The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 11, 2012

26 testify against Lance Armstrong in doping case

(Continued)

Tygart said evidence from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the U.S. Postal Service team's doping activities, provided material for the report. The agency also interviewed Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie. Andreu's wife, Betsy, was another key witness. She has been one of Armstrong's most consistent and unapologetic critics.

"It took tremendous courage for the riders on the USPS Team and others to come forward and speak truthfully," Tygart said.

In some ways, the USADA report simply pulls together and amplifies allegations that have followed Armstrong ever since he beat cancer and won the Tour for the first time. At various times and in different forums, Landis, Hamilton and others have said that Armstrong encouraged doping on his team and used banned substances himself.

Written in a more conversational style than a typical legal document, the report lays out in chronological order, starting in 1998 and running through 2009:

— Multiple examples of Armstrong using multiple drugs, including the blood-boosting hormone EPO, citing the "clear finding" of EPO in six blood samples from the 1999 Tour de France that were retested. UCI concluded those samples were mishandled and couldn't be used to prove anything. In bringing up the samples, USADA said it considers them corroborating evidence that isn't even necessary given the testimony of its witnesses.

— Testimony from Hamilton, Landis and Hincapie, all of whom say they received EPO from Armstrong.

— Evidence of the pressure Armstrong put on the riders to go along with the doping program.

"The conversation left me with no question that I was in the doghouse and that the only way forward with Armstrong's team was to get fully on Dr. Ferrari's doping program," Vande Velde testified.

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