USADA Report Details Evidence Against Lance Armstrong
On Wednesday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Association (USADA) released the long-awaited details of its investigation into—and, ultimately, condemnation of—Lance Armstrong. The evidence, it claims, “shows beyond any doubt that the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
The 1,000-plus page document was sent to the UCI and released this afternoon, along with a streamlined 202-page “Reasoned Account” of its case. It includes sworn testimony from 26 people—including 11 of Armstrong’s former teammates—who claim that they saw Armstrong dope in order to win each of his seven Tour de France titles, beginning in 1998 with the Vuelta a España. Additionally, the report cites documentary evidence such as emails, scientific data, laboratory test results and even financial payments as corroborating evidence.
“Lance Armstrong did not merely use performance-enhancing drugs. He supplied them to his teammates,” the report said. “He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team. He enforced and re-enforced it.”
The agency was not any easier on the USPS team as an entity, stating that the team, “was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices,” adding, “A program organized by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.”
The 11 teammates who submitted sworn affidavits are Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie. Several riders, including Michael Barry, Christian Vande Velde and George Hincapie (one of the most renowned, respected riders in American history) came out this afternoon with statements exposing their personal experience with doping—and many of those who are still active riders are facing suspensions with their admissions.
Armstrong’s lawyers have responded forcefully—as expected—to the report. One lawyer told The New York Times that the report “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.”
The UCI and the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) received the report earlier today. The UCI has 21 days to appeal the matter, if it chooses to do so.