The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 11, 2012

26 testify against Lance Armstrong in doping case

(Continued)

His attorney, Tim Herman, called the report "a one-sided hatchet job — a taxpayer funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories."

Aware of the criticism his agency has faced from Armstrong and his legion of followers, Tygart insisted his group handled this case under the same rules as any other. Armstrong was given the chance to take his case to arbitration and declined, choosing in August to accept the sanctions instead, he noted.

"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," Tygart said.

The report called the evidence "as strong or stronger than any case brought in USADA's 12 years of existence."

In a letter sent to USADA attorneys Tuesday, Herman dismissed any evidence provided by Landis and Hamilton, saying the riders are "serial perjurers and have told diametrically contradictory stories under oath."

The testimony of Hincapie, one of Armstrong's closest and most loyal teammates through the years, was one of the report's new revelations.

"I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did," Hincapie said of his testimony to federal investigators and USADA.

His two-page statement did not mention Armstrong by name. Neither did statements from three other teammates-turned-witnesses, all of whom said this was a difficult-but-necessary process.

"I have failed and I have succeeded in one of the most humbling sports in the world," Christian Vande Velde said. "And today is the most humbling moment of my life."

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