News24

Lance paid for dope delivery

2012-10-16 07:45

London - Lance Armstrong paid for a motorcyclist to deliver the banned bloodbooster EPO to him during the 1999 Tour de France, former team-mate Tyler Hamilton said in a BBC radio documentary broadcast on Monday.

American Armstrong, who won the Tour a record seven times from 1999 to 2005, has been stripped of his titles by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) who have accused the 41-year-old of being a central figure in an elaborate doping conspiracy.

"Yeah in '99 we had a motorcycle driver...we had him follow the Tour around for the better part of three weeks," said Hamilton, who was one of Armstrong's US Postal team mates from 1998 to 2001.

"He'd stay close enough to where we were staying at the hotels to drop off at any key moment.

"We knew other people were going to take risks so we were gonna take it too," added Hamilton who said they put the used syringes into drinks cans before crushing them.

"Lance paid him between $15 000-20 000 to do it.

"Then, as Lance had won the Tour, we would all club together to buy him a Rolex watch. Somewhere out there he's wearing a gold Rolex watch."

Hamilton, who was stripped of the 2004 Olympic time trial gold medal, gave evidence to the USADA inquiry which published its findings in a report last week and concluded Armstrong was one of the ringleaders in US Postal's sophisticated doping scheme.

Armstrong has always denied taking banned substances but decided not to challenge the USADA charges.

The American's team manager during his Tour wins, Johan Bruyneel, is among four other people accused of doping violations by USADA. Bruyneel is contesting the case.

Armstrong's former soigneur (masseuse and assistant) at US Postal Emma O'Reilly, who also gave evidence to USADA, told the BBC how she once drove from France to Spain to pick up some tablets for Armstrong.

"I had to rent a car in France...Took six hours to drive and also that was another reason I knew it was something because Lance had said to me 'don't tell your boyfriend'.

"I used to say to some of the soigneurs, 'you are drug runners', and that's what I was being for the weekend," added O'Reilly, who also said she once used makeup to conceal syringe marks on Armstrong before a photocall.

In 2003, O'Reilly spoke to journalist David Walsh about doping for a book on Armstrong co-authored with Pierre Ballester. Armstrong sued her for libel.

"Afterwards, oh my, I've never felt more hunted in my whole life," said O'Reilly. "There were lawsuits that affected not just me but other people, like my boyfriend.

"The libel laws protected him, the rich, while I was dragged through the courts. I knew Lance was bullying me, and all I was trying to do was clean up the sport."

British rider David Millar, banned for two years in 2004 for doping, said he was confident cycling had changed for the better.

"Cycling has moved on so far in the last five years, through the incredible hard work of a lot of people who wanted to change things," said the 35-year-old, who is a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency's athletes' commission.

"This is a scoop to the general public, but we've known things for so long. If you want to make change in sport, you do it yourself.

"We have to close this door on this horrific period for the sport. We have moved on. Things have got progressively better. We are at the vanguard of the anti-doping movement," added Millar.

"Cycling has pushed through the most advanced anti-doping testing and we were the first sport to introduce blood tests. The problem was so vast, and we were all culpable on different levels."

Reuters

Comments
  • fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-10-16 08:23

    Just like all the other cyclist, Lance paid for his steroids, otherwise they would not deliver it. Lets get on with it now. Next article should read " Lance guilty" or "Lance not guilty by lack of concrete evidence". The cycling world uses steroids since the 80's, all of them! why only gunning for Lance?

      bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-10-16 08:32

      because he holds all the records, which is all a lie and that needs to be removed.... he gave hope and inspiration to so many people around the world, and now look, it was all a lie. Why doesnt he go on a lie detector? ohhh wait, never mind.

      victor.freeman.39 - 2012-10-16 08:54

      He's the only one who's still denying it.

  • john.comyn.18 - 2012-10-16 09:05

    Does it really make a difference? It seems everyone was doping so they were all on an even playing field. A few things worry me. Why was Lance never found positive while others were? This despite taking thousands of tests. Why are all these roaches only now coming out the woodwork? Of all the people Lance worked with not one mentioned doping over a period of 10 years. I can't believe all these people sat and watched him taking all the glory and not one was jealous or thought it to be wrong. Not even the cyclists who came 2nd. Whether he doped or did not he has done some wonderful work for people with cancer and been an inspiration to many.

      janet.groenewald.9 - 2012-10-16 09:47

      John. Lance ran the cycling world like the Mafia or Drug Lord. You mess with him and he will take you out. He either made sure you got nowhere further in your cycling career or he threatened people and use bulling tactics. These witnesses only feel safe coming out now because his threats don't hold the power they once had. And yes his titles must be taken away as with Floyd Landis and Contador and like all other Athletes that have cheated (Not all of them tested positive but they admited it cause they had a conscious) Why can he get away with it and the others can't. There is no doubt that he was the biggest cheated of them all.People who don't believe that are simpletons or idiots

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-10-16 11:04

      There have been accusations made against him over his whole cycling career, just like those made by his masseuse, but no-one has been able to prove it. And as the article states, the "american hero", destroyed destroyed her life.

      george.casper.315 - 2012-10-16 15:07

      Oh my God Janet you must have been the one that broke the story to the world ! An amazing piece of investigative journalism, Please send me your data so that I can drool all over it.................................... He screwed up so did HUNDREDS of other riders get over yourselves and I'm qiute sure he was the biggest cheated of all of them ?

  • janet.groenewald.9 - 2012-10-16 09:55

    @john.comyn.18 There are none so blind as those that will not see. (Plenty of evidence) He has failed test but they we covered up. Bribes etc. OPEN YOUR EYE IDIOT

      tappies.smit - 2012-10-16 10:34

      O please Janet..get a life...!!!..You are the biggest idiot reporting on this page...go play with your children

      harry.dewet.5 - 2012-10-16 11:22

      Janet you are the one who must wake up: Look into your own backyard and see that very few doping tests are run in SA, e.g: -In cycling there is no money to properly check elite level cyclists (only in SA champs a few may be tested using rather simple technology) - no checks ever occur during any provincial champs or any ages above 30 years); -All the so-called body builder champions are the heaviest dopers and frequently die prematurely due to excessive doping; -The rugby players also dope to get more power and endurance. Just check out the latest game between the Springboks and the All-blacks - the guys coming from the coast needed two weeks to fully adapt to the substantial rise in altitude, otherwise they would initially be about 40% weaker (their blood contains far too little red blood cells and this is boosted using EPO blood boosting drugs) - did they seem weaker than the Boks? They indeed seemed a lot stronger!!! -Even at school level, SA kids are already doping to increase performance. You can dope during training to make you stronger and stop well before the Olympics to prevent any detection. The former TDF champion;, i.e. Contador, was caught out because latest very sophisticated technology detected only a few trace atoms of banned substances which he stopped using "long" enough before the cycling tour. This means that everyone dopes who competes at high level sports and where lots of money/glory is involved. Only the stupid/greedy dopers do get caught out...

      george.casper.315 - 2012-10-16 15:09

      Janet Janet Janet, see comment above. Oh boy you're a bright one!

  • peter.brauteseth - 2012-10-16 12:05

    It is amazing how many chaps I know, with the first name "LANCE", who are sleazy crooks! It, sadly, seems like the name is synonomous with crooked people. There is no long term hapinness in crooking and deceiving others, especially when you think have made "ill gotten, gain". It seems that THIS Lance (Armstrong) is going to get his "come uppance now" and will stripped of the honour, glory and MONEY. I wonder about the others??? Only time will tell. To all crooked LANCE'S....Be sure, your sins will find you out!

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