would do almost anything, coercion, you name it, in order to get you to follow the ‘right’ path, and many would just give in and follow rather than being ostracised, or worse!
    This report speaks to me of a similar kind of world, where I think many followed suit as it was the ‘way things work’!
    S.A.’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission did help people to start a new chapter and move forward in a way echoed by Hamilton’s recent confession (helping him to find a sense of self-respect), which will be important for cycling in general after this!

  13. The most interesting thing about Hincapie’s statement was he felt he could not be competitive in pro cycling without doping. That’s no excuse, but I think it shows the sad state of the sport in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The pressure on riders to dope was incredible. If LA’s Tour wins are taken away, who gets the victory? In some TdF’s you’d have to go down three, four levels to find a rider with no doping history. Even there, you’d have to suspect nobody looked hard enough at the default winner.
    I’d like to see the sport mark all those questionable “wins” with an asterisk, and move on.

    • I reckon Hincapie doped, in part, because of the work of supporting LA in Le Tour. If you look at his palmares ove the last few years (when he says he’s been clean), he’s managed decent finishes in the spring (never quite as good as his second place at PR, though). I suspect the same goes for the other guys who admitted to doping at USPS–they needed it to provide such a high level of support in July. They could have been good cyclists without it, but would not have survived July.

      • Tyler’s book makes the case that these guys are superb athletes anyway and that use of EPO or similar PEDs is most efficient in a long effort such a grand tour. So it is not outside of the realm of possibility to see George still do well dope-free in one day classics. The premise here is that these guys go from being great to super great. But one any given Sunday (a one-day race) great may just be enough.

        • You would need a lot of luck and skill to do it, to hope everything goes your way. Start using blood transfusions for one day races and you can close gaps faster, climb quicker, attack harder and generally have more power. As we’ve seen in the Fuentes and Ferrari files, many one day specialists are included.

  14. Hey Rodger,

    I as a US citizen, implore you to lighten up on the US government conspiracy theory.
    Be proud that the US has sponsored a cleanup of our USP team. (US Post is supported by tax dollars)

    The USADA has provided the world a comprehensive and detail report about a problem which has been the Achilles heel of our favorite sport world wide. I personally feel a cathartic relief.

    I only hope that other countries sponsor and support a similar examination of pro cycling teams and programs operating within their boundaries. When this happens we all regardless of our country of origin will feel proud to be cycling fans.

    • I’m not supporting a conspiracy theory. One person in particular (who I assume has a team of people that may or may not be complicit) has convinced himself this is evidence. He happens to work for the us gov and is an empowered authority representing a (quasi) government entity. I am not alone in raising this concern. Note that the US Post Office is an independent agency that has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters (the 96 m above).

      • Rodger not to continue down this road, but if the US Post payed taxes as does Fedex, and UPS then we can say with certainty that they are equal and USPS is not supported by the US government.

        Rodger don’t use the same logic Republicans use to justify not ending subsides too Oil companies, because that would be tax!

        But I digress this is not a US political blog.

        Pardon me folks,

      • There’s 1000+ pages of evidence. Quit denying it.

        Eyewitness accounts of Lance shooting up epo, taking blood bags, and sucking down ‘oil’ is evidence.

      • Newball: Ifyou are a thinking person (as you purport to be), you read the document and come to the inavoidable conclusion that LA doped.

        Your protestations here are asinine and trollish.

  15. “In order to evaluate whether Mr. Armstrong’s test(s) from the 2001 Tour de Suisse was merely “suspicious” (and therefore the probability of doping was high), or whether using the current EPO positivity criteria Mr. Armstrong’s samples could definitively establish the presence of synthetic EPO standing alone, USADA requested from UCI the test results from Mr. Armstrong’s samples from the Tour de Suisse. UCI denied that request, stating that UCI had asked for Mr. Armstrong’s consent to provide this information to USADA, but that Mr. Armstrong had refused.” (page 145)

  16. Well, what a mess.

    The UCI can choose one of two paths in response to this case. They can continue with their normal reaction of suing anyone who speaks out against them. Or, they can actually begin working and listening to the teams and riders to repair the damage that has occurred within the sport. Everything from allowing past dopers to continue in the sport after their ban to the ridiculous points system that is crippling teams and riders.

    • I believe there is a third path. Throw Armstrong and Bruyneel under the bus while declaring how ‘shocking’ the revelations are, but remind everyone that this happened 10 years ago and cycling is cleaner now thanks to the UCI.

      And continue on as if nothing happened.

  17. So there it is. Wipe out 1 guy & let the others go – 1 offseason ban is a joke! UCI is a joke! People thinking this is good for the sport, we can now move on are a joke! Half these clowns are still in and/ or running the sport I ONCE loved. Cycling for me has no more PRO- tour! Big George, if you were upset in 2009 for a double- cross that cost you a maillot jaune, x2 for how I’m feelin buddy!

  18. I think the Statute of Limitations for perjury in the SCA case has past, so no chance of a criminal prosecution for that.

    There is still the chance that he will be called under oath in the Bruyneel hearing, but I would imagine he will plead the 5th and not comment to the “kangeroo court”.

    Whilst the popular opinion about Armstrong not offering a defence is that it would result in lots of material being made public (something that has now happened), I think the reality is more simple: he would be under oath and the 5th wouldn’t be much a defence.

  19. What a document, quite a read, and I haven’t really started yet.

    “Regardless of the precise day, Bruyneel’s career in cycling is finished.”

    I like that you’re so clear!

  20. Where can I find that transcript where Stefano Ferrari emailed to Armstrong saying Evans is dumb and that the Schelek brothers ‘TT like crap’?

  21. No smoking gun for UCI to be scared of. And the comments about Verbruggen are entertaining but I guess everyone knows the guys an idiot.

    Is there a focal point or social media hot spot for protests to Trek/ Nike ? They are funding this dope cheat. The cycling fans have shown with Kimmage Fund what can be achieved, but Trek/Nike are getting a free ride here.

    • Asked & answered : “Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors.”

      • We’ll see if the facts change now. Nike have stood by athletes caught by scandal before so they might still continue. Personally I’d like to see them support Livestrong, but on the condition Lance Armstrong resigns from the charity. This way the good work can continue.

        • And how could that ever happen. Livestrong are Armstrong and will always be. Without him it will only be another charity.

          Nike dont really care who they support, otherwise Tiger Woods would be out of a lot of dollars, after his scandal a few years ago.

          This whole “case” is actually ubeliveably for me. I simply dont understand a system that can accuse a man for any wrongdoing, write him a letter where you tell him. If you dont come to court you are guílty and banned for life.

          Like olmost everybody else I know that Lance Armstrong doped, but you just can’t have justice like that. Only in America.

          Have you never heard of the system with 3 (I dont know the english name) The police investigates, The DA accuses and the court rules.

          Here in Denmark you would always have the right to at least 1 one appeal in a higher court.

          If you ar convicted in the citycourt you can appeal tho the countrycourt. If you loose both places, you still have the possibility to aske for a last appeal in the supreme court.

          And no the surpreame court doesent make the law, those are made by the danish congress.

          So I simply dont understand a ruling like this even though I totally agreed with idea of Armstrong as the biggest cheater ever

  22. “Cycling has made remarkable gains over the past several years and can serve as a good example for other sports. Thankfully, the use of performance enhancing drugs is no longer embedded in the culture of our sport, and younger riders are not faced with the same choice we had.” – Hincapie.

    And if GC is seen as the proof positive of the USPS doping conspiracy, then these words will surely be handy for McQuaid to use over and over.

  23. Why should we believe that Leipheimer, Van de Velde, Zabriskie, and Danielson are riding clean now? Why should we believe that Garmin-Sharp is clean?

    • The only reason to believe that the peloton as a whole is cleaner is to look at the numbers. Look at the power numbers of the top GC riders. Look at the times taken on major climbs like Alpe d’Huez. Everything is significantly lower than it was back in Armstrong’s heyday. People talked about the overwhelming display of power by Sky at last year’s TdF — they would have been utterly destroyed by Postal at their peak.

        • That’s why I said “cleaner”, not clean 😉 There is probably some microdosing going on, and some very careful use of homologous transfusions. But it’s not going to turn anyone into superman.

  24. Here is the trouble with the report. While this report certainly provides an appearance of impropriety on LA’s part, the truth is this ENTIRE report is heresay. “Landis said”, “Hincapie said” etc. Further, this report is so one sided that its accuracy is questionable. LA’s reputation is probably ruined with this report, (if it isn’t already.) Too bad Armstrong will not litigate this so we hear his side.

  25. Michael Barry just gave his first televised interview this evening on the Canadian public broadcaster, CBC.

    You can view the interview online at;

    October 10th broadcast.

    It is heartening to hear that he does not consider himself a hero in any way, shape or form for coming forward.

    Also very interesting to learn from other sources that he only came forward a few days ago to provide testimony.

    • I really like Barry, and hoped against hope that he was clean… but predictably he wasn’t (silly me, who had his heart broken by Pantani and never saw cycling the same way again). But at least, like you say, he seemed humble and contrite in the interview.

      I think the testimony dated “days ago” is more of a political maneuver – they could have provided testimony whenever and just put a convenient date in there (for their own suspensions, for example). I don’t think these are spontaneous admissions or confessions, just the public disclosure of their collaboration with the USADA.

  26. The stuff about Zabriskie is really sad, was quite emotional myself reading it.

    I still remember statements made by Armstrong on his 2009 return, saying something along the lines “i’m coming back because I saw Carlos Sastre win the tour in 08 and I can still kick his arse”. How can one man have the audacity to say something like that when all his tours were the culmination of a dope train and his return was no different.

    On a side note, what do people think will happen to Trek bicycles?

    • I think the industry folks who have stood by BigTex will continue to do so. They won’t admit to being duped (or in on the whole thing). Instead they’ll cash in with all kinds of stuff marketed to the BigTex faithful. They guy really comes across now as CancerJesus, he’s been pretty well crucified as of now. For every sale they lose (I’ve personally boycotted these companies for years due to their complicity in the sham) from folks like me, they’ll reap plenty more from the ones who still support BigTex and will happily pony-up for stuff that shows their loyalty. Long-term, once BigTex’ foundation breathes its last as donations slowly dwindle and nobody will pay for speaking engagements with the disgraced cheater, they’ll quietly fold up their yellow tents and move on to the next big personality to move their merchandise.

  27. “They’ve put out press releases and if we welcome their cooperation, they have only confessed once all avenues of denial reached a dead end”

    This is the key quote for me, these 6 may have confessed and hopefully given some very useful evidence, but they have effectively only come forward when they absolutely had to. JV has suggested on twitter that he knew Vande Velde, Danielson and Zabriskie doped previously.

    It’s productive that they’ve apologised and all, but they have committed fraud as well as cheated, Hincapie was applauded for breaking the record of appearances at the Tour de France this year.

    These athletes have got a lot of amending to do, and we shouldn’t have to wait until they are legally obliged to save their asses to hear what they have to say. If you didn’t dope but know about it, you are duty bound now to speak up.

    Brilliant summary Inner Ring, bravo for putting this together so quickly.

    • Yes. I welcome them for helping, some could have stayed quiet and taken the wrap with a longer ban. For me it’ll be interesting to see how they continue to act, I hope they stand up now and continue to explain themselves.

  28. I still find it ridiculous that Lance gets a life-time ban and all his titles striped but the gentlemen who’s testimony led to Lance’s ban through their own admittance of systematic doping only get 6 month bans and it would seem will keep all their past results.

    Surely that is not only morally wrong but also well just plain childish? Ban Lance for life and strip him of all titles because he was the guy who one that one race a year for 7 years, you know the only bicycle race the general public know about?

    It’s just odd, maybe some more learned observer here can enlighten me, but surely if Lance gets a lifetime and looses all titles then so should Hincapie, Vande Velde, Danielson et al? Surely just because Lance was the most talented, dog-minded, determined or arrogant guy who actually got the wins isn’t reason enough to ban him forever when the other guys, who’s “crimes” are just as bad get to continue to have a career.

    Let me know your guys take on it

    • I don’t think it’s ridiculous.

      Isn’t Lance’s punishment much heavier because he was deemed by USADA to be also involved in the trafficking and distribution of the banned substances, as well as being pressuring others to dope, on top of doping himself? That’s a much bigger deal than simply being caught doping, as the focus is on removing the systemic doping culture and those that persist it, rather than individual riders who dope.

    • I’m sure inrng would comment but I think USADA isolated the 6 original guys because it was deemed a long term conspiracy (involving team management, doctors etc) – and that allows them to instigate longer sanctions than 2 years – i.e life time bans for conspiracy , trafficking etc It’s different for the riders who were essentially co-erced or following orders.. LA was actually offered to keep 5 of his TDF wins if he confessed – but he declined. I’m sure the thought of being interrogated by Travis would almost make him choke on a Powerbar. But to hold onto 5 TDF wins + maybe some sorta deal on the lifetime thingy ( 10 years ? 5 years ? ..) he would have had to literally spill every single bean and for a NPD like LA , that’s not going to happen ! Seems crazy doesn’t it ?

    • No, surely this is the Tour putting the dirty past behind it, and wanting to move on. There are a handful of riders left now from this saga but as others have said on here and other Inner Ring blogs, the numbers should show that the peloton is not largely doping any more. I don’t think it’ll ever disappear, but no one is close to the rides that went on in the 90s and 00s.

      I’ve been a cycling fan for 25 years. LeMond’s TdF win was what got me into the sport on Channel 4 in the 80s. Seeing some of my absolute heroes be dismissed (or sadly dead) one-by-one has been pretty heartbreaking – Pantani, Ullrich, Basso, Hincapie, Riis, and now Armstrong (though the evidence over the years seemed to be more and more damming) – but this is what the sport needs to clean up and move on. It’s not good for the reputation of the sport now, but as a committed fan, I’m glad this is out in the open. This allows people to be named, shamed, exposed, and in turn, largely disassociate the current peloton from their actions. What’ll still need to come of this?

      Anyone working with or using doctors implicated in this scandal should leave them and submit to tests to prove they are above suspicion. Hopefully this ruling should push that forward.

      The UCI should own up to its part in the whole mess, admit it didn’t run the sport well enough, accept the evidence, validate the bans, sack McQuaid and move on. I’m not sure even half of that will happen.

      Armstrong should resign as patron of Livestrong, admit his doping, and move away from cycling, to concentrate on his legacy as a cancer survivor (doping or not, what he did was still incredible). Sadly, I doubt this will happen either.

      But this is a relief really. Painful, but a relief.

  29. There are so many questions here, Leinders has essentially been hounded out of Sky, but what about Yates?

    Did Wiggins know about Vande Velde when he was at Garmin? Did Cav know about Hincapie while at HTC? How anti-doping really is David Millar?

      • David Millar is my yardstick for the pro peloton. If he was doping, it would ruin my faith in humanity.

        The reason I follow this saga is because of the personal stories behind it. Tyler Hamilton’s 60 Minutes interview made me a little teary, because I could see how his choices had torn him apart. These guys are people first, cyclists second, and Slipstream Sports is a phoenix in cycling. Born out of the ashes of JV’s self-respect, it allowed Vande Velde, Millar, Zabriskie et al to have a second chance and Wiggins would’ve known that – he’s a smart guy. I hate to admit it, especially to myself, but if it was my choice – then – I’d have made the same call, had the same guilt and craved the same opportunity. Is there anyone else as imperfect as me?

  30. I tell you what, watching some of the questions that Paul Kimmage put to riders, especially the exchange with Lance back in ’09, makes my blood boil. He was always vocal that the issue was there, and the public battering he had from Lance was disgusting. I hope he gets the credit he deserves.

    I mean, look at this:

  31. What has disturbed me more than the drug use is the bullying and intimidation some have received for daring to go up against Armstrong.

    My sense is that Armstrong is hoping the goodwill that he has with the general public will carry him through this. Lance is the only pro cyclist most Amerricans have heard of and his triump over cancer is celebrated, so it’s very easy for him to play the victim, and as long as his name pushes product, Nike will stand by him. The Livestrong items at the sporting goods store in my neighborhood are still selling for full price.

    I’ve read portions of statements from Vande Velde, Danielson, Barry, Hincapie, and Zabriskie. Found Zabriskie’s testimony especially sad.

    I hope Inner Ring is right about Bruyneel being finished. Shameful stuff.

  32. I lost interest in Tdf during the LA years, it just got so boring. I love cycling but have no confidence in the UCI who appear complicit in all this. Will it ever be clean? I don’t think it will, we are moving into the age of genetic doping now. Designer mRNA (messenger RNA) that naturally breaks down, there is no end, it will never end.

  33. I have been saying Armstrong is a crook and a cheat for over ten years. In that time span, people have shouted at me, challenged me to a fight (on a group ride!) for questioning their idol — now everyone agrees he’s a doper. But are they saying it because everyone else is?
    I daresay that looking at the totality of the circumstances, it was fair to assume he was doping from the start. What a sick, self-righteous and compulsive liar he is! No better than a mobster in my opinion. And the corporations – nike for example with that despicable “I do not dope” commercial — and the journalists? They all went along for a ride. All this can’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land (the u.s. cycling scene) where justice is a game! (Apologies to Bob Dylan)

  34. What are the implications in the Kimmage case? are there any, all so confusing.

    I’d like some of Ferrari’s/Del morals non-cycling clients to be outed as cheats as well, about time some other sports owned up to their cheats, might make cycling’s good efforts look less bad.

  35. Now Alex Dowsett (Team Sky) has come out in support of LA. Call me cynical, but he’s out of contract at the end of the season so could he possibly be doing a Chris Horner (“LA is clean, let me ride the TdF”) in publically supporting LA in the hope Radioshack take him on next year?

    • Chris Horner – that rings a bell; when the Sky boys let Big George take the front onto the Champs in July, he came straight up to his wheel, as if he disapproved somehow. It’s all falling into place now…

    • I don’t know, he’s been racing and probably hasn’t read the report. I tweeted about his comments but hope he doesn’t get lynched for it, ideally the riders need to be explained things, to read the report and inform themselves.

      • Then perhaps Sky have failed him, by a) not previously briefing him on what he was bound to be questioned about and b) not briefing him on how to respond. I don’t know everything about what goes on in the business I work for, but if a journalist asked me about something controversial or sensitive I hope I’d have the sense to not say anything that might get me into trouble.

  36. Is there a public petition for Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen to step down and leave the UCI?

    Surely it’s clear that cycling cannot make significant gains until they’re gone and the UCI recalibrated? However much Vaughters, Millar, Brailsford, Greenedge, Wiggins, Pate etc move us towards the promised land, McQuaid & Verbruggen are tainted to a blood curdling degree by the last two decades and simply leave us swimming is sewage.

    I understand they cannot be proven to be complicit but their handling of cycling in the last two decades has been shown to be farcicle, and their inability to accept their own procedual faults and mismanagment is terrifying; meaning even before we get to Kimmage, Landis and countless other preposterous incidents, I can’t see how anyone could deny they’re driving train wreck of their own making? How they can still be in charge of cycling?

    Surely it’s time for people power to initiate the final curtain to the doping era and take back the sport we love?

    I would gladly sign.

    • “However much Vaughters, Millar, Brailsford, Greenedge, Wiggins, Pate etc move us towards the promised land”

      I’m not sure I’d have Brailsford or even Wiggins on that list anymore. Didn’t Sky offer Kimmage full access during the tour then change their mind because he was questioning Barry? And they’ve been far from transparent about their investigation into their dirty doctor. Doesn’t mean their dirty, but when you preach openess and transparency while doing the opposite, it sticks in the throat a bit.

      • Crikey! As an Aussie, I’d be keen as mustard to see a fair-dinkum appraisal of GreenEDGE’s anti-doping credentials. I don’t want to go around pointing the finger, but a strong statement from Neil ‘Call Me Shady’ Stephens would help me to sleep better at night. I get the feeling that they’re all clean now, but don’t want to shake the boat with so many elder statesmen from the Lance era. I like how Garmin stakes their personal reputations on their anti-doping credentials… why must that be unique?

    • I am guessing it won’t happen as they can point to :
      – cycling has changed (see Hincapies mea culpa) , climbing is slower
      – bio passports has been introduced
      – “clean” teams: Garmin “SKY”
      – most tested athletes in the IOC
      – new tests like for HgH, plasticisers etc etc
      and if they ban LA as surely Verbruggen is preparing that PR ground now, they can say we banned the most famous cyclist in the world, we are doing everything possible. Bugger off and leave us to get on with it.

  37. So I’m expecting in 10 years time the downfall of the Sky Armada. Nothing would surprise me now.
    I figure no american Tour winner is “clean” and respectable – Landis and Armstrong are obvious but LeMond is simply a prick….shame really.

    What about the “amazing” feat of Mr. Popularity and Everybody Loves Him – George Hincapie – 17 completed tours and so on…

    I also expect the blowback to be bigger and louder than most ppl think it will be. Livestrong, Nike, Radio-Shack, the other riders named ( L-L Sanchez for instance) in the testimony ( I think Vino here is untouchable – no political power in KZ would investigate him). And the big one – who’s the winner from ’99 to 05′ ?

      • Jonathan Boyer being chased by a teammate and nearly missing out on winning the Tour. Later LeMond said ( in person not over the phone – unverifiable ) JB didn’t deserve the win and had done nothing…. He simply wanted to be the first american to win the tour. That’s a “prickly” behaviour…

        The good he later did is admirable and the obstacles he overcame are considerable but for me he is not one of the legends you are admiring to.

        • I think that there are a few issues at play there: IIRC US Cycling didn’t have a National Champs at the time, and the first rider in the Worlds would be declared US champ; also I’m a bit sketchy on the details but I think JB didn’t want to work together with the other Americans for that reason. There is also talk that LeMond didn’t want another American to be World Champion, and especially not JB as they didn’t get on.

          LeMond didn’t cover himself in glory in that episode, admittedly, but I would hesitate to call him a prick for one heat of the moment action at the age of 21. I mean, who isn’t a prick at that age.

          However, for his willingness to stand up to virtually all opinion for what he believed in, and subsequently being proved right, as well as his undoubted ability on the bike, I think legendary status is appropriate.

          All said, Atanas, I appreciate your response and explaining why you feel the way you do. Plenty of desk jockeys wouldn’t bother.

          • That’s my humble opinion. Everyone got on my case on the single statement and didn’t bother to address the other questions I pointed out.

    • “LeMond is simply a prick”

      Please justify this statement. LeMond has taken a huge amount of rubbish in his life for fighting for a clean sport. Including being outed as the victim of child abuse. None of that means he isn’t a prick but i’d be interested in hearing your justification.

        • ‘Impacted’ being Inner Ring’s diplomatic term for being ‘f**ked over’.

          He took so much abuse for speaking out. LeMond has been banging the drum for years and now he’s finally been vindicated.

          ‘Prick’? Couldn’t say. Gutsy? Definitely, and I thoroughly admire his willingness to ask questions and speak out.

          • I’m not at home right now but if I was I’d be reaching for my copy of ‘From Lance to Landis’ for the exact quote from that late night phonecall he got. I’m sure it went something like “hello, this is your uncle bill, if you don’t shut your mouth we’re going to tell the world about how we used to play hide the weiner”. When I first read that I threw the book across the room. I couldn’t quite fathom the sort of messed up world you’d need to live in to do that to someone.

            But LeMond has come to terms with it, turned it into a positive and even forgiven Landis (god knows how). “impacted” is in my view a little bit beyond diplomatic.

    • +1
      agree accept on LeMond who paid the price as whistle blower on LA. Sanchez is already dissembling and Vino is so tainted as to be an embarrassment. I guess they will * the winners through those years and give it some fancy French title like “Les Années Noires” or some shit like that ? I would like some major blowback for Nike who are clearly having their Cancer shield cake and eating it.

  38. If any police department let this degree of lawlessness go on right under its nose, all the top brass would be replaced. If the UCI didn’t know about widespread, systematic doping, they should have.

  39. “Leipheimer accepted a suspension from September 1 and was disqualified from results from June 1999 to July 30, 2006, and from July 7 to July 29, 2007.
    Hincapie accepted a suspension from September 1 and disqualification from results from May 31, 2004 to July 31, 2006.
    Vande Velde accepted a suspension from September 9 and disqualification from results from June 4, 2004 to April 31, 2006.
    Zabriskie accepted a suspension from September 1 and disqualification from results from May 31, 2003 to July 31, 2006.
    Danielson accepted a suspension from September 1 and disqualification from results from March 1, 2005 to September 23, 2006.
    Barry accepted a suspension from September 10 and disqualification from results from May 13, 2003 to July 31, 2006.”

    Could someone explain the reasoning behind the leghts of the above disqualifications? I am especially intrigued by the 2007 disqualification of Leipheimer.. does this affect AC’s TDF win??

    • If they admitted to doping during the period then they lose the result. And yes, Carlos Sastre moves up to third place for the 2007 Tour de France. As for Contador he was on the same team as Leipheimer but he has not confessed to anything.

  40. “Indeed every American cyclist who rode the Tour de France with US Postal and Discovery for the seven year period between 1999 and 2005 has now confessed. Except one”
    This leaves out Kevin Livingston who to my knowledge has not confessed and currently works out of Armstrong’s bike shop in Austin.

    • Normally yes, the rules state this. But it is practically impossible. Often the money is paid in cash, and vanishes. If declared then it has been taxed and spent. Above all it gets distributed to team mates and staff so it is very difficult to recover.

  41. As a one time SKY supporter I have to say that the response from Brailsford, Yates, Dowsett, Barry and ex sky rider Cummings are enought to make me doubt the basic model on which the team operates. All this following Wiggins poor response over the doping problems – he now says he is surprised ! They are more of the same. Why are they unable to make clear that doping is not acceptable, in the strongest terms, rather than treating us as fools !

    I guess I may have answered my own question.

  42. I’m curious about Jim Ochowitz, he of Armstrong’s Motorola team and now BMC. The Decision talks about Armstrong’s pre-postal drug use which means Motorola and Och.

    It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Cleaning up the peloton isn’t a question of cleaning up the riders, but cleaning up the owners and DSs who span generations of riders. JB, Riis, Stephens and Ochowitz. Some more obvious then others, but all suspect. And younger guys, riders turned management that rode in the doping hay day. What about Aldag and Julich and others like them?

    I believe. Help thou my unbelief.

  43. There is, in addition to the growing ears-concern, another DZ gem in the document:

    “David Zabriskie has a dry but apparent sense of humor. In his interview with USADA he
    described a funny and, at the same time, revealing anecdote of life on the U.S. Postal Service
    team bus. Zabriskie recounted being at the front of the bus singing to Johan Bruyneel about EPO
    use to the tune of Jimi Hendrix’s song Purple Haze. Johan laughed along as Zabriskie sang:
    EPO all in my veins
    Lately things just don’t seem the same
    Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
    ‘Scuse me while I pass this guy”

  44. Lance Armstrong and everyone who has “USED” (or pushed drugs) needs HELP and needs to do more then just testify, wait through suspension(if still active), and silently sit on their hands. Does anyone see the addiction theme here? This isn’t any different to any kind of horrid addiction behavior. What get’s me is that all of these “professionals” that have come forward have made lots and lots of money off of cheating and addiction to cheating. It’s sick. Example: Is the homes, cars, massive savings, endorsements, retirement accounts, and overall wealth these addicts have cheated to get. The simple fact that NIKE is still supporting an addict is so sick. It’s like Nike supporting the local drug dealer with sponsorship monies and free product? What’s the difference? Slipstream Sports > is no different. All corporate sponsors should pull their money I don’t see how they can justify supporting marketing campaigns with riders, ex-riders, and owners who dealt drugs or USED ? Just saying “I am now clean” isn’t enough. Then there is the UCI….and USA Cycling ….wow! Who know’s what these jokers and clowns can do now? The sport of bicycle racing in the eyes n’ minds of the largest sports media market in the world > the USA, is now and for a very long time to come so very damaged. I don’t see why any corporation would want to proceed in supporting it’s structure without a UCI and USA Cycling complete re-build. Get help Lance. Get help all you other addicts if you haven’t yet? But, don’t continue to try and sell me your “CLEAN TEAM” bullshit when you were so afraid of some weak addict with a miracle story. That goes for BMC, Garmin-Sharp, Thom Weasel(spelled wrong on purpose), and all the other addicts who continue to make money off trying to cheat. You’re all ill, get help.

  45. Not a lot of new stuff, but still some:
    1) Rogers client of Ferrari’s.
    2) Moreau rode the 2000 TdF clean, with a haematocrit below 40%, at least according to Vaughters. And he was the second fastest guy on the famous Hautacam stage. That would have been a performance!

  46. How about that Betsy Andreau? I doubt that she’s feeling “good” about any of this, but I hope that the vindication brings her some level of satisfaction and peace. Chapeau, Betsy.

  47. I heard talk that Lance’s cancer might actually have been caused by his use of hGH. In Hincapie’s affidavit, he mentions that Lance Armstrong used hGH before cancer, but not after (section 53).

    Can anyone find any corroborating evidence for the hGH/cancer theory?

    In the United States we pity those with cancer, but not if they gave it to themselves (as if it really matters). It’s very tough to have a benefit for someone with lung cancer, for instance, if they were a smoker.

  48. Are we going to have a ‘The Moment the Case was Won”?

    For me it is anything from Mr Hincapie.

    They should look to recover the prize winnings. That would be fun.
    Time for McQuaid and Hein to go.

  49. My prediction is that very little will come out of this whole mess. The ‘truth and reconcilation’ process will not happen. During that period, probably more than half of the peloton doped at some stage. The UCI doesnt want them all to ‘come out’. The UCI is weak and has vested interests. The UCI perpetuates the omerta problem that sicken the sport. In my opinion, the UCI will continue with their mantra that its a lot cleaner ‘now’ and the deny they acted inappropriately (wer complicit) re the 2001 Tour de Suisse LA smoking blood test and coincidental LA ‘donation’ issue. One hopes that they’ll at least allow extensive, strict, independent and open testing to be carried out going forward.

    Cycling Australia and others under the UCI umbrella need to man-up and make public statements directed at the UCI like the Canadians have (regardless of whether any of their cyclists have been implicated).

    • It may become a proxy war between the UCI and those who oppose their decision making in the past years. But I think the USADA was more situationally involved in this matter than the UCI or the DOJ, and may be a benchmark for future discussions on the favorability or weaknesses of UCI methods.

  50. I raised this a few months ago, but now it seems a more germane discussion. If further investigations are done and, since the US Post Office was his sponsor, could Lance Armstrong be tried on federal charges of using taxpayer funds to conduct an illegal enterprise, or something similar?
    Or maybe be involved in an asset forfeiture action?
    I would think so, any legal minds?
    Harsh stuff.

  51. The content of the report speaks volumes, however it reads like a Harliquin Romance book, not a report.
    Looks like a report, but with all of the pulp words it seems like someone on the staff would realize that they are not writing a book.
    I am as snarky and sarcastic as most people that know anything about LA and it is insulting and embarrassing that ‘the report’ is juiced.

  52. Zabriskie’s account is just horrible to read and is probably the perfect example of how riders are not always at fault for their doping.

    Did notice though that the official stuff at the bottom of his affidavit wasn’t signed and one of the dates on Levi’s wasn’t filled in. It might seem pretentious but I thought you were supposed to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

    • No, it just mean the men’s set-up (then as now) didn’t have much to with them. & judging by, say, Bileka’s testimony, I doubt many (if any) women pro-cyclists could afford Ferrari’s rates, given that most of them hardly get paid anything & their prize money comes mainly in wheels of cheese & kitchen appliances. It’s likely that this lack of funds has an impact on the extent of doping/the kind of doping that might occur. You do get the odd positive e.g. Lithuanian Rasa Leleivytė tested positive for EPO earlier this year. Marianne Vos, amongst others, has called for more stringent testing at races.

  53. this is an old fashoined witch hunt and one man must bleed.If you cicle about 3200 kilometers in 3 weeks and you are number one at the end. And the number two til number 20 are all in a time distance of 20 minutes, year after year. Then usada says only number one has used dope. I always thought the french press would bring lance down if they had the change. But his mistake was that he let his shield down in his own country and they backstabed him just like his former collegs. I think it is one big conspiracy against Lance Armstrong because he was always better then the rest. What have they got; do they have one positive test…. no. Do they have a confession…. no. Theyve only got statements of some rats and lyers home wipe there own streets clean. And all america is going along whith them. You must be really proud of yourselfs.

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