The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 11, 2012

26 testify against Lance Armstrong in doping case

(Continued)

Some of the newest information — never spelled out in detail before Wednesday — includes a depiction of Armstrong's continuing relationship with physician and training guru Michele Ferrari. Like Armstrong, Ferrari has received a lifetime ban from USADA.

Long thought of as the mastermind of Armstrong's alleged doping plan, Ferrari was investigated in Italy and Armstrong claimed he had cut ties with the doctor after a 2004 conviction. The conviction was later overturned but was nonetheless the reason Armstrong cut ties with him. USADA cites financial records that show payments of at least $210,000 in the two years after that. It also cited emails from 2009 showing Armstrong asking Ferrari's son if he could make a $25,000 cash payment the next time they saw each other.

"The repeated efforts by Armstrong and his representatives to mischaracterize and minimize Armstrong's relationship with Ferrari are indicative of the true nature of that relationship," the report states. "If there is not something to hide, there is no need to hide it and certainly no need to repeatedly lie about it."

In addition to Armstrong and Ferrari, another player in the Postal team circle, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, also received a lifetime ban as part of the case.

Three other members of the USPS team will take their cases to arbitration. They are team director Johan Bruyneel, team doctor Pedro Celaya and team trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti.

Armstrong chose not to pursue the case and instead accepted the sanction, though he has consistently argued that the USADA system was rigged against him, calling the agency's effort a "witch hunt" that used special rules it doesn't follow in all its other cases.

Sworn affidavits from Hincapie and several others, included in the agency's report, were dated after Aug. 23, when Armstrong announced he would not fight the charges. The affidavits were dated as such because lawyers originally thought those witnesses would present their testimony live at an arbitration hearing.

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