Teammates claim Lance Armstrong pressured his team to dope

Laura Byrne Contributor
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A new report from the U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA) explains how Lance Armstrong allegedly cheated his way to seven Tour de France titles.

Eleven of Armstrong’s former teammates have come forward as witnesses, including George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.

In the 150 page report, Armstrong’s teammates explained exactly how the drugs were distributed to his team and how Armstrong never actually stopped doing business with Dr. Michele Ferrari, despite Armstrong’s claims that he cut off all ties with the doctor back in 2004 after the USADA banned Ferrari. Ferrari is thought to be the brain behind Armstrong’s doping operations.

The USADA report not only accuses Armstrong of taking performance-enhancing drugs to win, but “more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates” also do drugs.

Teammates Landis and Hamilton admitted Armstrong not only used drugs but advised his team to take drugs.

Armstrong’s attorney Tim Herman wrote that Landis and Hamilton were “serial perjurers and have told diametrically contradictory stories under oath,” in a letter to the USADA attorneys.

USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart told The Associated Press that “it took tremendous courage for the riders on the USPS Team and others to come forward and speak truthfully. It is not easy to admit your mistakes and accept your punishment. But that is what these riders have done for the good of the sport.”

Armstrong’s closest teammate, Hincapie, wrote a two-page statement but never actually used Armstrong’s name.

“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 wrote.

The USADA report also used Armstrong’s own words against him. “We had one goal and one ambition and that was to win the greatest bike race in the world and not just to win it once, but to keep winning it,” Armstrong said at an earlier legal proceeding.

The USADA claims Armstrong “ran far outside the rules” to win “the greatest bike race in the world.”

Armstrong continues to deny allegations calling it a “witch hunt” but has decided not to challenge it.

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