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Third Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Date published:
October 10, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Six former Armstrong USPS teammates receive bans from USADA

    USPS out getting a few more miles under the belt
    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 16:40 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Leipheimer, Vande Velde, Zabriskie, Danielson, Barry and Hincapie suspended for six months

    As a result of USADA's investigation into doping practices carried out by Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team, several of the American's former teammates have been suspended by the anti-doping agency and disqualified from races they competed in while doping.

    In their investigation, which found Armstrong guilty of several doping related charges, 11 former teammates testified under oath. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles as a result of the investigation, and chose not fight the charged leveled at him. Six active riders have been suspended for six months.

    Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie were part of a 26-strong group that gave written testimonies.

    According to USADA the evidence gathered includes: "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."

    The six active former teammates, 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) have subsequently all been suspended. All actively race but...

  • George Hincapie confesses to doping

    Smokey the Bear pays his respects to George Hincapie in Golden, Colorado prior to the BMC American's last road race in the professional peloton.
    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 17:01 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider hopes to stay involved in the sport

    George Hincapie has confessed to doping during part of his career but has claimed he raced clean after 2006 and hopes to stay in the sport as a role model to young riders. USADA today announced he has been suspended.

    Hincapie retired in August after the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, ending a 18-year career. He was named as one of 15 riders who had “knowledge of the US Postal Service Team and its participants’ doping activities." 

    In a statement issued via his lawyer, Hincapie said: “Because of my love for the sport, the contributions I feel I have made to it, and the amount the sport of cycling has given to me over the years, it is extremely difficult today to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances. Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them. I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans.”

    “Quietly, and in the way I know best, I have been trying to rectify that decision. I have competed clean and have not used any performance enhancing drugs or processes for the past six years. Since 2006, I have been working hard within the sport of cycling to rid it of banned substances. During this time, I continued to successfully compete at the highest level of cycling while mentoring young professional riders on the right choices to make to ensure that the culture of cycling had changed.”

    “Three years ago, I was...

  • Michael Barry confesses to doping

    Michael Barry (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 17:54 BST
    Cycling News

    UPDATE: Cycling Canada recognizes USADA sanctions

    After being named in the USADA statement regarding the US Postal Service team doping conspiracy, Michael Barry has also confessed to doping and confirmed he has testified as part of the investigation in a statement on his personal website

    Barry said he realised that doping had become an endemic problem in professional cycling soon after joining the US Postal Service team in 2002. He claimed he stopped doping in 2006 –when he joined the T-Mobile team and became a proponent of clean cycling through his writing and interviews.

    The Canadian Team Sky rider has already announced his retirement and competed for the last time with Team Sky at the GP de Montreal on September 9. 

    Barry’s statement:

    “Cycling has always been a part of my life. As a boy my dream was to become a professional cyclist who raced at the highest level in Europe. I achieved my goal when I first signed a contract with the United States Postal Service Cycling team in 2002. Soon after I realized reality was not what I had dreamed. Doping had become an epidemic problem in professional cycling.”

    “Recently, I was contacted by United States Anti-Doping Agency to testify in their investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs on the United States Postal Service Team. I agreed to participate as it allowed me to explain my experiences, which I believe will help improve the sport for today’s youth who aspire to be tomorrow’s champions.”

    “After being encouraged by the team, pressured to perform and pushed to my physical limits I crossed a line I promised...

  • USADA believes one-in-a-million chance Armstrong rode 2009, 2010 Tours clean

    Lance Armstrong at the 2009 Tour de France
    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 19:45 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Agency releases 202-page reasoned decision regarding Armstrong investigation

    In a 202 page report filed by USADA, the American anti-doping agency has stated their scientific belief that the chance of Lance Armstrong riding without drugs during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France was a one-in-a-million possibility.

    Lance Armstrong returned to professional cycling in 2009 after a two-year retirement. He rode to third place in the 2009 Tour France but suffered throughout the following year's race, finishing 23rd.

    USADA collected nine blood samples from Armstrong between February 13, 2009 and April 30, 2012. A further 29 samples were taken by WADA from a similar time period and at the request of Professor Christopher J Gore, Head of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport, USADA had the sample samples analysed.

    In Gore's analysis he rejected - due to either the nature of the storage of the sample, or the transport - four of the test results, one of which was taken during the 2009 Tour de France.

    According to the report,  a "cluster of five Armstrong samples during the 2009 Tour de France and his two samples during the 2010 Tour de France contained an unusually low percentage of reticulocytes."

    "When Prof. Gore compared the suppressed reticulocyte percentage in Armstrong's 2009 and 2010 Tour de France samples to the reticulocyte percentage in his other samples, Prof. Gore concluded that 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."

    Armstrong has remained defiant, both in the face of the allegations of doping and the lifetime ban handed to him by USADA. Despite having his seven Tour de France titles stripped from his palmares, the American told the press last week that he had a

  • USADA: Lance Armstrong paid Ferrari more than $1 million

    Dr Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004.
    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 19:50 BST
    Laura Weislo

    USADA details key role Ferrari played in Tour success

    The US Anti-Doping Agency's reasoned decision gives evidence of doping by Lance Armstrong dating from his first Grand Tour after his return from cancer - the 1998 Vuelta a Espana - through to his seven Tour de France wins and even his more recent comeback years.

    The timeline reveals that a brush with near death did not deter Armstrong from doping with dangerous and illegal substances, but that he paid millions to rebuild himself into a rider who was, like the fictional television hero, The Six Million Dollar Man, "better, faster, stronger".

    USADA reveals an intimate role played by Dr. Michele Ferrari in masterminding Armstrong's Tour de France success, a relationship that ran from before his diagnosis with cancer in 1996 through to his comeback in 2009. USADA was able to trace more than a million dollars in payments to the Italian doctor, with payments ranging from 1996 to 2006.

    "The evidence in this case includes banking and accounting records from a Swiss company controlled by Dr. Ferrari reflecting more than one million dollars in payments by Mr. Armstrong, extensive email communications between Dr. Ferrari and his son and Mr. Armstrong during a time period in which Mr. Armstrong claimed to not have a professional relationship with Dr. Ferrari," USADA revealed.

    The evidence is counter to statements from Armstrong, in which he claims to have severed his professional relationship with Ferrari in 2004.

    The report includes numerous eyewitness accounts from Armstrong's teammates which were detailed in affidavits: [Tyler] Hamilton confirmed that, "Dr. Ferrari injected [him] with EPO on a number of occasions." Hamilton's first injection of EPO from Dr. Ferrari came in Dr. Ferrari's camper while training at Sestriéres in 1999).

    "Tyler Hamilton's testimony that Dr. Ferrari's...

  • Armstrong lawyer reacts to USADA reasoned decision press release

    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 20:54 BST
    Cycling News

    USA Cycling awaiting further details concerning suspended riders

    A lawyer for Lance Armstrong has provided a strong reaction to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) press release regarding today's release of its reasoned decision concerning its investigation of Armstrong for doping violations.

    Timothy Herman had launched an initial salvo on Tuesday with a lengthy letter to William Bock, III, the General Counsel for USADA, where he called into question USADA's use of Big Tobacco lawyers, and provided this statement today prior to the release of the full reasoned decision:

    "We have seen the press release from USADA touting the upcoming release today of its "reasoned decision." 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.

    "Ignoring the 500-600 tests Lance Armstrong passed, ignoring all exculpatory evidence, and trying to justify the millions of dollars USADA has spent pursuing one, single athlete for years, USADA has continued its government funded witch hunt of only Mr. Armstrong, a retired cyclist, in violation of its own rules and due process, in spite of USADA's lack of jurisdiction, in blatant violation of the statute of limitations, and without honoring UCI's demand to produce the entire USADA "file" for an independent review and decision as mandated by national and international rules."

    USA Cycling

    In USADA's investigation into the doping practices carried out by Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team, 11 former teammates of Armstrong...

  • Danielson, Vande Velde and Zabriskie accept USADA bans

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Sharp) leading up the steep ramp
    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 21:25 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Garmin trio banned after US Postal doping investigation

    Garmin-Sharp riders Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie have made statements in relation to the news that they have been banned by USADA for their part in the US Postal doping programme. The trio rode for Postal and Discovery Channel – a later incarnation of US Postal - during their careers, but now ride for Jonathan Vaugthers’ Garmin-Sharp squad.

    All three riders and Vaughters doped during their respective times as teammates of Lance Armstrong, and after giving written testimonies to USADA, all three riders have been banned.

    Each rider has received a six month ban. Vande Velde has been banned from September 9 2012, and lost his results from June 4, 2004 through until April 30 2006. Danielson has been banned from September 1 2012, and loses his results from March 1 2005 until September 23, 2006. Zabriskie's suspension starts from September 1, 2012 and he loses all results from May 12, 2003, until July 31st 2006.

    Levi Leipheimer (Omega Phara Quick Step), Michael Barry (Team Sky), and George Hincapie (BMC), all former US Postal riders, have also been sanctioned and banned by USADA.

    In a statement released by Garmin-Sharp, the team states: “We created Slipstream Sports because we wanted to create a team where cyclists could compete 100% clean. We understood cycling’s history and we were determined to create a different environment for riders; to give them a place to come where they did not have to make the difficult and heartbreaking choices of the past."

    “Today, we are very encouraged to see the incredible...

  • UCI examining USADA's evidence on Armstrong

    The UCI
    Article published:
    October 10, 2012, 22:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Has 21 days to appeal to CAS

    USADA has delivered its reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong to the UCI and the public today, and the sport's governing body stated that it will "endeavour to provide a timely response", but is currently going through the 202-page document as well as the hundreds of supporting documents posted on USADA's website.

    "The UCI has been advised by USADA that its reasoned decision and supporting material is available to view on its website," a UCI statement read.

    "The UCI will examine all information received in order to consider issues of appeal and recognition, jurisdiction and statute of limitation, within the term of appeal of 21 days, as required by the World Anti-Doping Code."

    Armstrong's attorneys have argued that the USADA does not have the jurisdiction to level anti-doping rule violation charges against him, stating that the UCI should be the responsible party. They have also argued that USADA has not made a case to circumvent the World Anti-Doping Agency code's statute of limitations, set at eight years.

    The UCI has previously stated that if it finds that the USADA has followed the applicable rules, that it will uphold the lifetime ban and disqualification of all of Armstrong's results dating back to 1998.