Legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong and his teammates ran the most sophisticated and successful doping program in the history of sports, the organization that controls anti-doping efforts for the US Olympic movement alleged Wednesday.
Evidence shows “beyond any doubt” that Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won seven straight Tour de France titles, and his teammates at the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team (USPS) “ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said in a statement.
The organization issued the statement in connection with the planned release later Wednesday of more than 1,000 pages of evidence that it says incontrovertibly proves the cycling team’s culpability in doping. The documents include sworn testimony from 26 individuals, including 15 cyclists with knowledge of USPS Team’s doping activities, the USADA said.
Eleven of Armstrong’s teammates testified against him and were suspended for their own doping: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.
“The evidence also includes direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test 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,” the USADA said in the statement.
The USADA statement also said: “The USPS Team doping 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.”
Armstrong has repeatedly and vigorously denied accusations that he took performance-enhancing drugs, though in August he announced he would cease fighting the charges, portraying himself as the victim of a witch hunt.
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” Armstrong said in a statement following his August announcement.
Armstrong was banned from the sport and stripped of the titles he won after August 1, 1998, including his seven Tour de France titles.