Cycling: Lance Armstrong stands accused tonight of being part of the most sophisticated doping programme in sport, according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada).
Usada have released their report into the case against Armstrong’s US Postal cycling team, in doing so revealing that 11 former team-mates of the Tour de France legend had testified against him to the agency.
Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie all gave evidence, leading to the Usada claiming that the “code of silence” that had masked drug use in cycling had been “shattered.”
Usada, who are set to publish full details of the report later today, said: “From day one, we always hoped this investigation would bring to a close this troubling chapter in cycling’s history and we hope the sport will use this tragedy to prevent it from ever happening again.
“It took tremendous courage for the riders on the USPS team and others to come forward and speak truthfully. It is not easy to admit your mistakes and accept your punishment. But that is what these riders have done for the good of the sport and for the young riders who hope to one day reach their dreams without using dangerous drugs or methods.”
Armstrong’s spokesman said that he had no comment to make on the report by Usada, who said they would send their full findings to cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, as well as to the World Anti-Doping Agency and the World Triathlon Corporation, before publishing it on their website.
Usada added: “The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.
“The evidence also 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.”
Armstrong denies cheating but has said he will not fight his lifetime ban from Usada.