USADA charges Lance Armstrong and others in relation to "massive doping conspiracy" spanning 1998-2011

Johan Bruyneel and Dr Michele Ferrari among five others to face charges - 15 page USADA letter detailing charges attached as download

by Simon_MacMichael   June 13, 2012  

Lance Armstrong (pic courtesy Photosport International)

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has formally charged Lance Armstrong and five other individuals, among them current RadioShack-Nissan team manager Johan Bruyneel and sports doctor Michele Ferrari, in connection with doping charges related to the period 1998 and 2011.

Armstrong has been suspended from competition with immediate effect, including from triathlon, a sport in which he has been enjoying some success recently. The 40-year-old, if found guilty, could ultimately lose all seven of the Tour de France titles he amassed between 1998 and 2005 after overcoming cancer. It is not yet clear whether the other individuals charged, such as Bruyneel are immediately suspended from involvment with the sport. The tone of the UCI's statement on the matter (see below) suggests not, but all face lengthy bans if found guilty of the charges and there has to be a chance that Johan Bruyneel will find himself persona non grata at the Tour de France this year if ASO's previous reaction to those mired in doping controversy is anything to go by.

According to the Washington Post, USADA sent a 15-page letter (you can download the full version at the bottom of this article) dated yesterday detailing the charges that Armstrong and the others face to those individuals, alleging that they "engaged in a massive doping conspiracy from 1998-2011."

In February this year, a Federal Grand Jury investigation into Armstrong and other former riders and staff of the US Postal Team was officially shelved, although more recent reports suggest that some enquiries are continuing, with reports that Bruyneel was served with a subpoena in connection with that investigation earlier this week on a trip to the US.

While the Grand Jury investigation dealt only with matters relating to the period when Armstrong was racing with US Postal and not his return to the sport with Astana in 2009 – he and Bruyneel would launch the RadioShack team at the end of that year – that period following his comeback has evidently been very much part of the focus of the USADA enquiry.

Indeed, the agency claims that blood samples collected from Armstrong during 2009 and 2010 were “fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.”

In a strongly worded statement published on his website, Armstrong said: “I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned.

"These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation," he continued. "These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity.

"Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA’s malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.

Armstrong added: "I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."

In a statement, world cycling's governing body, the UCI, confirmed "that it has been informed by USADA of its decision to open anti-doping cases against a number of rider support personnel and a rider," without naming the individuals concerned, and said "this is the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject."

The UCI went on to say that it was "not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved  in the proceedings opened by USADA," and added that it would "follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them."

While it's clear that the process has a long way to run, and certainly the language coming from the Armstrong camp suggests that he intends to fight the allegations every inch of the way, the charges from USADA do open up some intriguing 'what ifs?'

Should he be stripped of all his results from 1998 to 2011, for instance, Jan Ullrich would become winner of the 2000, 2001 and 2003 Tour de France, although he himself was stripped earlier this year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport of all results obtained from 1 May 2005, including third place in the 2005 Tour, Armstrong's seventh and final victory.

Also potentially becoming recipients of the maillot jaune would be Alex Zulle for 1998, Joseba Beloki (2002), Andreas Kioden (2004) and Ivan Basso (2005).

Britain's Bradley Wiggins would also be in line to step up to the 2009 podium, when he finished fourth behind Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Armstrong.

Statement From USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart Regarding Us Postal Service Cycling Team Notice Of Doping Allegations

June 13, 2012

“In response to numerous inquiries regarding the public statements made by Mr. Lance Armstrong, we can confirm that written notice of allegations of anti-doping rule violations was sent yesterday to him and to five (5) additional individuals all formerly associated with the United States Postal Service (USPS) professional cycling team. These individuals include three (3) team doctors and two (2) team officials. This formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations.  

USADA only initiates matters supported by the evidence. We do not choose whether or not we do our job based on outside pressures, intimidation or for any reason other than the evidence. Our duty on behalf of clean athletes and those that value the integrity of sport is to fairly and thoroughly evaluate all the evidence available and when there is credible evidence of doping, take action under the established rules.

As in every USADA case, all named individuals are presumed innocent of the allegations unless and until proven otherwise through the established legal process. If a hearing is ultimately held then it is an independent panel of arbitrators, not USADA that determines whether or not these individuals have committed anti-doping rule violations as alleged.

At this time USADA will not comment on the evidence or have further comment unless or until it is appropriate.”

A downloadable copy of the 15 page letter detailing the USADA charges against Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and the others is attached below

The UCI responded to the news of USADA's decision to charge Armstrong, Bruyneel and their alleged assoicates with a short statement of its own that amounted to 'no comment' in 112 words.

UCI Press Statement

The UCI confirms that it has been informed by USADA of its decision to open anti-doping cases against a number of rider support personnel and a rider .

This is the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject.

The UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved  in the proceedings opened by USADA.  

The UCI will follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them.

The UCI will not comment futher at this stage.

 

AttachmentSize
armstrongcharging0613.pdf594.91 KB

62 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Tyler Hamilton and other top lieutenants have come out and said he did it. Good enough for me.

Why would the like's of Tyler Hamilton lie? what would he gain from that!? NOTHING

Lance cheated the system by using EPO etc wisely, just like many other riders have and are doing.

Strip the cheat! Angry

Argy's picture

posted by Argy [147 posts]
14th June 2012 - 13:12

like this
Like (1)

arrieredupeleton wrote:

It's the scale and methodical manner of the doping practices at US Postal/Disco/Shack that is the difference here. It's not implied pressure from team management or colleagues (which for e.g. David Millar experienced - if you believe his account) but the facilitation of a holistic doping regime by team management of which LA was a part (even informally at USP before he became part owner). It's my understanding that at the time, riders often chose or were advised as to which doctor they went to for 'supplements' and the like (see Fuentes and Operation Puerto) and as such it was an individual decision. USP's was allegedly a far more calculated and considered approach within which LA was a main player (allegedly).

Whilst it may seem petty suspending LA from Tri competitions they are right to do so. However, I think the real issue is the need to suspend Bruyneel. What else could the UCI do in this circumstance? How would Frank Schleck feel if he won the TdF this year with Bruyneel as DS and Bruyneel was subsequently convicted?

Fair point re the sheer organisation of it - systematic team-led abuse is certainly more serious. I guess the point I'm really making is that I'm looking at the USADA and thinking "fill your boots, but please don't harm the wider sport" - it's just getting onto a clean footing, but joe public still often thinks of cycling as full of drug cheats, and this will only increase that.

Let's say this came to a head this/next month (yeah right), and then Brad/Cav clean up in July, is the man in the street simply going to say "So what, they're all charged to the eyeballs anyway?"

It would seem sensible though, to ban JB from DS-ing if LA is banned from competing. As you say, Frank could be damned if he wins, damned if he loses.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2607 posts]
14th June 2012 - 13:30

like this
Like (1)

You're right, the s is about to hit the fans. Anyone showing any interest in cycling will be regaled with 'Aren't they all at it?'

posted by robert_obrien [115 posts]
14th June 2012 - 13:49

like this
Like (1)

I agree about the perception the non-cycling public will have about the sport and their views on seeing you or I out and about. I suspect if this was UCI led it would be brushed under the carpet until after the Tour but USADA don't give a stuff about the welfare of the sport in a wider context, they just want to bring them down.

I think as cyclists we grow a thicker skin with each new allegation and conviction but you're right its hard not to get pissed off with all the negative PR. Sadly, the positive stories around the sport such as Brad Wiggins Foundation or the guy who's just completed the Grand Fondo with Cancer wont get a look it. Just look at how many of us raise money for charity with various sponsored events or sportives etc. In the general sporting press it gets bugger all coverage as its not good 'copy'.

On a lighter note, I see that both Frank and Andy are doing their best to demonstrate that they are clearly not on one of Bruyneel's performance enhancement programmes this year!

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [519 posts]
14th June 2012 - 14:20

like this
Like (1)

we've been round all of this before. a lot of people accept that there is a pretty good chance he was on the juice, since he was beating a lot of talented riders who were. dragging it up isn't going to help anyone who was hurt by it, and is going to harm a lot of people still in the sport who had nothing to do with it but will suffer by reputation. all seems a bit pointless really.

posted by step-hent [638 posts]
14th June 2012 - 14:44

like this
Like (0)

This old interview with Dr Michael Ashenden, a sports scientist who helped develop the EPO test, and who has a strong opinion on whether Lance used it in the TdF '99, is a good read: http://bit.ly/k6VCn5

posted by Paul J [423 posts]
14th June 2012 - 15:00

like this
Like (1)

hmm, Personally Lance's constant refrain of "I've never tested positive" means nothing really. Stalin was never convicted of anything either but wasn't a nice guy all the same! Now I'm not comparing LA with Stalin, (though the team discipline of USPS was something to be seen) I don't think it's a vendetta, more a desire to clear any skeletons out. Landis I can take with a sackful, Hamilton not so much. I assume USADA have enough evidence to make the announcement otherwise they had better had something to back them up. USA law will clean them out otherwise!!

posted by Mr Mike [9 posts]
14th June 2012 - 15:23

like this
Like (1)

Yes. Clearly Landis is flush with cash. LOL. He probably got a lot of it selling his old race bikes on eBay.

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [188 posts]
14th June 2012 - 15:57

like this
Like (1)

Whether or not Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs is a moot point, as his team mates have admitted to doping and as the leader of those teams he directly benefited from the his team mates doping. Here's an article that expands on this theory http://youkantbeserious.com/2012/06/14/it-doesnt-matter-whether-or-not-h...

posted by Tax73 [1 posts]
14th June 2012 - 17:27

like this
Like (1)

robert_obrien wrote:
You're right, the s is about to hit the fans. Anyone showing any interest in cycling will be regaled with 'Aren't they all at it?'

Well, aren't they? It's getting better, but I'm under no illusions the peloton is clean.

posted by localsurfer [151 posts]
14th June 2012 - 17:50

like this
Like (1)

Argy wrote:
Tyler Hamilton and other top lieutenants have come out and said he did it. Good enough for me.

Why would the like's of Tyler Hamilton lie? what would he gain from that!? NOTHING

How naive is this?! Gain: S2 million in book sales and exclusives to US media, stupid!

posted by veseunr [263 posts]
14th June 2012 - 17:52

like this
Like (0)

It'll be interesting to see if the good doctor will name names too. I imagine a lot of people who've gained benefits from Dr Ferrari's "training plans" will be pretty nervous.

posted by Sadly Biggins [261 posts]
14th June 2012 - 17:56

like this
Like (1)

Firstly, as for "never tested positive" you mean except for the 1999 Tour when he managed to pony-up a TUE or the 2001 TdSuisse when in conjunction with the UCI, he managed to make an EPO positive "go away" via a cash donation. This excludes the EPO test results from 99 revealed by L'Equipe that showed that he was on EPO - It was only the statute of limitations that prevented doping charges from being brought - they were positive tests all the same. You'll find plenty of evidence if you care to look for it, but I suppose with all the fan-boy worship comes selective memory?

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [343 posts]
14th June 2012 - 18:58

like this
Like (1)

wow the fanboys certainly arrived as a posse on this one

Hopefully Armstrong will get done this time, along with Bruyneel and the doping doctors and that will in turn lead to UCI getting cleaned out as they have enabled these despicable people to run a doping team at such a magnitude that was disgusting.

Nevermind the huge fraud that his 'awareness' foundation is.

wonder how many yella braclets hit the bin in the last few days Thinking

posted by Decster [244 posts]
14th June 2012 - 23:13

like this
Like (1)

Dogged pursuit of Lance is the best way to discourage any current racers/managers/doctors who might think they've found a way to cheat the system. They must be continually reminded that old crimes aren't forgotten, and improvements in detection could be used to expose them ten or twenty years from now.

Besides, Lance deserves it. Look at how he used his ill-gotten gains to harrass and victimise others. The guy's got no soul. He needs to be publicly eviscerated.

posted by nick h. [29 posts]
15th June 2012 - 17:56

like this
Like (1)

It needs to be settled once and for all and I have to admit, I like the fact the USADA is going wide on this. I think support staff banned for life from the sport they presumably love is a good way to eliminate it root and branch.

Personally I think that whilst, yes, a lot of the peloton were doping, if you believe some of the admitted/convicted dopers one team systematically doping and getting away with it would mean you almost HAD to in order to win. I think if they're serious, going after everyone they can, handing out BIG bans for everyone involved (perhaps get international sporting federations involved so they can be banned from ALL sports) is a good start, as is attacking the USPS team lot (assuming they're guilty etc).

Like they say, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time

posted by atlaz [148 posts]
15th June 2012 - 19:18

like this
Like (1)

Decster wrote:
wow the fanboys certainly arrived as a posse on this one

Hopefully Armstrong will get done this time, along with Bruyneel and the doping doctors and that will in turn lead to UCI getting cleaned out as they have enabled these despicable people to run a doping team at such a magnitude that was disgusting.

Nevermind the huge fraud that his 'awareness' foundation is.

wonder how many yella braclets hit the bin in the last few days Thinking

nick h. wrote:
Dogged pursuit of Lance is the best way to discourage any current racers/managers/doctors who might think they've found a way to cheat the system. They must be continually reminded that old crimes aren't forgotten, and improvements in detection could be used to expose them ten or twenty years from now.

Besides, Lance deserves it. Look at how he used his ill-gotten gains to harrass and victimise others. The guy's got no soul. He needs to be publicly eviscerated.

Wow! I realised Lance was a polarizing character but this is incredible. 'Dispicable', 'Disgusting', 'fraud', 'got no soul'... it's amazing how we judge people we don't know in this way.
I don't know Lance; met him once, seemed like a pretty normal guy (with a soul, probably), but I do live in the USA and see the good work that Livestrong and the LAF do here. To call this a 'huge fraud', Decster, just shows ignorance and hate and that is, surely, sinking to the levels of those you despise...

posted by pwake [237 posts]
15th June 2012 - 19:36

like this
Like (1)

It wouldn't be a proper Tour de France without a good scandal popping up mid June, would it? Still, any publicity is good publicity, right?€€€ kerching

Andy

posted by jazzdude [48 posts]
15th June 2012 - 19:54

like this
Like (1)

Did the 'fraud' fake the cancer too?

posted by paulfg42 [354 posts]
15th June 2012 - 20:40

like this
Like (0)

pwake wrote:

Wow! I realised Lance was a polarizing character but this is incredible. 'Dispicable', 'Disgusting', 'fraud', 'got no soul'... it's amazing how we judge people we don't know in this way.
I don't know Lance; met him once, seemed like a pretty normal guy (with a soul, probably), but I do live in the USA and see the good work that Livestrong and the LAF do here. To call this a 'huge fraud', Decster, just shows ignorance and hate and that is, surely, sinking to the levels of those you despise...

Amen. Personally, I find it likely that Lance cheated along with many others. If he is stripped of his titles so be it. None of this is justified by the good that he does now, but Livestrong and the LAF are without a doubt positive contributors to society that have come out of this. So, to drag it all down would be a sad day. The negative and bitter comments are unhelpful.

posted by frankiejay [159 posts]
15th June 2012 - 23:58

like this
Like (1)

IMO the fact that Lance has treated many people like shit, used them untill no longer usefull or trustworthy in his eyes, then discarded & threatened them... has come back to haunt him... nobodys gonna stand by a man like that.

He's also the only rider I've ever heard of that was known to encourage his teamates to dope so strongly (I'm sure Bruyneel is also guilty as a DS)
I respect his sporting achievments because I understand the doping situation quite well at that time,
but NOT Lance as a man... he's a poor excuse.

If you think making millions from 'Cancer Awareness' which does NOTHING to help finding a cure for cancer (which we already have by the way! its called nutrition + high IV doses of vit-C)... redeems him in anyway I think you are pretty delusional.

Paulo's picture

posted by Paulo [106 posts]
16th June 2012 - 14:12

like this
Like (1)

For all those defending his good character, there was once an anecdote from someone living in Austin about living in the same town as Lance...when asked about how the locals felt about him he replied, "about half the people in Austin think he's an a$$hole" when questioned "What about the other half?" the response was "they haven't met him yet!"

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [343 posts]
16th June 2012 - 17:46

like this
Like (1)

If you think making millions from a charitable foundation in this country, with its tax authorities, is possible. Then that's delusional!

posted by pwake [237 posts]
16th June 2012 - 18:57

like this
Like (1)

Surprise

There's a cure for cancer?

posted by paulfg42 [354 posts]
16th June 2012 - 19:46

like this
Like (1)

All the crack-pots are out tonight!! Thinking

posted by veseunr [263 posts]
16th June 2012 - 20:34

like this
Like (1)

paulfg42 wrote:
Surprise

There's a cure for cancer?


They have been curing people for a long time at the Gerson Institute http://gerson.org/gerpress/
with a nutrition based approach
Unfortunately they are forced to do this in Mexico because the US doesn't want to cure cancer... to much money in not curing it!!!

If you want to know more watch a film called 'Food Matters' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwZY1jaw2EM
or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFiT66QjEFI&feature=related A clip from the same film but about all about curing cancer.
http://www.foodmatters.tv/index

pwake wrote:
If you think making millions from a charitable foundation in this country, with its tax authorities, is possible. Then that's delusional!

Delusional?... no not really, I'm not spoon fed my information
You ever heard of Greg Mortenson?
I don't think Lance was that bad he just uses Livestrong as a free self promotion company! getting millions of dollars in free image promotion.

Livestrong.org is the site for the nonprofit Lance Armstrong Foundation, while Livestrong.com is a somewhat similar-looking page that features the same Livestrong logo and design but is actually a for-profit content farm owned by Demand Media.
http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/athletes/lance-armstrong/...

Paulo's picture

posted by Paulo [106 posts]
17th June 2012 - 15:06

like this
Like (2)

veseunr wrote:
If they go back far enough we are not going to have a tour winner between 1920 and ... whenever. Tommy Simpson will lose his WC, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain etc all struck from the record.

Ridiculous.

totally agree, strip them all, its quite obvious they were all at it.

i notice that the gerson institute apparently cure cancer and also a host of other incurable deseases. cant understand why everybody doesn't go there!
what i also noticed is that they are asking people to donate money to them, a bit like the lance charities really!

posted by duzza [43 posts]
17th June 2012 - 18:15

like this
Like (0)

They're claiming that he was using EPO for 13 years, but he never tested positive. I find it hard to believe that they could do that for such a length of time without showing any evidence of it. If this is the case, then they were very well organised.

I don't understand why they are claiming to have evidence of blood tests positive for EPO from 2009 and 2010 which were not acted upon at the time. This was something they could test for at that time, so why did't they pursue it then?

posted by Flippa [36 posts]
17th June 2012 - 21:46

like this
Like (2)

They are using tax payer money for a witch hunt that has no proof. The grand jury did not find anything wrong. I would follow the money. Lance would not only loose his race standings but would probably be required to pay back that insurance policy he set up. Insurance companies have friends in high places. It could also be political. There are fools in this and a few other countrys who hate bicyclists so badly that they would rationalize this kind of action against another person. Finding out the real liars and prosecuting them is probably the only way to put a stop to this kind of mindless attack.

posted by reb1 [4 posts]
18th June 2012 - 19:39

like this
Like (1)

pwake wrote:
Decster wrote:
wow the fanboys certainly arrived as a posse on this one

Hopefully Armstrong will get done this time, along with Bruyneel and the doping doctors and that will in turn lead to UCI getting cleaned out as they have enabled these despicable people to run a doping team at such a magnitude that was disgusting.

Nevermind the huge fraud that his 'awareness' foundation is.

wonder how many yella braclets hit the bin in the last few days Thinking

nick h. wrote:
Dogged pursuit of Lance is the best way to discourage any current racers/managers/doctors who might think they've found a way to cheat the system. They must be continually reminded that old crimes aren't forgotten, and improvements in detection could be used to expose them ten or twenty years from now.

Besides, Lance deserves it. Look at how he used his ill-gotten gains to harrass and victimise others. The guy's got no soul. He needs to be publicly eviscerated.

Wow! I realised Lance was a polarizing character but this is incredible. 'Dispicable', 'Disgusting', 'fraud', 'got no soul'... it's amazing how we judge people we don't know in this way.
I don't know Lance; met him once, seemed like a pretty normal guy (with a soul, probably), but I do live in the USA and see the good work that Livestrong and the LAF do here. To call this a 'huge fraud', Decster, just shows ignorance and hate and that is, surely, sinking to the levels of those you despise...

Kinda agree with this thought - I have no entrenched love/hate for Lance, but I can't help but notice that he inspires quite high emotions in a lot of people!

My point is more to do with cycling as a whole - if Lance did it, he should go down for it. Fully - recoup the money, dismantle the superman-cancer-killing edifice, expunge his tour wins from the record. If he didn't do it he is a hero twice over - once for the wins and once again for all the flak afterwards. BUT...

...People here have said that pursuing Lance will just make cycling look bad. That everyone will think all cyclists are drugged and the sport will lose credibility...well, duh! Where have you all been? Are there really any of you who don't recognise the fact that we are already there?! I'm a pretty isolated two-wheeler - my family and friends look upon my obsession with amused cynicism, so I have a fairly good handle on the 'outsiders' view. And here it is: cycling is synonymous with drugs.

Top cyclists and Tour riders are drugged up to the eyeballs.

I'm not kidding - that's the view from nearly everyone outside the sport who actually cares anough to have an opinion. And THAT's why we have to pursue Lance (or Alberto or whomever else) to get an answer on this. He is a figurehead - the flagship. No one is ever going to believe that cycling has put its house in order until we...well, put our house in order!

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
20th June 2012 - 12:47

like this
Like (2)