The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 11, 2012

26 testify against Lance Armstrong in doping case

(Continued)

— What Vaughters called "an outstanding early warning system regarding drug tests." One example came in 2000, when Hincapie found out there were drug testers at the hotel where Armstrong's team was staying. Aware Armstrong had taken testosterone before the race, Hincapie alerted him and Armstrong dropped out of the race to avoid being tested, the report said.

Though she didn't testify, Armstrong's ex-wife, Kristin, is mentioned 30 times in the report.

In one episode, Armstrong asks her to wrap banned cortisone pills in foil to hand out to his teammates.

"Kristin obliged Armstrong's request by wrapping the pills and handing them to the riders. One of the riders remarked, 'Lance's wife is rolling joints,'" the report read. Attempts to reach Kristin Armstrong were unsuccessful.

While the arguments about Armstrong will continue among sports fans — and there is still a question of whether USADA or the International Cycling Union (UCI) has the ultimate authority to take away his Tour titles — the new report puts a cap on a long round of official investigations. Armstrong was cleared of criminal charges in February after a federal grand jury probe that lasted about two years.

USADA sought evidence from federal investigators, but in its report, the agency said none was ever turned over to its offices, based in Colorado Springs, Colo.

UCI confirmed receiving the report and said it would respond to it soon, "not to delay matters any longer than necessary." It has 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The head of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Doug Ulman, lauded Armstrong's work as a cancer fighter. Armstrong won all his titles after overcoming testicular cancer.

"Our longstanding concerns about the impartiality and fairness of USADA's proceeding are compounded today," Ulman said. "As a federal judge pointed out, USADA appears motivated more by publicity rather than fulfilling its mission."

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