Lance: Six co-riders suspended

2012-10-11 18:03

Paris - Six former team-mates of Lance Armstrong have been suspended for six months by the US Anti-doping Agency (USADA) after they all admitted to doping.

Five Americans - Levi Leipheimer, 38 (of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team), Christian Vande Velde, 36, David Zabriskie, 33, and Tom Danielson, 34, (all of Garmin-Sharp), George Hincapie, 39, (BMC) - and one Canadian, 36-year-old Michael Barry (Sky) all received six-month bans which will run from September 1 this year.

They were suspended after admitting to blood transfusions and taking substances including the banned blood-booster EPO, human growth hormone, cortisone and testosterone.

Their bans were announced by the USADA on Wednesday alongside the organisation's detailed reasons why it banned Armstrong for life in August.

In their 1 000 page report USADA accused Armstrong's US Postal Service team of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Eleven former team-mates gave evidence against Armstrong - who battled back from life-threatening cancer to win the Tour de France seven times - accusing him of taking banned substances and enforcing a doping culture within the team.


  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2012-10-11 18:49

    Can't imagine how any up and coming cyclist would ever want to compete in a cycling event any more. Every competitor will be tarred with the doping brush. Cycling has tainted its image forver. Every winner of any event will be viewed with suspicion.

  • ryno.grobbelaar - 2012-10-11 18:52

    Just close down cycling already! It's a joke, and it will make driving early morning or late afternoon and Sundays way better for motorists

  • joe.smit.549 - 2012-10-11 19:09

    And the Hero maintains his innocence.

  • tyronlouw - 2012-10-11 19:46

    With the introduction of the biological passport there is little chance they will not be caught if they are doping. The biological passport looks for the smoking gun effect, ie. they do not need to catch you with the banned substance in your system, they just need to see that hermatocrit (young red blood cells) levels are not stable and you're a gonner. That is how they could prove that Lance was using EPO. Also, if you look at the times in this years TdF, it is very clear that no one was on any major drug. The times were way down on previous years. Just a thought.

  • ethanhawk385 - 2012-10-11 21:39

    Why go after just Armstrong? The whole TDF peleton is doping and they should all be investigated, its unfailr to single one or two riders out. Chech the whole lot out !

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-10-11 22:03

      And they get a 6 months ban. Sounds to me like they're just saving their own arses? USADA spends how many years investigating ONLY Lance Armstrong. After the fact. It is a Government agency so they must justify their existence. And they do it by focussing on one person? All the time and effort to "catch" a retired ride? Sounds to me exactly like the Youth Development Agency in our own country who justifies a 500-strong, over-paid staff compliment by holding a R140 million party each year.

  • bj.pieman - 2012-10-11 21:58

    Even the guy who finishes the Tour stone last dopes. Philippe Gaumont, Wim Vansevenant...

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-10-11 22:36

      So the title should go to the guy who fell out first during the first stage because he could not keep up! Poor sod will be the only "clean" rider ... and the biggest fool thinking you can finish this race without some form of performance enhancement. My uncle did the TDF route on a motorbike in the same amount of days - and he nearly did not make it!!!

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