Armstrong demands witness names as scandal heats up

Bruyneel under scrutiny and RadioShack Tour in question

by Sarah Barth   June 14, 2012  

Lance Armstrong Giro 2009 (pic courtesy Photosport International)

Lance Armstrong's lawyers have demanded that all the evidence gathered against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency be turned over to them, as speculation grows that the Tour owners may bar the entire RadioShack team from this year's race.

Robert Luskin, the lawyer acting for Armstrong, has asked the agency by letter to turn over the names of the witnesses who have claimed to have seen him take performance enhancing drugs, as well as all test results.

Armstrong must respond to the allegations by June 22, but the process could drag on for many more months.

Meanwhile, it looks like Johan Bruyneel, former team manager of both Armstrong's US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams, is facing even more pressing problems than Lance. Tour owners ASO are said to be considering uninviting his entire current RadioShack-Nissan team from the race this year.

This is, of course, speculation, and precedent makes it look unlikely, as there's nothing to say that any of the current team have done anything wrong. However, in 2008 the ASO uninvited Astana from the race after team members Alexander Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin tested positive for blood doping the previous year.

Tom Boonen and Quickstep successfully appealed an ASO attempt to bar him from the 2009 race though, after he was accused of having brought the race into disrepute by being found to have taken cocaine twice in the year before.

Armstrong has told the Associated Press that he is exploring his options, and that he is wary of the agency 'moving the goal line'.

The USADA claims that blood samples collected from Armstrong during 2009 and 2010 were “fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.” It has said though that the names of witnesses will not be released, in case they are intimidated.

Contacted by RMC Sport, ASO and Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme was ambiguous as to the outcome of the investigation. He said: "Management does not comment on pending cases. At the moment, this is just the opening of the investigation, we have been told. No statement will be made regarding Armstrong, Bruyneel and RadioShack. If a decision should be made, it would be under the auspices and under the rules of the UCI. "

As a result of the allegations, Armstrong is unable to participate in triathlons he has been training for, and risks being stripped of Tour titles won between 1999 and 2005.

23 user comments

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Cancellara Cancelled? Big Grin

Sean

posted by seanieh66 [192 posts]
15th June 2012 - 2:54

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Is or should I say was Cancellara riding? Is he fit? I thought he was targeting the Olympics? I am getting sick of this did he or didn't Lance dope; I can't say I was inspired by Lance (Hinault for me) but I think many are or were. Discredit him, prove Lance clean or accept he got away with it...Please...These allegations sound like the same old stuff recycled.

posted by SideBurn [731 posts]
15th June 2012 - 3:33

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Why should Armstrong be barred from entering triathlons until the case is decided? Whatever one's opinion, it smacks of judgement before trial.

Gerard the Kiwi

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posted by GerardR [81 posts]
15th June 2012 - 6:35

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GerardR wrote:
Why should Armstrong be barred from entering triathlons until the case is decided? Whatever one's opinion, it smacks of judgement before trial.

no it is a process that all athletes sign up to when they agree to compete.

25 years doping has finally caught up with him. most dopers never got away with it for so long.

posted by Decster [244 posts]
15th June 2012 - 8:31

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It's a shame the federal case involving USPS was dropped which as it carried a sentence for perjury. Unless there's some solid medical evidence it will end up being spun as Lance versus a bunch of malicious losers jealous of his success.

If I was with the USADA I'd be knocking on Hincapie's door with a big mate from the FBI and playing good cop/ bad cop to broker a deal. "Say what you saw George, everyone will sympathise with your position and you'll keep your clothes company...'

Might as well use every card to get to the truth. There'll be 10 bullets in 10 envelopes waiting for addresses.... Wink

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [929 posts]
15th June 2012 - 9:17

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Do the Armchair Experts have nothing better to do with with their time? Views are so polarised on Lance Armstrong that you'd think he was both a Saint and someone who eats live babies in front of their mothers.
The truth, I suspect is neither!!

.....aspiring to mediocrity Big Grin

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posted by Mr_eL_Bee [65 posts]
15th June 2012 - 9:24

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Mr_eL_Bee wrote:
Do the Armchair Experts have nothing better to do with with their time? Views are so polarised on Lance Armstrong that you'd think he was both a Saint and someone who eats live babies in front of their mothers.
The truth, I suspect is neither!!

I've not seen him eat children but Jan Ulrich will testify to the power of his death stare! Maybe LA wants a list of witnesses so he can go and have dinner with them, as he did with Tyler Hamilton is a cosy meeting in Aspen last year.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [519 posts]
15th June 2012 - 10:06

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Mr_eL_Bee wrote:
Do the Armchair Experts have nothing better to do with with their time?

You and I obviously don't Mr B. : )

As someone tweeted yesterday "All the people who say 'what's the point of investigating Armstrong. Why not move on?' Move on to what - the next Armstrong?"

I would love Armstrong to be vindicated. I dream of all his 7 TDF wins being won fair and square. I don't even blame him for joining the doping circle if that is what he did. THe testing is still a joke in many respects: urine tests out weigh blood tests still by over 3 to 1 Plenty of loopholes still remain. Until testing is centralised and controlled by a body unwaived by the money in the sport the mess will continue.

The irony is if Armstrong had won three TDF's and toddled off to retirement and riches he'd be left alone - but he got trapped in a bubble, looked at the weakness of the UCI and didn't know when to stop. He said on the podium in 2005 that he was sorry for those 'that can't believe'. I still do want to believe - but I suspect it'll be another tragic tale for Lance, procycling and us who watch it.

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [929 posts]
15th June 2012 - 10:11

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If Armstrong's team all doped - whether or not he doped - he benefited from doping to win the tour as they worked for him on every stage and climb to give him the best opportunity to win.

Does seem like this whole process could have been managed a lot better though. Happening a few weeks before the Tour after the whole Contador episode last year gives the impression cycling is the worst offender in sport.

I can't believe other sports are not riddled with doping - especially when cycling has arguably the strictest testing procedures

op1983's picture

posted by op1983 [45 posts]
15th June 2012 - 10:11

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-which is why the USADA need to find soneone even more scary than Armstrong to have a quiet lunch with Hibcapie. Maybe they could fly Rebecca Brooks over and call it a 'country supper' instead? Smile

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [929 posts]
15th June 2012 - 10:15

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MercuryOne wrote:
-which is why the USADA need to find soneone even more scary than Armstrong to have a quiet lunch with Hibcapie. Maybe they could fly Rebecca Brooks over and call it a 'country supper' instead? Smile

Laughing Laughing Laughing

I don't like Armstrong and I don't like Brooks. But which is worse? There's only one way to find out: FIGHT!!

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [519 posts]
15th June 2012 - 10:30

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MercuryOne wrote:
-which is why the USADA need to find soneone even more scary than Armstrong to have a quiet lunch with Hibcapie. Maybe they could fly Rebecca Brooks over and call it a 'country supper' instead? Smile

Haha.

posted by 6654henry [55 posts]
15th June 2012 - 10:32

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SideBurn wrote:
Is or should I say was Cancellara riding? Is he fit? I thought he was targeting the Olympics

Cancellara is fit. Currently riding Tour de Suisse, and was a close second to Peter Sagan in the time trial.

No RSNT in the TdF would mean no Cancellara and no Jens Voigt!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1300 posts]
15th June 2012 - 11:35

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I don't wish to offend anybody, but ...

Rebstrong.jpg

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [200 posts]
15th June 2012 - 12:03

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No Jens! No, don't let that happen, please!

posted by Roger C [2 posts]
15th June 2012 - 12:08

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Fuglsang, Schleck F, Monfort, Bakelandts, Machado, Horner, Gallopin, Popovych ..... Wiggo must be even more comfortable because that is a good team! Evens anyone?!

posted by veseunr [263 posts]
15th June 2012 - 13:25

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veseunr wrote:
Fuglsang, Schleck F, Monfort, Bakelandts, Machado, Horner, Gallopin, Popovych ..... Wiggo must be even more comfortable because that is a good team! Evens anyone?!

And thats without mentioning Zubeldia/Bennati/Kloden/Gerdemann or Jesse Sergent for the TTs. Any nine-man RSNT team is a force to be reckoned with.

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posted by samjackson54 [60 posts]
15th June 2012 - 14:40

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I think an exclusion of Bruyneel would be the most I would be happy with in the case of the RSN team. To exclude the current team would be VERY dubious and grossly out of context I feel. I'd be surprised to see that move but no YB being told he isn't welcome.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [361 posts]
15th June 2012 - 15:07

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To me, the issue would be mainly about Bruyneel and not his riders IF Lance's wins, victory-over-cancer story, and subsequent Livestrong ventures hadn't made him so rich and powerful. If he weren't such a tremendous celebrity, one could argue that he was just a cog in the machine, taking orders from his boss. Yeah, it's still wrong for any athlete to dope, but the bigger crime is the organizer who runs the conspiracy.

However, IF the allegations are true, Lance himself is no doubt the lynchpin [sic] and chief financier of the cover-up. His actions over the past few years smack of witness intimidation. I get that he has to protect his name and brand from damage, libel, etc., but from a PR standpoint, someone should point out to him that he's also making himself look like he has a lot to hide.

And no matter what happens, it'll ALWAYS be about Lance in the news, because half of Americans have never heard of anyone else in the sport. Sad

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
15th June 2012 - 15:37

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They've had it in for him ever since he landed on the moon.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [467 posts]
15th June 2012 - 21:31

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Cooks wrote:
They've had it in for him ever since he landed on the moon.

If there's one thing they can't take away from him, it's that he was a true pioneer at jazz trumpet.

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
15th June 2012 - 21:41

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And the way you could strech his limbs out for miles.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [467 posts]
15th June 2012 - 21:47

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And the part he played in Arsenal's 1971 Double-winning season...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7470 posts]
16th June 2012 - 0:23

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