News24

'Lance encouraged doping'

2010-08-05 17:13

New York - A former teammate of Lance Armstrong has reportedly backed claims by disgraced cycling champion Floyd Landis that Armstrong took part in and encouraged doping within the US Postal team.

A New York Times report said an ex-teammate of Armstrong, who wished to remain anonymous, had spoken with investigators detailing "some of his own drug use, as well as the widespread cheating that he said went on as part of the Postal Service team - all of which he said was done with Armstrong's knowledge and encouragement."

The report said the rider in question "has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs or methods" and "asked that his name not be used because investigators advised him not to speak publicly about the information he provided".

Armstrong is credited with one of the greatest comebacks in sport after beating testicular cancer in 1998 and going on to win the first of his seven consecutive Tour titles a year later.

However, those achievements now seem under threat from a federal investigation launched in the wake of Landis's allegations that US Postal used systematic doping practices to gain an edge over their rivals.

Landis, the 2006 Tour winner who was stripped of his title for doping, levelled the accusations against Armstrong several months ago when he finally ended four years of denials by confessing to doping throughout his career.

Since then several of Armstrong's former employees and teammates have been contacted by federal investigators.

A lawyer for American George Hincapie, Zia F. Modabber, said in July that former US Postal rider Hincapie was likely to talk to investigators once the Tour was over.

Another former US Postal rider, Tyler Hamilton, is currently serving an eight-year ban for using performance-enhancing drugs.

The Times report claimed that Hamilton's lawyer, Chris Manderson, said Hamilton had received a grand jury subpoena but did not say whether Hamilton had already provided testimony.

The federal investigation is being led by Jeff Novitzky, a special agent for the Food and Drug Administration.

Novitzky forged his reputation as drugs-buster when he led a successful probe into the BALCO doping scandal, which ultimately led to a prison term for former athletics queen Marion Jones.

Armstrong, who has never tested positive, has categorically denied the allegations and said that Landis has no credibility.

At the end of his final Tour de France appearance last month, Armstrong said he would deny any involvement in doping "as long as I live".

Bryan D. Daly, Armstrong's defence lawyer, said any cyclists who claim that Armstrong doped were not telling the truth.

"They (investigators) just want them to incriminate Lance Armstrong and that's my concern," Daly said, adding that the prosecutors were working closely with the United States Anti-Doping Agency to pressure Armstrong's former teammates.

"To the extent that there's anyone besides Floyd Landis saying things, the bottom line is, if you take away the soap opera and look at the scientific evidence, there is nothing."

A federal prosecutor, Doug Miller, is in charge of the investigation, which is being pushed along because a 10-year statute of limitations on some of the charges they are investigating is set to expire next spring.

The Times report said more riders are expected to meet with the grand jury as early as next week.

AFP

Comments
  • Joe - 2010-08-05 18:22

    And the noose is tightening!

  • LIVESTRONG - 2010-08-05 18:23

    if the world thinks these top cyclists do what they do without roids...ha!

  • dean - 2010-08-05 18:52

    @LIVESTRONG - totally agree. Even as a keen cyclist and fan of the Tour de France, I believe that there is very little integrity left in professsional cycling. I would bet that the majority of the guys on the tour are doping in one way or another. Armstrong is guilty as sin and the truth will eventually come out.

  • darkwing - 2010-08-05 18:53

    Is nothing sacred anymore? Every time there's a 'strange' result in cricket you wonder.

  • GERM - 2010-08-05 19:12

    He is still the greatest cyclist. So, he is the best cyclist in a sport where they ALL use roids. What's the controversy?? To establish the best, you must compare apples with apples. And le one cyclist tries to tell us that the entire peloton was not taking something. It's like bodybuilding and drugs - they go hand in hand. My favourite is that they claim not to use the juice, but there are specific Naturals Competitions and the pro's don't enter those.....

  • Benny - 2010-08-05 20:12

    I stand amazed at how knowledgable some on this blog are about Armstrongs purported drug habits! It is sad really that our supposed sports fans cannot focus on the positive but, like in the times of the Romans - the masses baying for the blood of the champion gladiator. Satisfied only when he has been taken out.

  • Marius - 2010-08-05 21:02

    BLA CLA BLA! Where is the proof? Over 2000 doping tests on Lance in his career and no positive results. They will not find anything because he is clean.

  • LIVESTRONG - 2010-08-05 21:28

    @BENNY ARMSTRONG IS A HERO,FOR ALL HIS DONE FOR CYCLING AND CANCER.HOWEVER,IF HES ABUSED THE SPORT AND BEEN A HYPOCRITE WE THE PUBLIC DESERVE TO KNOW.I PERSONALLY WOULD BE VERY DISAPPOINTED IF HE IS FOUND GUILTY AS MANY KIDS WOULD BE LET DOWN.(AND UNLIKE TIGER THIS IS NOT A FLING THAT CAN BE EASILY FORGIVEN BY THE PUBLIC)IF A HERO IS ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH DOPING WHAT CHANCE DO OUR YOUTH HAVE IN BELIEVING THEY CAN ACHIEVE BY ADHERING TO THE RULES. ITS FAR DEEPER THAN JUST SAYING LANCE ARMSTRONG CHEATED!

  • JSC - 2010-08-05 21:34

    Never had respect for the man.Hope he has the balls to survive this round. Piised off because we have to rush to get an entry in the Cape Argus and this a******e deciceds at 99 to enter and is allowed. Deny me entry again!!

  • Jenny - 2010-08-05 22:25

    @Benny - and I stand amazed at how naive you can be to (seemingly) blindly believe that Armstrong has been clean all these years. He will probably be exposed as the biggest hoax in world sport history - where there's smoke there's fire..........

  • slimtim - 2010-08-06 17:00

    The smoke is getting pretty thick

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