The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) today delivered the Lance Armstrong bomb, sending its documentation in the doping case to relevant bodies, including the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The unflattering picture of the former Tour de France winner will be on show later; within 24 hours the agency will make public its evidence.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement, “The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

The UCI will now have to review the documents to decide if it will uphold the agency’s decision to strip Armstrong of his results, including his seven Tour de France wins. The federation based in Switzerland may decide to appeal to the sport’s high court, the CAS.

President Pat McQuaid indicated at the World Championships last month in Valkenburg that the UCI would follow through with USADA’s ruling.

“The UCI still assumes that the reasoned decision and file will justify the USADA’s position on all of the issues,” McQuaid explained. “The UCI is ready to take its responsibly, unless the USADA’s decision gives us serious reason to do otherwise, we have no intention to go to CAS or not to recognise USADA’s sanctions.”

Armstrong won the World title in 1993 at the age of 21 in Oslo. He returned from cancer to win the Tour from 1999 to 2005. After a brief retirement, he continued his pro career from 2009 through the Tour Down Under in 2011.

USADA charged him with doping through much of his career. It said he used banned methods like blood transfusions and drugs, ranging from EPO to testosterone. And that he encouraged his team-mates to use drugs and helped cover it up. After he refused to defend himself, on August 24, the USADA moved ahead and stripped him of his wins since August 1, 1998.

Tygart said today, “The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming.” He explained it covers more than 1000 pages, contains testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders familiar with the US Postal team and its doping activities, bank records, e-mails and scientific tests.

“Results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding. … [It] brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalised team-run doping conspiracy.”

The bombs will keep falling. As the UCI’s lawyers try to come to grips with all the documentation, the public will be treated to a show much greater than Armstrong’s Tour wins: the evidence will be posted on USADA’s website, www.USADA.org

The evidence will not paint a pretty picture of 41-year-old Armstrong. And it appears damning for Johan Bruyneel, current general manger of RadioShack-Nissan and manager of US Postal/Discovery Channel. He decided to defend himself and will face an arbitration panel before year-end. Armstrong’s old friends and doctors, Michele Ferrari and Garcia del Moral, have already received life-time bans.

“[The] conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices,” said Tygart. “A programme organised by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.”

Tygart applauded the participation of Armstrong’s former team-mates Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie. He said the agency gave Armstrong a chance “to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.”

External link



Full PDF of USADA’s ‘reasoned decision’ plus links to supporting evidence

Related links

UCI responds to USADA Armstrong doping evidence

Former Armstrong team-mate Barry: ‘Doping had become an epidemic problem

Hincapie admits to doping during career

USADA strips Lance Armstrong of seven Tour titles

Lance Armstrong to be stripped of his seven Tour titles

Judge dismisses Armstrong lawsuit against USADA


LeMond suggests changes need to be made to drug testing and UCI

Vaughters denies that Garmin team riders will be suspended by USADA

Armstrong attacks USADA for opening formal action against him

Armstrong banned from triathlons as new doping charge brought against him

February 4 2012: Armstrong holds off the law

Armstrong case dropped by US investigators

Armstrong investigation arrives in Europe

Armstrong’s team mate Popovych testifies he did not witness doping

Armstrong’s team-mate Popovych summonsed in doping investigation

Landis admits he doped and implicates others

  • Mac

    Travis Tygart… name pionted more times than Armstrong… will he run for politics???

  • PeterLB

    The UCI recently questioned why USADA took so long to release their reasoned decision. Well Pat, it took so long because they did a thorough job with their investigation. Something the UCI has never, ever done.

    Pat, you need to stand down, you are not capable of running the sport, neither is your organisation. You are an embarrassment, from anti-doping to the Olympic track program, you do nothing to enhance or promote the sport.

    There is not a person on this planet who has confidence in your abilities. Do what is right, and do it now.

  • William Hirst

    RE andharad

    I no longer class Jimmy Saville as a cyclist.

  • Murphy

    We can all be wise now and say we knew it was too good to be true.

    Most people probably wanted it to be true, misguided sympathy for a cancer sufferer returned from the brink of death to repeatedly win one of the most physically demanding sporting events in the world.

    I do not know anyone who has recovered from serious illness to a point where they are more superior physically.

    Do we all want to believe in superheroes?

    Is it the reason that Kimmage and Walsh have been jumped on and discredited for years by the organisation, pros and the ordinary pleb on wheels?

    Who was right all along?

  • Graham

    This publication raises a lot more questions than it answers.

    Assuming that the allegations are true. The following questions need answering otherwise what parent is going to allow their child to participate in competitive sport.
    Why were the USADA, UCI and WADA dope testing programmes so ineffective?
    How can we believe that they are any more effective today?
    How can an impartial jury be assembled to take forward prosecutions for misuse of government funds?
    Should the burden of proof lie with the defendant and should it be ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ (UK criminal law) or ‘on the balance of probablilities’ (UK civil law)? After all we are generally talking about someones livelihood.

    Personally, I’ve lost all confidence in those leading the ‘fight’ against doping.

    Funding in all countries is limited, if Armstrong changes his mind and sues, this could cost USADA, the UCI and WADA tens of millions of dollars that would be better spent educating up and coming sports people and managers of the dangers of doping.

  • sean

    My only concern now is the USADA taking the seemingly standard American stance of claiming the right to police the world. Give the evidence to the UCI, shut up & let them decide what should happen should the evidence be deemed credible in their eyes. The Tour de France is not an American race.

  • angharad

    Wasn’t Jimmy Savile a cyclist too? Oops!

  • Ken Evans

    “….US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

    This is not true, the East German government ran a national doping programme,
    for every athlete in an Olympic sport, they experimented with many drugs,
    and even produced their very own steroids, they probably used blood-transfusions too.

    Some East German athletes became Olympic champions, and broke world records,
    but some teenagers were crippled for life by the experiments.
    All the athletes were discarded by the state, once they were not longer of use to the government.

    Some of the great champions died very young, and their bodies lie in dull East German graves,
    Some of the female athletes were given so many hormones, their bodies turned male,
    and some of these women now live as men.

    Factory produced EPO did not become available until the 1990s,
    after the Berlin Wall had fallen.

    British Cycling uses more advanced methods than the East Germans,
    but doesn’t use drugs to achieve its numerous victories.

    I hope finally cycle racing can advance beyond pharmaceuticals,
    to a more sophisticated and scientific stage,
    where any use of illegal PEDS can be detected.

  • izzi green

    It’s terrible that doping should be tainted by sport…

  • SJH

    So what’s the plan then? Strip Armstrong of seven tours and give them to…? While you’re at it strip Coppi of his tours. Anquetil too? Pantani was a bit dodgy, I’m sure there’s enough evidence to have his one too. As for Ulrich… Where to stop? Maybe Armstrong did dope, but most of his generation probably did. The only sane thing to do is to put an asterisk next to his wins and a short explanation in the margin about the rot present in the sport at this time. No one likes what went on, but it is well on the way to being stopped. Bans during a rider’s career are one thing, but limitless post dated bans are just silly. Look to the future. Just be glad things have changed.

  • stuart stanton

    Armstrong’s lawyer has just been quoted on the sports news channel as saying the report is a “one-sided hatchet job” Well, with that kind of vulgar mixed metaphor in the air there is no hope for the English Language, let alone Mr. Armstrong. Little wonder we prefer to speak Welsh

  • steve fisher

    Does this not paint a view poor picture of cyclings american governing body?

    I am very interested into to know the motivation behind this investigation? All it seems to have acheived is to totally destroy and discredit american cycling

  • Phil Riley

    Should all this be true, and it is looking very likley to be so. I do hope the media and the world in general are not naive enough to think it is is/was only going on in cycling.

  • Teddy

    Richard – just because lots of others were taking drugs at the time dosnt level the playing field – ive been reading Hamiltons new book, in simple terms- for a period there was an acceptable haemocratic level of 50, if you were naturally a 43 that means you could take more EPO than say someone who was naturally a 48, and still not be over the limit. therfore getting more advantage – also everyone reacts differently/different amounts to the same drug
    unfortunatly it seems most of Lances career has been a lie and so its not supprising he hasnt admitted it -he would/will loose everything.

  • guest

    See, I told you the re-unification of Germany was a bad idea. If the Berlin Wall hadn’t come down EPO et al would have stayed behind the Iron Curtain. I blame Thatcher.

  • tom der

    I wonder whom they will make a winner instead of him? Are they going to test /investigate all the riders all over again and try to find one who was clean?

  • Ol Rappaport

    So does that mean I’ve won the Tour as many times as Lance Armstrong?

    More seriously how can the UCI regain any sort of credibility as the sports governing body.

  • dai bananas brother

    Dai’s missus says that whatever drugs he was on are nothing compared to what her dog is on. You should have seen him go for the TV screen when that annoying commentator came on talking about the China race. Just like the UCI, that bloke is going to get his just rewards one day

  • Philip

    Not sure what else we could have believed, all the tests came back negative, there was never any UCI evidence or any other governing body’s until this report.
    Although we all knew the rumours and speculation, however until someone provides hard evidence everyone should remain not guilty.
    Questions, I beleive, now need to be asked of the UCI as to why he was never detected through his professional career, were the team doctors so far ahead of the UCI doctors or was there a blind eye within the governing body. In Hindsight UCI say they will act following the report however cycling has already suffered, did someone somewhere within the UCI have that evidence and chose not to release it. Question – we’re the stakes too high, or the brown envelopes to big ?

  • William Hirst

    Lance, if you are reading this, I just want to say that you have let down alot of people.

  • Sol

    Bingers – it was always too good to be true to most of us watching from a distance. For those of you too close to the action, I suspect, you were all too willing to buy into the lies. Cycling wasn’t let down just by lying riders: it was let down by gullible journalists happy to fawn.

  • vendeeu

    Should I throw my Livestrong band away

  • Mike Thomas

    @ Bingers –
    Kieth – You ask “how can any journalist ever believe any rider ever again” Would it not be good journalistic practice to approach all claims, from whoever and however famous or powerful that individual might be, with a degree of scepticism?

    I am not a journalist, indeed quite the reverse in that there must have been many journalists who knew much, much more about this sordid business than I ever would or ever be likely to know. Even if they bought into the Armstrong myth making did none of them wonder quite how he was consistently able to beat riders who were failing drug tests? It didn’t seem to add up even to an ignoramus like me. So a seemingly intractable puzzle? and one which led me to draw my own conclusions some years back.

    I can only assume that having invsted in the myth many simply did not see what was in front of them.
    My regards to all the clean professionals.

  • steve clarke

    A very bad day for OUR sport.
    Not sure if I can believe in it anymore!

    Anyone what 100s of cycling books????????????

  • richard

    if the vast majority of the peloton during the time of Armstrongs 7 Tour wins were taking drugs then doesnt that still make him the best rider during that period? unless of course the drugs he was allegedly taking were ‘ better ‘ then everyone elses?

  • Angharad

    Assuming the allegations are correct, does the use of public monies in the USPS for doping mean that Armstrong and others could face criminal charges fo rmisuse of public funds?

  • Keith Bingham

    OK, so we’ve all been conned by the greatest deception in the history of cycle sport, me included.
    I recall being interviewed live on ITN news the day Armstrong rode to his historical seventh victory in the
    Tour de France, and I was asked did I think there was any truth in the doping stories which even then were circulating.
    And I said, No, I didn’t believe these stories. I pointed out that he had never failed a dope test. Instead, we should look to his athletic prowess, and I suggested that this rider, the best Tour rider the world had ever seen, had been so shocked by his cancer that he had experienced what could only be described as a ‘seismic mental shift’ – it happens – and it is this which drove him to fight back after his illness, to become unbeatable in Le Tour.
    Now it seems this ‘seismic mental shift’ has taken on a different meaning.
    Armstrong said he never took dope? Sad day for the clean riders. But how can any journalist ever believe any rider ever again.

    Bingers

  • Proud to be British

    Wow! Never thought this day would come.

    Not a proud day for the sport but I hope this is the end of an era and the start of something new and better for cycling.