Travis Tygart, CEO of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), announced that he will send a more than 1000-page “Reasoned Decision” and supporting information in the Lance Armstrong case to the International Cycling Union (UCI) today.
Tygart said in a recent press release that “the evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
The file includes sworn testimony from 26 people including Armstrong’s former teammates: Canada’s Michael Barry, who competed for US Postal from 2002-06 and announced his retirement from cycling, Frankie Andreu, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.
“The riders who participated in the USPS Team doping conspiracy and truthfully assisted have been courageous in making the choice to stop perpetuating the sporting fraud, and they have suffered greatly,” Tygart said. “In addition to the public revelations, the active riders have been suspended and disqualified appropriately in line with the rules. In some part, it would have been easier for them if it all would just go away; however, they love the sport, and they want to help young athletes have hope that they are not put in the position they were—to face the reality that in order to climb to the heights of their sport they had to sink to the depths of dangerous cheating.
“I have personally talked with and heard these athletes’ stories and firmly believe that, collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they ever did on a bike. Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.”
Also in the file are records of financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that prove Armstrong and US Postal team’s long-running doping conspiracy.
USADA’s statement explains that the US Postal team groomed and pressured its athletes to use banned substances, to evade anti-doping tests and authorities, all in an effort to win races at all costs.
In June, USADA sent Armstrong a letter alleging that he doped during his career. The organization also charged former US Postal and Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctors Pedro Celaya, Michele Ferrari and Luis Garcia de Moral, and trainer Jose Marti with a series anti-doping violations.
These violations included use and/or attempted use, possession, trafficking, administration and/or attempted administration of performance enhancing substances, and assisting, encouraging, aiding abetting attempted anti-doping rule violations, and aggravating circumstances.
After two failed lawsuits against USADA, Armstrong chose not to enter into an arbitration hearing and was subsequently stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from Olympic sports for life.
Ferrari and Garcia del Moral accepted lifetime bans; however, Bruyneel, Celaya and Marti have chosen to fight USADA’s charges against them.
USADA’s full statement can be found at http://www.usada.org/cyclinginvestigationstatement.html