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Armstrong is guilty: USADA

NEW YORK, Oct 10, 2012, Reuters: 0:15 IST

Doping agency releases report supporting claims

Lance Armstrong and his team ran the most sophisticated doping programme in sport according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) which released its report on the case against the US Postal cycling team on Wednesday.

USADA said it was sending the report, which was more than 1,000 pages long and contained the sworn testimony of 26 people, including 15 riders, to the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), before making it available on its website.

“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,” USADA said in a statement from chief executive Travis Tygart.

“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 has denied cheating and never failed a doping test but the seven-times Tour de France winner was banned for life by USADA in August after announcing he would not fight the charges.

Armstrong’s lawyers have repeatedly attacked the credibility of USADA’s case, describing the proceedings as a ‘kangaroo court’ and a ‘witch hunt’ on the eve of Wednesday’s release. “USADA has continued its efforts to coerce and manufacture evidence from other riders through threats and sweetheart deals and generated self-serving media coverage through leaks and piecemeal release of tired, disproven allegations,” Armstrong’s attorney, Timothy J Herman, wrote in a letter to USADA. “This reasoned decision will be a farce... while USADA can put lipstick on a pig, it still remains a pig.”

Several former team-mates have already spoken out publicly against Armstrong but USADA named all 11 for the first time on Wednesday.

“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,” USADA said

USADA identified the 11 team-mates as: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

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