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11 riders who gave evidence named in pre-publication statement

Some 1,200 pages of evidence collected by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will later today be thudding through the letterbox at the UCI headquarters in Aigle - or at least taking quite a long time to squeeze in to the UCI inbox.

The document, the largest of its kind ever compiled by the agency, contains eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence which USADA's CEO, Travis Tygart said in a statement ahead of publication revealed "conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalized team-run doping conspiracy."

In a long statement ahead of publication of the evidence on the USADA website, Tygart also named the former USPS riders who had given evidence against Armstrong.

Those were 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 but the Canadian Barry are American, and every American who rode the Tour de France for US Postal and its successor team Disccovery Channel from 1999 to 2005, the seven editions Armstrong won, has provided testimony to USADA - other than Armstrong himself, and Kevin Livingston, who rode in the 1999 and 2000 editions.

Livingston himself, Nowadays he runs the Pedal Hard Training Center at Mellow Johnny's - the Austin, Texas bike shop owned by Armstrong is implicated in doping in USADA's reasoned decision, and the agency has said that its investigation into doping will continue and that others will be charged.

Immediately after publication of the USADA statement, George Hincapie released a statement of his own. In which he admitted using banned substances until 2006.

That was the year after Armstrong's first retirement, and Hincapie himself would ride one more season with the team, by then named Discovery Channel, before switching to High Road in 2008.

"Because of my love for the sport, the contributions I feel I have made to it, and the amount the sport of cycling has given to me over the years, it is extremely difficult today to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances.

"Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them.

"I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans."

The three-time US national champion, a stalwart of the USPS and Discovery Channel teams, also said that since 2006 "Quietly, and in the way I know best, I have been trying to rectify that decision. I have competed clean and have not used any performance enhancing drugs or processes for the past six years."

Tygart thanked the rider for their bravery in coming forward and also backed calls for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission - an idea floated by UCI President, Pat McQuaid - as the best way for cycling to move on and establish a new culture of clean competition.

USADA statement

Today, we are sending the ‘Reasoned Decision’ in the Lance Armstrong case and supporting information to the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.  

The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming and is in excess of 1000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team (USPS Team) and its participants’ doping activities. 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. 

Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalized team-run doping conspiracy. All of the material will be made available later this afternoon on the USADA website at www.usada.org.

The USPS Team doping conspiracy 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. 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 evidence demonstrates that the ‘Code of Silence’ of performance enhancing drug use in the sport of cycling has been shattered, but there is more to do.  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.

Of course, no one wants to be chained to the past forever, and I would call on the UCI to act on its own recent suggestion for a meaningful Truth and Reconciliation program.  While we appreciate the arguments that weigh in favor of and against such a program, we believe that allowing individuals like the riders mentioned today to come forward and acknowledge the truth about their past doping may be the only way to truly dismantle the remaining system that allowed this “EPO and Blood Doping Era” to flourish. Hopefully, the sport can unshackle itself from the past, and once and for all continue to move forward to a better future.

Our mission is to protect clean athletes by preserving the integrity of competition not only for today’s athletes but also the athletes of tomorrow.  We have heard from many athletes who have faced an unfair dilemma — dope, or don’t compete at the highest levels of the sport. Many of them abandoned their dreams and left sport because they refused to endanger their health and participate in doping. That is a tragic choice no athlete should have to make.

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.

These eleven (11) teammates of Lance Armstrong, in alphabetical order, 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.

The riders who participated in the USPS Team doping conspiracy and truthfully assisted have been courageous in making the choice to stop perpetuating the sporting fraud, and they have suffered greatly. In addition to the public revelations, the active riders have been suspended and disqualified appropriately in line with the rules. In some part, it would have been easier for them if it all would just go away; however, they love the sport, and they want to help young athletes have hope that they are not put in the position they were -- to face the reality that in order to climb to the heights of their sport they had to sink to the depths of dangerous cheating.

I have personally talked with and heard these athletes’ stories and firmly believe that, collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they ever did on a bike.

Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.

Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognized competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward. The entire factual and legal basis on the outcome in his case and the other six active riders’ cases will be provided in the materials made available online later today. Two other members of the USPS Team, Dr. Michele Ferrari and Dr. Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy.

Three other members of the USPS Team have chosen to contest the charges and take their cases to arbitration: Johan Bruyneel, the team director; Dr. Pedro Celaya, a team doctor; and Jose “Pepe” Marti, the team trainer.  These three individuals will receive a full hearing before independent judges, where they will have the opportunity to present and confront the evidence, cross-examine witnesses and testify under oath in a public proceeding.

From day one in this case, as in every potential case, the USADA Board of Directors and professional staff did the job we are mandated to do for clean athletes and the integrity of sport.  We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand.”

More to follow

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.

65 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

Lance Armstrong's team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen" according to a report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

A couple of unexpected riders on the evidence list, but mostly what I thought. Most have been caught or suspected in the past though. They are just a few of 26 who gave evidence.

Also, nice bans here

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/six-former-armstrong-usps-teammates-rece...

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds like USADA really do have the smoking gun. If I was bjarne Riis, I'd be rather concerned right about... now.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Also, with the bans. Can someone clear up USADA's jurisdiction over Michael Barry. Do USADA rule over CADP??  39

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 3 years ago
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From the CADP website: Canadian athletes are not only subject to CADP rules, but also to the rules of other anti-doping organizations which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code. So the USDA in this case are acting for the CADP. Still waiting Sky's (Brailsford's) statement if any about Michael Barry admitting to doping.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Yes, thats the same for most doping bodies. BUT, its up to your own body to ban you. The same as USADA couldn't ban Wiggo....I don't think??  39

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livestrongnick [2118 posts] 3 years ago
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so explains Barry and Hincapies retirements!  26
Thinking we might see Levi retiring as well.  39

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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livestrongnick wrote:

so explains Barry and Hincapies retirements!  26
Thinking we might see Levi retiring as well.  39

I don't think that is why they are retiring and I don't see Levi going either. They will get "non-bans" back dated to when they have admitted doping and maybe some titles/races taken away.

OR a ban that is short enough to be back in time for next season  3

I wonder how Hincapie's brand will be now? Expect some super cheap cycling kit......NOT  19

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tarquin_foxglove [132 posts] 3 years ago
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"I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans."

What about the young pros entering the sport after you, faced with the same decision as you due to your actions?

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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The Michael Barry one is very disappointing.
Not to me, i dont really care what he did back then, but sort of ruins Sky's whiter than whiter claim.
Brailsford made a big thing about David Millar never being able to join Sky but it seems he allowed dopers that weren't caught in and excluded dopers who were.
Of course Brailsford wasn't to know as Barry lied to him im sure.
I think this marks a watershed though and (if not already) clean will outnumber dirty in peloton very soon.

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russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
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Most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" +11 riders who gave evidence named

im just hoping i dont read this line about Team Sky in 10 years time...

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russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
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on a more important note i just got my first ever puncture on a road bike.

nightmare!

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pepita1 [175 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow! USADA must have dossiers on every team since the inception of USPS Pro Cycling team to make the statement,

"... US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

I wonder if USADA will be turning all those dossiers over to the UCI as well?

I'm also curious about the amount of US taxpayer money actually spent on these investigations. And I wonder how it compares to all the MILLIONS of $'s the US government has wasted and continues to waste on military funding. Many years ago the US government was buying hammers that cost 1000's of dollars and I imagine those same hammers are costing hundreds of thousands now!

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Sounds like USADA really do have the smoking gun. If I was bjarne Riis, I'd be rather concerned right about... now.

Less a smoking gun, more a flamethrower that's still turned on with the dial set to 11...

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antonio [1124 posts] 3 years ago
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As Lance famously said 'It's not about the bike'

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Darthshearer [134 posts] 3 years ago
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Wonder if Wiggins will say anything about the Tour winning advice Lance gave him.......

Reading through this, Brailsford needs to come out man. Sky stink of sh!t with this dossier.

Yates - Ex Doper and ex Team mate of Lance.
Barry, Leinders.

Transparency, yeh, we can see straight through you Dave!

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 3 years ago
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If I read an article on the L'Equipe site correctly none of the evidence used by the USDA was provided from the US Federal Investigation. Makes you wonder why that investigation was shelved. The people I really feel sorry for in all this are the US cycling fans who finally had their sport come into the public view only to be betrayed by their idol.

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NeilG83 [299 posts] 3 years ago
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Michael Barry being included was a suprise, but I should have worked it out yesterday. I looked for his statement regarding Landis' accusations on his personal website after reading another forum on here about Paul Kimmage. Strangely it had been removed.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84: The body with responsibility for managing a "result" (i.e. the body that found the evidence generally) has the authority to issue the sanction. They inform WADA and any governing bodies involved of their finding (who may appeal, either way). So yes, USADA has the authority to sanction Wiggins, were it ever to have reason to open an investigation into him (though, that's less likely I think). Is my understanding…

Update: USADAs' protocol states that it has jurisdiction over, amongst others, "b. Any Athlete participating at an Event or Competition sanctioned by the USOC or a NGB or participating at an Event or Competition in the United States sanctioned by an IF;" and also "c. any foreign Athlete who is present in the United States;".

Paul W: It's been reported that when USADA interviewed people who had previously given testimony to the grand jury, that one of the federal prosecutors sat there with a copy of that previous testimony and checked whether everything matched.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Paul J wrote:

Gkam84: The body with responsibility for managing a "result" (i.e. the body that found the evidence generally) has the authority to issue the sanction. They inform WADA and any governing bodies involved of their finding (who may appeal, either way). So yes, USADA has the authority to sanction Wiggins, were it ever to have reason to open an investigation into him (though, that's less likely I think). Is my understanding…

So in theory, WADA, UCI, CADP and Michael Barry could all appeal the decision?

The only reason I am picking him out, is he is the only rider to be named and suspended/banned that does not hold an American license, so USADA has the say over the rest. Just confused about riders that fall under different doping agencies  39

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh No, the sh*t is well and truly going to hit the fan with the ban's........All riders will be clear by February next year.....  19

Quote:

Each rider has received a six month ban. Vande Velde has been banned from September 9 2012, and lost his results from June 4, 2004 through until April 30 2006. Danielson has been banned from September 1 2012, and loses his results from March 1 2005 until Semptember 23, 2006. Zabriskie's suspension starts from September 1, 2012 and he loses all results from May 12, 2003, until July 31st 2006

That is NOT going to sit well at all

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Another thing. Vande Velde gave this interview not long ago as part of the Millar documentary.....  19http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vP1WuyXcv6g#t=490s

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Gtkam84: Also US Cycling and World Triathlon.

Basically, USADA hands out its finding (which may include a sanction) and informs the relevant athletes, governing bodies (national and/or international) + WADA. Each of those have the right to appeal (usually national level independent arbitration first, then CAS - but at least international bodies, like UCI and WADA, have the right to appeal straight to CAS).

However, for the athletes named in the Armstrong finding, such as Michael Barry, they have reduced sanctions because they co-operated and already agreed to the finding. I'm not 100% sure whether they have signed away the right to appeal, but it would be very unusual to appeal a light sentence :).

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 3 years ago
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Darthshearer wrote:

Wonder if Wiggins will say anything about the Tour winning advice Lance gave him.......

Reading through this, Brailsford needs to come out man. Sky stink of sh!t with this dossier.

Yates - Ex Doper and ex Team mate of Lance.
Barry, Leinders.

Transparency, yeh, we can see straight through you Dave!

Well Yates I don't know, I suspect he was probably quite strongly anti-doping for DB to take him on. Leinders they're not working with any more, and as for Barry, well, do BMC smell for having George riding? Sorry, but aside from Yates, it sounds like you're looking for a conspiracy theory. But since DB is transparent, what do you think they're up to?

Update: excerpt from Barry's website:
"From 2006 until the end of my career in 2012, I chose to race for teams that took a strong stance against doping. Although I never confessed to my past, I wrote and spoke about the need for change."

Can't see how that makes Sky look bad at all, it actually implies that even from the inside, Sky's anti-doping stance is the real deal.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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They won't be appealing. I was just interested how it works with banning or suspending a rider from another nation without it going through all the governing bodies.

The reason they won't be appeal is the VERY SOFT sentence's given that I posted above. 6 Months from the start of September, takes them up to the start of February. It stinks and UCI should do something about it and extend their bans to including at least some racing period.

I think I'm just about done with Pro cycling now. Its all coming out and everyone is going to get off with it. Apart from losing some of their races. They won't be banned from cycling really.....

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 3 years ago
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The point about Barry though is that he's retired.

Dave Brailsford was just on Radio 5 talking about how disappointed he was about Barry and that Barry had lied to them about his past when they took him on - or at least not admitted to it, obviously if he had he wouldn't have been hired. Also sounded like if he hadn't retired he would be looking for a new team as Brailsford reiterated Sky's zero tolerance policy.

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 3 years ago
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That will be the zero tolerance policy which allows them to employ ex dopers and dopers doctors

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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I think all these riders should form a team on their own next season. WUTD Team (We used to dope) and then donate any winnings, salaries...etc to charity.

That would look better than a "non-ban" as I'm calling it.

I want to see massive bans for them, yes they may have helped uncover and get Armstrong banned for life. But 6 months ban which covers the off season.....Nah nah nah, Most if not all of them have always denied doping or any knowledge of it. But all of a sudden have come clean as a group for "non-bans".....I hope the UCI steps up and finds it balls.

Not to appeal any of them to CAS, but to extend them to a reasonable time period. Two years would see most of them retire because of their age.

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livestrongnick [2118 posts] 3 years ago
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So a systematic program of doping that never led to a positive test!?  39 7

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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lushmiester [187 posts] 3 years ago
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Tygart thanked the rider for their bravery in coming forward and also backed calls for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission - an idea floated by UCI President, Pat McQuaid - as the best way for cycling to move on and establish a new culture of clean competition.

Yes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission may be the only sensible way forward at least it may to sear the canker and end all the ranker, but please do not let any commission be set this up under the auspices of the UCI. I do not think an organisation suspected of major carpet lifting over a number of years (and possibly therefore an important off stage player in the whole sordid saga) could possibly seen as appropriate for such a role.

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