George Hincapie has admitted using banned performance-enhancing substances during his professional cycling career in a statement issued after the United States Anti-Doping Agency issued a summary of its evidence in the Lance Armstrong/US Postal doping case.

Via an open letter on his personal website, the American said “it is extremely difficult today to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances”.

“Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them. I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans.”

Hincapie stated that he has ridden clean since 2006. “About two years ago, I was approached by US Federal investigators, and more recently by USADA, and asked to tell of my personal experience in these matters,” said Hincapie. “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 rode with Armstrong at Motorola and US Postal and was considered the Texan’s loyal lieutenant. He is one of 11 former team-mates of Armstrong who gave evidence during USADA’s investigation into organised doping at US Postal, which it has branded “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” Like Armstrong, Hincapie never tested positive during his career.

Hincapie rode his final season this year at BMC Racing before announcing his retirement from the sport. Hincapie and the other 10 former team-mates who confessed to doping during the investigation are likely to face sanctions.

“Cycling has made remarkable gains over the past several years and can serve as a good example for other sports,” continued Hincapie. “Thankfully, the use of performance enhancing drugs is no longer embedded in the culture of our sport, and younger riders are not faced with the same choice we had.”

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USADA publishes details of Armstrong doping case file

  • Alan smith

    I smelt a rat fifty years ago when our best riders went to compete on the continent and were just also ran’s.

  • Mac

    If he did it how his testimony may be treated seriously???
    I lied but not now???

  • pm

    “it is extremely difficult today to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances”.

    But probably a lot easier now that the peloton has been led onto the Champs Elysees in a final TDF and that retirement has been announced so no length of ban is going to make any difference.
    Amazing also that all these newly confessed dopers who apparently suddenly stopped doping one day managed to continue riding for the remainder of their careers at a similar level.

  • julian breese

    It puts David Millars ban into a different context, How did he win as many races as he did clean? – it also puts Mr. Contadors positive test into a new box, if USPS could go so long without a positive test did he just not follow tried and tested instructions from management?

  • steve k

    it never fails to surprise me what people will do to win and how all are so contrite after the fact and willing to trawl the ‘they were all at it mantra’. Hopefully imporved testing and controls, blood passports and the like will finally show who is clean and we can all move on. Never forget cycling seems to test more and more ofter than other sports. The cyclists cannot do this without ‘professional’ support and surely the doctors are significant players in this sordid game and should be targetted too.

  • David Wells

    Ok, so now we are told that everyone was using banned substances, if we accept that this is true then we must also accept that Lance Armstrong was the best rider in the sport as even when they are all on the same stuff he still beat them all!!!

  • kim mcbride

    hope all those that testified and still involved with bike racing will be banned also

  • Simon E

    @steve clark – the sport WILL get better, this is a huge turning point. But you shouldn’t believe in miracles. We are all human.

    Learning from this and changing the sport is more important than crucfying these riders who have surely had to go may shades of hell before (and maybe after?) they finally tell the truth. Armstrong was given the same chance as the others to be honest yet he rejected it so let him rot.

  • Colnago dave

    Nice one George, confess to what we all suspected but wait till you have retired then say that for the last 6 years you did not dope !
    Wonder what the dynamic due of Ligget and Sherwen have to say now as they were always talking up Hincapes prowess and how he was Mr Nice Guy ?

  • steve clarke

    This is blowing up “big time”!
    What a sad day for the sport I love,
    What do I do with the 30 plus books and various magazines about Lance?????

    When will the sport I love and have followed for over 30 years be clean???
    How can we believe miracles in cycling any more????

    I came back from Pantani, don’t know if I can come back from this…. what’s next????

  • phil

    George Hincapie winning a mountain stage in the TDF said it all for me. The fact that some cycling experts were even talking about him being a contender in the 2006 Tour is symptomatic of the cheating that went on. Even with bucket loads of EPO he couldn’t win the Tour.

    Of course, between 1999-2005, Lance didn’t dope did he? It was just his team mates. I hope Armstrong is banged up for the biggest sporting fraud of all time.

  • Steve Cotterill

    The noose is tightening around Armstrong!
    The most credible witness has now confessed!
    This is bigger than anything that has happened in previous years!
    There is more to come
    Just waiting now to see how the public deal with this!
    There will obviously be the Armstrong supporters who will make their usual excuses and dubious reasoned arguments

  • Ken Evans

    “Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them….”

    Exactly !
    Many other young riders also realised this,
    but not all of them chose to dope too.