US Postal investigation gathers pace

A former US Postal Service team rider has spoken to federal investigators regarding doping practices in the squad, according to the New York Times. The unnamed rider admitted his own performance-enhancing drug use and alleged that systematic doping had taken place in the American squad when questioned by Jeff Novitzky’s investigative team.

Novitzky, a special agent for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is leading an investigation to determine if Lance Armstrong and other members and management of the US Postal Service team were involved in a doping programme.

The rider who spoke with the New York Times asked that his name not be revealed as investigators had advised him not to speak publicly on the matter. He never delivered a positive test during his career and he has not been called before the grand jury in Los Angeles that is investigating the case.

The New York Times also reports that Tyler Hamilton has already appeared before the grand jury. His lawyer Chris Manderson had previously announced that Hamilton had received a subpoena but did not confirm when his client would provide his testimony. Hamilton has effectively ended his career as he is currently serving an eight-year ban after testing positive for DHEA last year. He was previously suspended for blood doping in 2004.

Hamilton’s former US Postal Service teammate George Hincapie is also expected to speak with investigators, although his lawyer Zia F. Modabber has not confirmed when the meeting will take place.

Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong’s defence attorney Bryan D. Daly has sought to dismiss the allegations of doping at the US Postal Service team as an attempt to persecute his client.

“They just want to incriminate Lance Armstrong and that’s my concern,” Daly said. “If Lance Armstrong came in second in those Tour de France races, there’s no way that Lance Armstrong would be involved in these cases. I think that the concern is that they are caught up in the pursuit of a celebrity to catch him in a lie.”

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.