Tag Archives: agency

Match fixing latest: Liverpool v Debrecen alleged to be rigged, by Danish newspaper

Was this the rigged Champions League game Danish paper claim Liverpool clash with Debrecen part of match-fixing scandal

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

21:20 GMT, 4 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 4 February 2013

Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet has claimed the Champions League game in England allegedly involving match-fixing was Liverpool against Debrecen in 2009.

Their report places no suspicion on Liverpool whatsoever and instead claims Debrecen's Montenegrin goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was ‘bribed to ensure the match ended with at least three goals’.

The clash was the first match of the group stage and took place at Anfield on September 16, with Liverpool beating their Hungarian opponents 1-0.

Winner: Dirk Kuyt scores the only goal of the game in the match alleged to be part of the scandal (Liverpool are not said to be involved in any match-fixing)

Winner: Dirk Kuyt scores the only goal of the game in the match alleged to be part of the scandal (Liverpool are not said to be involved in any match-fixing)

Boom: Goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic sees Kuyt's shot hit the back of the net

Boom: Goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic sees Kuyt's shot hit the back of the net

In text messages obtained by police the people behind the alleged match-fixing were angry that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard had not capitalised on some easy chances.

Later in the group stage Poleksic was allegedly bribed for a match against Fiorentina, which Debrecen lost 4-3.

The goalkeeper has already been banned for two years for failing to report being approached by fixers before the Fiorentina game.

His case was taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport who rejected his appeal although conceded they could not prove the match result had been manipulated.

On Monday morning it was revealed European police agency Europol are investigating more than 380 suspicious matches in 15 countries, including a Champions League game played in England in the last three or four years.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol – the European Union's law enforcement agency, told a news conference that the match which took place 'in the last three to four years' was one of 380 under investigation.

Europol said a total of 425 match officials, club officials, players, and serious criminals are suspected of being involved in attempts to fix matches.

When the news of the investigation broke on Monday, a spokesman for The Football Association said: 'The FA are not aware of any credible reports into suspicious Champions League fixtures in England, nor has any information been shared with us.

'While the Champions League comes under UEFA jurisdiction, The FA, alongside the Premier League, Football League and Conference, monitor markets for the top seven leagues and three major cup competitions in England and take matters of integrity in football extremely seriously.'

It is understood UEFA were similarly unaware of an investigation into an Champions League match in England.

A Europol spokesman said he was unable to comment when asked why neither the FA nor UEFA had been informed.

More to follow.

VIDEO: Dirk Kuyt's goal against Debrecen in the 1-0 win at Anfield

Manchester United and Chelsea players among those looking for extra-marital affairs on dating website

Dating website claims Manchester United and Chelsea players among 40 MARRIED footballers signed up for secret affairs

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:53 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:02 GMT, 25 January 2013

A dating website for married people seeking extra-marital affairs claims that more than 40 professional footballers from the Premier League and Football League – including players from Manchester United and Chelsea – have joined the site in search of secret lovers in the past year.

UndercoverLovers.com claim a dozen top-flight players, 19 from the Championship, eight from League One and five League Two are among the members who have registered on the site since January last year.

The website claims to be the UK’s foremost extra-marital dating agency with more than 695,000 members, which represents almost two per cent of the UK’s entire married population.

Mystery: Premier League and Football League players are among those signed up

Mystery: Premier League and Football League players are among those signed up

The site was created to provide a safe, discreet and non-judgmental environment, where married women and men can meet.

Spokesperson Emily Pope comments: ‘There hasn’t been an unfaithful footballer expose in the tabloids for more than a year. Does this mean that the UK’s soccer professionals are suddenly behaving like saints Sadly, at least for the footballers’ wives, not. We’ve identified 44 professionals from the Premier League and Football League who’ve joined Undercover Lovers in the last year alone.’

‘We guarantee our members’ anonymity so of course we can’t name names. However we can reveal that at least one player on the books of Premier League leaders Manchester United and one from Chelsea are members of UndercoverLovers.com and that the best represented club, with three players signed up, is a Championship team from the Midlands.

‘The most active professional footballer on the site plies his trade for a South Coast club. He’s certainly no saint!’

Pope added: ‘Playing away from home with married women, who have as much to lose from exposure as they do, massively reduces the risk of our footballers being found out.

Undercover: The website that offers the chance to meet others interested in having affairs

Undercover: The website that offers the chance to meet others interested in having affairs

‘In a recent survey of our adulterous members we learned that 89% of them have never been caught cheating. Our ultra-secure dating platform is actually the perfect place for high profile players to discretely meet affair partners who won’t be straight on the phone to Max Clifford the morning after an illicit encounter.’

Zenit St Petersburg fans demand no non-white and gay players

Zenit fan group demands non-white and gay players to be left out of the team

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UPDATED:

19:19 GMT, 17 December 2012

A group of fans of Russian side Zenit St Petersburg are calling for non-white and gay players to be excluded from their team.

This is another sign of the racism which plaguing the country that will host the World Cup in 2018.

Landscrona, the largest Zenit supporters' club, released a manifesto on Monday demanding the club field an all-white, heterosexual team.

It added that 'dark-skinned players are all but forced down Zenit's throat now, which only brings out a negative reaction' and said gay players were 'unworthy of our great city.'

Insult: Hulk (right) is a non-white player who plays for the Russian side

Insult: Hulk (right) is a non-white player who plays for the Russian side

The club quickly sought to distance itself from the fans. Without directly referring to their manifesto, Zenit's Italian head coach, Luciano Spalletti, said on the club's website that 'tolerance for me is most of all the ability to understand and accept differences.'

'Furthermore, being tolerant means that you fight against any kind of stupidity,' he added.

The club, which is owned by state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom, also told the R-Sport news agency it picked players on ability alone, insisting that 'the team's policy is aimed at development and integration into the world soccer community, and holds no archaic views.'

Zenit was the only top-flight Russian team without a black player until this summer, when it acquired Brazilian striker Hulk and Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel for 80 million euros.

French midfielder Yann M'Vila declined a move to the club in August after receiving death threats.

'I can personally assure you that I will do everything I can to help those who seek to explain to people what tolerance is, and the need to respect other cultures and traditions,' Spalletti said.

'I think that Zenit has proven through its work that the club understands what tolerance is, and what it means to have tolerant behavior. The team has gathered players from different countries and ethnic groups who work together to achieve a common goal, and work well.'

Against it: Luciano Spalletti spoke out against the fans' demands

Against it: Luciano Spalletti spoke out against the fans' demands

Fans insisted that 'we are not racists and for us the absence of black Zenit players is just an important tradition that underlines the team's identity and nothing more.'

Russia has struggled to deal with racism and violence at its stadiums as it prepares to host the 2018 World Cup.

Black players are frequently the targets of monkey chants and some, including Anzhi Makhachkala's Robert Carlos and Christopher Samba, have had bananas thrown at them by fans.

Officials have at times shown little enthusiasm for targeting racism. When Lokomotiv Moscow fans held up a banner in 2010 thanking an English team for signing their black striker Peter Odemwingie with a picture of a banana, the head of Russia's World Cup bid awkwardly claimed they were referencing a quaint, little-used Russian expression meaning 'to fail an exam.'

Zenit's fans have long been the country's
most problematic. Dick Advocaat, the team's former Dutch manager, once
admitted that 'the fans don't like black players' and that it would be
'impossible' for Zenit to sign one.

History: Wagner Love said Zenit's fans were the most racist in Russia

History: Wagner Love said Zenit's fans were the most racist in Russia

Several black players have also singled out Zenit's fans as particularly racist. Former Russian top scorer Vagner Love told a Brazilian newspaper in April that Zenit was 'the most racist team in Russia' and the only one whose fans had abused him in his seven years playing for CSKA Moscow.

Five years earlier, Krylya Sovetov Samara's former Cameroon international Serge Branco told a local newspaper that Zenit's management were 'the real racists' for not combatting the problem, adding that 'in a civilized country they'd smack them down to the third division for their fans' behavior.'

Zenit's fans have also come under the spotlight recently after one of them threw a firecracker that injured Dinamo Moscow's goalkeeper during a match in November.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, himself a Zenit fan, called for violent spectators to be banned for life from attending matches. Parliament has drafted a bill that would ban hooligans for a year.

Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles by UCI at last

Saddled with shame: Cycling's snivelling chief still in denial over culture of cheating that has infested his sport

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 22 October 2012

Cycling's world governing body are willing to accept that Lance Armstrong is a doping cheat. Hallelujah.

The UCI made it sound as radical a discovery as finding human life on Pluto rather than a belated admission from an organisation who — and we are being generous here — were complacent as the greatest fraud in sporting history unfolded before them.

Pat McQuaid, the snivelling, self-preserving president, said: ‘The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven Tours de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. He deserves to be forgotten.’

Shamed: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his titles after the UCI endorsed the USADA sanctions

Shamed: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his titles after the UCI endorsed the USADA sanctions

In fact, he was stripped of those
titles, ranging from 1999 to 2005, by the US Anti-Doping Agency in
August. The UCI were merely ratifying USADA’s legitimate act.

McQuaid spoke in Geneva as though he
was shocked by USADA’s findings. Shocked He could only be shocked if he
was blind, wilfully perhaps, to accusations that have been prevalent
for a decade. During McQuaid’s seven-year presidency, former US Postal
rider Frankie Andreu told the New York Times that doping was taking
place during Armstrong’s first Tour de France victory in 1999.

Self-preserving: President Pat McQuaid spoke as if he was shocked

Self-preserving: President Pat McQuaid spoke as if he was shocked

Then Armstrong’s former team-mate
Floyd Landis sent McQuaid, among others, emails detailing the drug
culture two years ago. But 63-year-old Irishman McQuaid tore into the
whistle-blowers and brushed their accusations under the Axminster.

Even as late as last month, McQuaid’s
fire was turned on USADA for their handling of the investigation into
Armstrong. The UCI barely twitched an eyebrow at the accusations.

‘We thought USADA were better
prepared,’ sniffed McQuaid, chiding them for taking so long to compile
their dossier. In the end the report amounted to 200 pages with 800
pages of appendices. It was a thorough job that soon made McQuaid look
ridiculous.

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

It also left him with no choice other than to display faux outrage on Monday.

He talked of the UCI ‘always having a
commitment to fight doping’, adding with a flourish: ‘If I have to
apologise now on behalf of the UCI what I will say is that I am sorry we
couldn’t catch every damn one of them red-handed and throw them out of
the sport.’

If he really possessed principle, he
would have resigned for having cried calumny against the accusers when
he should have launched an investigation.

Britain’s David Millar, a
self-confessed doper turned World Anti-Doping Agency activist, said:
‘The UCI always denied there was a problem and even now they are denying
they had knowledge of it, and that’s the next big step.’

McQuaid, a former teacher and road
cyclist, is the first paid UCI president. He took the job in 2005 at the
behest of Hein Verbruggen, his predecessor who is now honorary
president. The two men are said to be joined at the hip.

It is notable that the last
undoubtedly clean Tour victory until recent years, that of Greg LeMond
in 1990, came one year before Verbruggen took charge of the UCI. All
Armstrong’s wins came under his stewardship.

Not so magnificent seven: Armstrong's wins have been erased from the Tour de France record books

Not so magnificent seven: Armstrong's wins have been erased from the Tour de France record books

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Oakley cut ties with Armstrong

Lance Armstrong has lost the support of another major sponsor after Oakley severed their ties with the disgraced cyclist.

The brand confirmed in a statement they were ending their relationship with the Texan in the wake of the announcement in Geneva.

Oakley have followed in the footsteps of Nike, Trek and Anheuser-Busch, brewers of Budweiser, who have all withdrawn their support for Armstrong.

An Oakley statement read: 'Based on UCI's decision today and the overwhelming evidence that USADA presented, Oakley has severed its long-standing relationship with Lance Armstrong, effective immediately.

'When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility. We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest.

'We believe the LIVESTRONG Foundation has been a positive force in the lives of many affected by cancer and, at this time, Oakley will continue to support its noble goals.'

Armstrong has stepped down from his position as chairman of his cancer charity.

But McQuaid blithely insisted the UCI
had no case to answer over alleged payments made to them by Armstrong
and associated companies, adding that a defamation action against
journalist Paul Kimmage, who made claims of hush-money changing hands,
would go ahead as planned.

Verbruggen is an honorary member of
the IOC, McQuaid is on the IOC’s evaluation committee for the 2020 Games
and cycling is an important Olympic sport. Yet the IOC have yet to
comment meaningfully on the Armstrong affair.

They say they will await the UCI’s
management committee meeting on Friday, when the issue of whether to
redistribute the Tour titles and the prize money will be resolved. Fine,
but the IOC should then act decisively.

Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, is a
man of integrity. But he is also a friend of Verbruggen, a personal
association that should not be allowed to interfere with what is right.

They would do well to heed the words
of the one hero of this tawdry episode, USADA chief executive Travis
Tygart, who said: ‘For cycling to move forward and for the world to
know what went on in cycling, it is essential that an independent and
meaningful Truth and Reconciliation Commission be established.

‘There are many more details of doping
that are hidden, many more doping doctors, and corrupt team directors
and the ‘omerta’ (within the peloton) has not yet been fully broken.
Sanctioning Lance Armstrong and the riders who came forward truthfully
should not be seen as penance for an era of pervasive doping. There must
be more action to combat the system that took over the sport.’

Away from Geneva, Armstrong lost
another sponsor, Oakley, who followed the lead set by Nike, Trek and
Budweiser brewers, Anheuser-Busch. In Armstrong’s home state of Texas,
insurance company SCA Promotions have demanded the return of a bonus
worth up to 5million paid after he won his sixth Tour in 2004.

And yet on his Twitter account, how was Armstrong styling himself on Monday night As the seven-time Tour winner, of course.

Ex-doper: David Millar (right) says there needs to be change

Ex-doper: David Millar (right) says there needs to be change

Team Sky staff facing fresh allegations over doping as Lance Armstrong fallout grows

Team Sky staff facing fresh allegations over doping as Armstrong fallout grows

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UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 13 October 2012

Bradley Wiggins' cycling team face
fresh questions about the history of their staff as two more team
members have become embroiled in the fallout from the Lance Armstrong
drugs controversy.

Team Sky are still reeling from the
shock discovery that Michael Barry, a Canadian who has just retired from
the team, signed a sworn affidavit to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
last week, admitting that he doped during his time with Armstrong's US
Postal Team, where he rode between 2002-2006.

Now USADA's dossier of witness
statements and other evidence suggest that Michael Rogers, an Australian
rider still with the team, and a Dutch doctor, Geert Leinders, who
parted company with Team Sky just a few days ago, may have closer links
to the doping allegations than have been publicly acknowledged.

Shock: Michael Barry has been implicated in the doping allegations

Shock: Michael Barry has been implicated in the doping allegations

A prominent insider with intimate knowledge of the doping era has also told The Mail on Sunday that a fourth person from Team Sky – a current senior employee – has opted to 'live a lie' in regards to his doping past.

Rogers is mentioned in a sworn affidavit given to USADA by American cyclist Levi Leipheimer as somebody who attended two training camps in 2005 in Tenerife run by Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian notorious for assisting the doping regimes of Armstrong and dozens of others.

Leipheimer has admitted using banned drugs, while every other rider named at those specific Tenerife camps, aside from Rogers, has subsequently been tainted with doping allegations and/or bans.

Tainted: Levi Leipheimer has admitted using banned drugs

Tainted: Levi Leipheimer has admitted using banned drugs

Rogers said in 2006 that he rated
Ferrari as 'the best coach in the world' but insisted he himself had
'nothing to hide' about drug use.

Later, he said: 'It was an error to go to him.

'He didn't have the best name in the industry, but that was the mistake I made. I regret [it]. I can understand it tainted my reputation; but it's an error I made. I have to accept that.'

Rogers welcomed USADA's extensive new findings, saying: 'No one likes to hear that news but it's necessary to get these things out on the table for cycling to move forward.'

Then and now: Lance Armstrong leading Bradley Wiggins in the 2009 Tour de France

Then and now: Lance Armstrong leading Bradley Wiggins in the 2009 Tour de France

The Mail on Sunday asked Rogers, via Team Sky, whether he has used performance-enhancing drugs but he had not responded. Leinders was a doctor at the Rabobank team in the Netherlands in the early 2000s.

Leipheimer has testified that a Rabobank doctor, whose name is redacted in the USADA files, sold him EPO in that period, over three years from 2002-2004.

It is not known whether that name is Leinders but the evidence shows at the least he worked within a doping regime. Richard Plugge, of Rabobank, said: 'We don't know if it was Geert Leinders because we had four doctors then. None of them are still with us.'

Bradley Wiggins: I was saved from doping like Lance Armstrong

British cycling and Boardman saved me from doping like Armstrong, says Wiggins

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UPDATED:

23:25 GMT, 11 October 2012

Bradley Wiggins admitted he could easily have been caught up in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal that has rocked cycling.

This year’s Tour de France winner joined British Cycling aged 18 and claimed they saved him from peer pressure that may have led to him taking drugs.

Wiggins, 32, said: ‘It’s not about (Lance Armstrong) as a person, it’s about the culture of the sport and peer pressure.’

A former team-mate of Armstrong at US Postal, Michael Barry, admitted he had doped after becoming frustrated with his performances.

Different directions: Lance Armstrong and Bradley Wiggins in action in the Tour of Spain in 2010

Different directions: Lance Armstrong and Bradley Wiggins in action in the Tour of Spain in 2010

Wiggins said: ‘People like Michael Barry, I can relate to. I don’t envy him the peer pressure at US Postal with Armstrong there. You can’t condemn these people for the rest of their lives, they’re not Jimmy Savile. I’m very fortunate I was in the system. British Cycling supported me. Chris Boardman in my early 20s probably saved me, he taught me to do things the right way. That could’ve been me.’

Wiggins, who rides for the British Sky team, said he had no sympathy for Armstrong, who has had his seven Tour de France titles taken away after the US Anti-Doping Agency released a report into ‘the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme in history’.

‘Not really, no,’ said Wiggins. ‘My main concern is that I’m the winner of the Tour de France having to pick up the pieces for other people.

Iconoclast: Wiggins achieved a dream in becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France

Iconoclast: Wiggins achieved a dream in becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France

‘I saw a report on the BBC saying this now leaves the sport in tatters. It is quite the opposite considering the summer we’ve had as a British cycling nation. Now we’re the ones picking up those pieces. We’re the ones that have changed the sport.

‘Steps have been taken a long time ago, which is why we’re one of the most successful sports for catching people.’

Armstrong, who still denies drug-taking, is likely to keep the Olympic time-trial bronze he won at Sydney in 2000 — despite evidence that at around that time he was the main figure in a bullying culture of drug-taking and drug-running.

IOC rules do not allow a medal to be stripped after more than eight years have elapsed.

Golden boy: wiggins followed up victory in France with a gold medal in the men's individual time trial

Golden boy: wiggins followed up victory in France with a gold medal in the men's individual time trial

British IOC member Craig Reedie said: ‘We all welcome the detailed evidence provided by USADA and await the reaction of the UCI (cycling’s world governing body).’

The UCI, especially under former president Hein Verbruggen, are accused of turning a blind eye to what was going on.

Armstrong has kept his deal with Nike, the world’s biggest sportswear brand, who reissued a statement from August, saying: ‘Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.’

The fallout continued. Michele Ferrari, the Italian doctor at the centre of the scandal, is likely to face criminal charges after an investigation. Levi Leipheimer, one of 11 former team-mates whose testimony led to Armstrong, 41, being stripped of his Tour wins, has been suspended from his team Omega Pharma-Quick Step.

Tainted: Armstrong's seven Tour wins were achieved with the use of banned substances

Tainted: Armstrong's seven Tour wins were achieved with the use of banned substances

Britain’s greatest Olympic rider Sir Chris Hoy said: ‘It’s so depressing because of the guy’s books that were an inspiration to people with cancer.

‘It’s the scale that has shocked people.’

Lance Armstrong backed by Nike despite drugs revelations

Nike stand by Armstrong despite revelations that disgraced American was at centre of biggest drugs plot in history of sport

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UPDATED:

10:10 GMT, 11 October 2012

Nike are refusing to cut their ties with Lance Armstrong despite his role as ringleader in 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen'.

Armstrong's myth as a cycling hero has been blown to pieces by evidence exposing the seven-time Tour de France winner.

Despite the mounting backlash against the one-time icon, Armstrong's main sponsor Nike continue to back him.

After the latest revelations emerged, Nike re-released the same statement first issued in August. It reads: 'We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be impacted.

Scroll down for video

Support: Lance Armstrong continues to wear the Nike swoosh on his gear

Support: Lance Armstrong continues to wear the Nike swoosh on his gear

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

USADA's reasoned decision

Click here to read the reasoned decision from the USADA

'Lance has stated his innocence and has
been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support
Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance
created to serve cancer survivors.'

Nike, the world's biggest sportswear brand, have long sponsored Armstrong and his Livestrong charity that has raised money to help cancer survivors and research. Since 2004, Nike has helped Livestrong raise over $100million as well as creating the famous yellow wristbands that have been sold 84m times.

Trek Bicycle Corp also sponsor Arrmstrong and the US company confirmed it is monitoring developments. Trek also sells Livestrong branded bikes.

On Wednesday, the US Anti-Doping Agency released a 200-page report revealing in minute detail how Armstrong:

Surrounded himself with drug runners and doping doctorsBullied team-mates into using his methodsIntimidated witnessesRepeatedly lied to investigatorsPulled out of a race to avoid a test.

No fewer than 11 team-mates testified against him, leaving USADA with 'no doubt that Mr Armstrong's career (from 1998-2005) was fuelled from start to finish by doping'.

The report says: 'Armstrong and his handlers engaged in a massive and long-running scheme to use drugs, cover their tracks, intimidate witnesses, tarnish reputations, lie to hearing panels and the press and do whatever was necessary to conceal the truth.'

It adds that his goal to win the Tour de France 'led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and require that his team-mates would likewise use drugs to support his goals'.

Lying again: Armstrong has a medical test before the 2002 Tour

Lying again: Armstrong has a medical test before the 2002 Tour

THE JOURNALISTS WHO REFUSED TO LET ARMSTRONG ESCAPE

Two journalists have campaigned for a decade to expose Armstrong as a drugs cheat. Sunday Times sportswriter David Walsh led the way, with the co-author of his book, L.A. Confidentiel, Pierre Ballester, as well as the former Tour de France rider and journalist Paul Kimmage.

Walsh discovered Armstrong was working with Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian coach who was suspected of administering EPO.

Walsh tweeted: 'In the war on doping, this is a seminal moment. An untouchable is about to be exposed, one who believed he was protected by his own sport.'

Kimmage, the author of Rough Ride, about his own experiences with drugs as a professional cyclist in the 1980s, confronted Armstrong at his comeback in 2009.

In a heated exchange between the two, Kimmage, who has also written for the Daily Mail, repeated his earlier claim that Armstrong represented 'the cancer of doping'.

More recently, cycling's world governing body the UCI announced that they are suing Kimmage for his claims that they are 'corrupt'. Supporters of Kimmage have raised more than $50,000 to help him.

The dossier, described as 'jaw-dropping' by British Cycling performance director David Brailsford, was delivered to the headquarters of cycling's world governing body, the UCI. It is based on the sworn testimony of 26 people, including 15 cyclists who were involved in, or had knowledge of, the doping conspiracy. It also uses scientific evidence and bank records.

But the report has also been described as 'one-sided hatchet job,' the cyclist's lawyer have said.

'We have seen the press release from USADA touting the upcoming release today of its “reasoned decision,”' Armstrong lawyer Sean Breen said.

'(The) statement confirms the alleged “reasoned decision” from USADA will be a one-sided hatchet job – a taxpayer-funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories,'

Breen also said the agency was 'ignoring the 500-600 tests Lance Armstrong passed, ignoring all exculpatory evidence, and trying to justify the millions of dollars USADA has spent pursuing one, single athlete for years.'

He added: 'USADA has continued its government-funded witch hunt of only Mr Armstrong, a retired cyclist, in violation of its own rules and due process, in spite of USADA’s lack of jurisdiction, in blatant violation of the statute of limitations.'

Armstrong led the US Postal team from 1998, when he launched a comeback after recovering from cancer, to 2005, when he retired after winning a record seventh Tour. Travis Tygart, the head of USADA, said that during this period 'Armstrong acted as a ringleader and intimidated people who spoke out about doping'.

It amounted, said Tygart, to a 'doping conspiracy professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair advantage.

'The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service pro cycling team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.'

The report also alleges that Armstrong paid more than $1million (625,000) to a Swiss bank account controlled by Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian coach who has consistently been linked to doping and who stands accused by USADA of administering banned products.

USADA spent five months building a case
against Armstrong, his former team director and three doctors connected
to his former team, including Ferrari.

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

Five individuals connected to the team – the former director, Johan Bruyneel, Ferrari, two other doctors and Armstrong – were charged with doping offences in June and given until August 24 to respond. Armstrong opted not to contest the charges, instead releasing a statement that accused USADA of a 'witch-hunt'.

Brailsford said: It is shocking, it’s jaw dropping and it is very unpleasant, it’s not very palatable and anybody who says it is would be lying wouldn’t they’

‘You can see how the sport got lost in itself and got more and more extreme because it seemed to be systematic and everybody seemed to be doing it at the time – it completely and utterly lost its way and I think it lost its moral compass.'

He added: ‘Everybody has recalibrated and several teams like ourselves are hell-bent on doing it the right way and doing it clean. ‘The challenge is that it is understandable now for people to look at any results in cycling and question that.’

The 15 riders who testified to the agency include six active riders who have all been given reduced six-month bans for their co-operation. Tygart said: 'Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.'

Among the riders who testified were George Hincapie and Michael Barry. Hincapie is one of Armstrong's closest friends, and the only man who rode by his side for all seven Tour victories. Barry has ridden for Team Sky for the past three seasons. Both retired recently.

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

In a statement released on Wednesday night, Barry said that, when he turned professional with US Postal in 2002, he quickly realised that 'doping had become an epidemic problem in professional cycling'.

'After being encouraged by the team, pressured to perform and pushed to my physical limits, I crossed a line I promised myself and others I would not: I doped. It was a decision I deeply regret.'

Vande Velde, 36, described Wednesday as the 'most humbling moment' of his life and added: 'I was wrong to think I didn't have a choice – I did, and I chose wrong. Ironically, I never won while doping.'

The testimony of Hincapie, who also took the step of releasing a confessional statement, is arguably the most damning. While Armstrong has dismissed others who have spoken out, such as Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, pointing out that both were discredited after failing drug tests,

Hincapie has never failed a drug test, and, more to the point, never fell foul of Armstrong. Indeed, Armstrong has previously described Hincapie as his 'best bro in the peloton'.

On Wednesday, however, Hincapie admitted that, when approached two years ago by US government investigators, he admitted to more than just his own doping: '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.'

Floyd Landis

Tyler Hamilton

Testifying: Armstrong's former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton

The USADA report claims that in 2010,
while under federal investigation, Armstrong tried to persuade Hincapie
to remain in Europe 'to avoid or delay testifying'. In his evidence to
USADA, Hincapie revealed that, at a race in Spain in 2000, Armstrong
told him he 'had just taken testosterone'.

Hincapie then found out that drug
testers were waiting at their hotel. 'I texted Lance to warn him to
avoid the place. As a result, Lance dropped out of the race.'

The report recounts Armstrong's and
his team's use of drugs in eye-watering detail. It claims that, during
Armstrong's Tour victory in 2000 he, Hamilton and Kevin Livingston had a
blood transfusion.

'The whole process took less than 30
minutes,' said Hamilton. 'Kevin Livingston and I received our
transfusions in one room and Lance got his in an adjacent room with an
adjoining door. Each blood bag was placed on a hook for a picture frame
or taped to the wall and we lay on the bed and shivered while the chilly
blood re-entered our bodies.'

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Confession: Michael Barry admitted to doping

Confession: Michael Barry admitted to doping

Armstrong's blood samples from his
third comeback, in 2009 and 2010, were also analysed by USADA. They
concluded there was a 'one in a million' chance that Armstrong was not
doping in these years.

The report also raises the
possibility that cycling's governing body, the UCI, helped to suppress a
positive test for Armstrong. During the 2001 Tour of Switzerland the
anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne detected a number of samples that
were 'suspicious for the presence of EPO'.

When the head of the lab reported
this to the UCI, 'he was told by the UCI's medical commission head that
at least one of these samples belonged to Mr Armstrong, but that there
was no way Mr Armstrong was using EPO'.

USADA requested the test results for
re-analysis, using more sophisticated techniques, but 'UCI denied that
request, stating that UCI had asked for Mr Armstrong's consent but that
he had refused'.

Apart from the doping charges, USADA
also accuses Armstrong of being 'engaged in an effort to procure false
affidavits from potential witnesses'. Through emails sent in August
2010, they claim Armstrong 'attempted to contact former team-mates and
others…and asked them to sign affidavits affirming that there was no
'systematic' doping on the US Postal cycling team.

'Such affidavits would be materially
false, as Mr Armstrong was well aware that systematic doping had
occurred on his teams. Consequently, Mr Armstrong's efforts constituted
an attempt to subvert the judicial system and procure false testimony.'

Armstrong has yet to respond to the USADA report, but in an interview last week he said: 'My conscience is perfectly clear.'

FULL STATEMENT FROM USADA

Today, we are sending the 'Reasoned Decision' in the Lance Armstrong case and supporting information to the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.

The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming and is in excess of 1,000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team (USPS Team) and its participants' doping activities.

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.

Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalised team-run doping conspiracy. All of the material will be made available later this afternoon on the USADA website at www.usada.org.

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. A programme organised by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.

The evidence demonstrates that the 'code of silence' of performance enhancing drug use in the sport of cycling has been shattered, but there is more to do. From day one, we always hoped this investigation would bring to a close this troubling chapter in cycling's history and we hope the sport will use this tragedy to prevent it from ever happening again.

Of course, no-one wants to be chained to the past forever, and I would call on the UCI to act on its own recent suggestion for a meaningful truth and reconciliation programme. While we appreciate the arguments that weigh in favour of and against such a program, we believe that allowing individuals like the riders mentioned today to come forward and acknowledge the truth about their past doping may be the only way to truly dismantle the remaining system that allowed this 'EPO and blood doping era' to flourish. Hopefully, the sport can unshackle itself from the past, and once and for all continue to move forward to a better future.

Our mission is to protect clean athletes by preserving the integrity of competition not only for today's athletes but also the athletes of tomorrow. We have heard from many athletes who have faced an unfair dilemma – dope, or don't compete at the highest levels of the sport. Many of them abandoned their dreams and left sport because they refused to endanger their health and participate in doping. That is a tragic choice no athlete should have to make.

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, and for the young riders who hope to one day reach their dreams without using dangerous drugs or methods.

These eleven (11) team-mates of Lance Armstrong, in alphabetical order, are 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 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. 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.

Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognised competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward.

The entire factual and legal basis on the outcome in his case and the other six active riders' cases will be provided in the materials made available online later today. Two other members of the USPS Team, Dr Michele Ferrari and Dr Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy.

Three other members of the USPS Team have chosen to contest the charges and take their cases to arbitration: Johan Bruyneel, the team director; Dr Pedro Celaya, a team doctor; and Jose 'Pepe' Marti, the team trainer. These three individuals will receive a full hearing before independent judges, where they will have the opportunity to present and confront the evidence, cross-examine witnesses and testify under oath in a public proceeding.

From day one in this case, as in every potential case, the USADA board of directors and professional staff did the job we are mandated to do for clean athletes and the integrity of sport. We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand.'

LANCE ARMSTRONG FACTFILE

1971: Born September 18, in Dallas.

1991: Signs with Subaru-Montgomery and becomes US national amateur champion.

1993: Crowned US national champion. Wins first stage in Tour de France but fails to finish. Beats Miguel Indurain to win world championship.

1994: Wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege spring classic.

1996: October 2 – Diagnosed with testicular cancer. The disease later spreads through his whole body. Founds Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer.

1997: Declared cancer-free after brain surgery and chemotherapy. Signs with US Postal Service team after being dropped by Cofidis.

1998: Wins Tours of Holland and Luxembourg.

1999: Claims first Tour de France title, winning four stages.

2000: Wins second Tour. Secures time-trial bronze in Sydney Olympics.

2001: Victorious in Tour of Switzerland.

July 29: Becomes only the fifth rider to win three Tour de France titles in a row.

2002: Wins Dauphine Libere and Midi Libre.

July 28: Becomes only the fourth person to win four successive Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis

2003: Equals the record of five victories in the Tour de France, but is pushed to his limit by German Jan Ullrich, who finishes just 61 seconds off the pace.

2004: July 25 – Clinches record sixth Tour de France victory.

2005: July 24 – Wins his seventh Tour de France, two more than anyone else, before retiring.

September 6 – Claims he is considering coming out of retirement after being angered by drug allegations against him.

2008: September 9 – Announces he will return to professional cycling and will attempt to win his eighth Tour de France in 2009.

2009: March 23 – Suffers a broken right collarbone when he crashes out on stage one of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain.

May – Appears in first Giro d'Italia, finishing 12th. Tour is somewhat marred by financial cloud over Armstrong's Astana team and the American is linked to a takeover.

June – Astana's financial issues are resolved and Armstrong is named in the Tour de France team, but with 2007 champion Alberto Contador of Spain as leader.

July – Contador and Armstrong endure a fractious relationship. Contador claims a second Tour title, while Armstrong finishes third. Armstrong announces he will launch his own squad in 2010, Team Radio Shack.

2010: January – Team Radio Shack make their debut at the Tour Down Under in Australia. Armstrong finishes 25th overall.

Lance Armstrong riding on the Champs Elysees

May – Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, launches allegations at the Texan.

June 28 – Announces that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last.

July – Finishes final Tour in 23rd place, 39 minutes and 20 seconds behind winner Contador.

2011: February 16 – Announces retirement for second time.

May – Forced to deny claims made by former team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance-enhancing drugs together.

2012: February 4 – An investigation into alleged doping by Armstrong is dropped by federal prosecutors in California.

June 13 – The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirm they have initiated legal proceedings over allegations of doping against Armstrong.

June 30 – The USADA confirm they will file formal doping charges against Armstrong.

July 9 – Armstrong files a lawsuit in a US federal court asking for a temporary restraining order against the agency. Armstrong also claims the USADA offered “corrupt inducements” to other cyclists to testify against him.

July 11 – Armstrong refiles lawsuit against the USADA after initial lawsuit was dismissed by a judge as being a “lengthy and bitter polemic”, designed to attract media attention and public sympathy.

August 20 – Armstrong's legal action against the USADA dismissed in court.

August 24 – Armstrong announces he will not fight the doping charges filed against him by the USADA, saying in a statement he is “finished with this nonsense” and insisting he is innocent. He is stripped of all his titles banned for life from cycling by USADA.

October 10 – USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him. The organisation say the US Postal Service team “ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”, with “conclusive and undeniable proof” of a team-run doping conspiracy.

VIDEO: USADA explains drug test procedures

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Lance Armstrong revealed as drugs cheat by USADA

Shamed Armstrong revealed as a bully, liar and serial doper in 'most sophisticated and successful' drugs plot in history of sport

|

UPDATED:

07:00 GMT, 11 October 2012

The Lance Armstrong myth has been blown to pieces by evidence exposing the seven-time Tour de France winner as a ringleader of 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen'.

The US Anti-Doping Agency released a 200-page report revealing in minute detail how Armstrong:

Surrounded himself with drug runners and doping doctorsBullied team-mates into using his methodsIntimidated witnessesRepeatedly lied to investigatorsPulled out of a race to avoid a test.

Scroll down for video

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

USADA's reasoned decision

Click here to read the reasoned decision from the USADA

No fewer than 11 team-mates testified against him, leaving USADA with 'no doubt that Mr Armstrong's career [from 1998-2005] was fuelled from start to finish by doping'.

The report says: 'Armstrong and his handlers engaged in a massive and long-running scheme to use drugs, cover their tracks, intimidate witnesses, tarnish reputations, lie to hearing panels and the press and do whatever was necessary to conceal the truth.'

It adds that his goal to win the Tour de France 'led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and require that his team-mates would likewise use drugs to support his goals'.

Lying again: Armstrong has a medical test before the 2002 Tour

Lying again: Armstrong has a medical test before the 2002 Tour

THE JOURNALISTS WHO REFUSED TO LET ARMSTRONG ESCAPE

Two journalists have campaigned for a decade to expose Armstrong as a drugs cheat. Sunday Times sportswriter David Walsh led the way, with the co-author of his book, L.A. Confidentiel, Pierre Ballester, as well as the former Tour de France rider and journalist Paul Kimmage.

Walsh discovered Armstrong was working with Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian coach who was suspected of administering EPO.

Walsh tweeted: 'In the war on doping, this is a seminal moment. An untouchable is about to be exposed, one who believed he was protected by his own sport.'

Kimmage, the author of Rough Ride, about his own experiences with drugs as a professional cyclist in the 1980s, confronted Armstrong at his comeback in 2009.

In a heated exchange between the two, Kimmage, who has also written for the Daily Mail, repeated his earlier claim that Armstrong represented 'the cancer of doping'.

More recently, cycling's world governing body the UCI announced that they are suing Kimmage for his claims that they are 'corrupt'. Supporters of Kimmage have raised more than $50,000 to help him.

The dossier, described as 'jaw-dropping' by British Cycling performance director David Brailsford, was delivered to the headquarters of cycling's world governing body, the UCI. It is based on the sworn testimony of 26 people, including 15 cyclists who were involved in, or had knowledge of, the doping conspiracy. It also uses scientific evidence and bank records.

Armstrong led the US Postal team from 1998, when he launched a comeback after recovering from cancer, to 2005, when he retired after winning a record seventh Tour. Travis Tygart, the head of USADA, said that during this period 'Armstrong acted as a ringleader and intimidated people who spoke out about doping'.

It amounted, said Tygart, to a 'doping conspiracy professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair advantage.

'The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service pro cycling team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.'

The report also alleges that Armstrong paid more than $1million (625,000) to a Swiss bank account controlled by Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian coach who has consistently been linked to doping and who stands accused by USADA of administering banned products.

USADA spent five months building a case
against Armstrong, his former team director and three doctors connected
to his former team, including Ferrari.

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

Five individuals connected to the team – the former director, Johan Bruyneel, Ferrari, two other doctors and Armstrong – were charged with doping offences in June and given until August 24 to respond. Armstrong opted not to contest the charges, instead releasing a statement that accused USADA of a 'witch-hunt'.

Brailsford said: It is shocking, it’s jaw dropping and it is very unpleasant, it’s not very palatable and anybody who says it is would be lying wouldn’t they’

‘You can see how the sport got lost in itself and got more and more extreme because it seemed to be systematic and everybody seemed to be doing it at the time – it completely and utterly lost its way and I think it lost its moral compass.'

He added: ‘Everybody has recalibrated and several teams like ourselves are hell-bent on doing it the right way and doing it clean. ‘The challenge is that it is understandable now for people to look at any results in cycling and question that.’

The 15 riders who testified to the agency include six active riders who have all been given reduced six-month bans for their co-operation. Tygart said: 'Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.'

Among the riders who testified were George Hincapie and Michael Barry. Hincapie is one of Armstrong's closest friends, and the only man who rode by his side for all seven Tour victories. Barry has ridden for Team Sky for the past three seasons. Both retired recently.

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

In a statement released on Wednesday night, Barry said that, when he turned professional with US Postal in 2002, he quickly realised that 'doping had become an epidemic problem in professional cycling'.

'After being encouraged by the team, pressured to perform and pushed to my physical limits, I crossed a line I promised myself and others I would not: I doped. It was a decision I deeply regret.'

Vande Velde, 36, described Wednesday as the 'most humbling moment' of his life and added: 'I was wrong to think I didn't have a choice – I did, and I chose wrong. Ironically, I never won while doping.'

The testimony of Hincapie, who also took the step of releasing a confessional statement, is arguably the most damning. While Armstrong has dismissed others who have spoken out, such as Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, pointing out that both were discredited after failing drug tests,

Hincapie has never failed a drug test, and, more to the point, never fell foul of Armstrong. Indeed, Armstrong has previously described Hincapie as his 'best bro in the peloton'.

On Wednesday, however, Hincapie admitted that, when approached two years ago by US government investigators, he admitted to more than just his own doping: '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.'

Floyd Landis

Tyler Hamilton

Testifying: Armstrong's former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton

The USADA report claims that in 2010,
while under federal investigation, Armstrong tried to persuade Hincapie
to remain in Europe 'to avoid or delay testifying'. In his evidence to
USADA, Hincapie revealed that, at a race in Spain in 2000, Armstrong
told him he 'had just taken testosterone'.

Hincapie then found out that drug
testers were waiting at their hotel. 'I texted Lance to warn him to
avoid the place. As a result, Lance dropped out of the race.'

The report recounts Armstrong's and
his team's use of drugs in eye-watering detail. It claims that, during
Armstrong's Tour victory in 2000 he, Hamilton and Kevin Livingston had a
blood transfusion.

'The whole process took less than 30
minutes,' said Hamilton. 'Kevin Livingston and I received our
transfusions in one room and Lance got his in an adjacent room with an
adjoining door. Each blood bag was placed on a hook for a picture frame
or taped to the wall and we lay on the bed and shivered while the chilly
blood re-entered our bodies.'

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Confession: Michael Barry admitted to doping

Confession: Michael Barry admitted to doping

Armstrong's blood samples from his
third comeback, in 2009 and 2010, were also analysed by USADA. They
concluded there was a 'one in a million' chance that Armstrong was not
doping in these years.

The report also raises the
possibility that cycling's governing body, the UCI, helped to suppress a
positive test for Armstrong. During the 2001 Tour of Switzerland the
anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne detected a number of samples that
were 'suspicious for the presence of EPO'.

When the head of the lab reported
this to the UCI, 'he was told by the UCI's medical commission head that
at least one of these samples belonged to Mr Armstrong, but that there
was no way Mr Armstrong was using EPO'.

USADA requested the test results for
re-analysis, using more sophisticated techniques, but 'UCI denied that
request, stating that UCI had asked for Mr Armstrong's consent but that
he had refused'.

Apart from the doping charges, USADA
also accuses Armstrong of being 'engaged in an effort to procure false
affidavits from potential witnesses'. Through emails sent in August
2010, they claim Armstrong 'attempted to contact former team-mates and
others…and asked them to sign affidavits affirming that there was no
'systematic' doping on the US Postal cycling team.

'Such affidavits would be materially
false, as Mr Armstrong was well aware that systematic doping had
occurred on his teams. Consequently, Mr Armstrong's efforts constituted
an attempt to subvert the judicial system and procure false testimony.'

Armstrong has yet to respond to the USADA report, but in an interview last week he said: 'My conscience is perfectly clear.'

Richard Moore is a journalist, former racing cyclist and author. His latest book – The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the Seoul Olympic 100m Final – has been listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

FULL STATEMENT FROM USADA

Today, we are sending the 'Reasoned Decision' in the Lance Armstrong case and supporting information to the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.

The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming and is in excess of 1,000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team (USPS Team) and its participants' doping activities.

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.

Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalised team-run doping conspiracy. All of the material will be made available later this afternoon on the USADA website at www.usada.org.

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. A programme organised by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.

The evidence demonstrates that the 'code of silence' of performance enhancing drug use in the sport of cycling has been shattered, but there is more to do. From day one, we always hoped this investigation would bring to a close this troubling chapter in cycling's history and we hope the sport will use this tragedy to prevent it from ever happening again.

Of course, no-one wants to be chained to the past forever, and I would call on the UCI to act on its own recent suggestion for a meaningful truth and reconciliation programme. While we appreciate the arguments that weigh in favour of and against such a program, we believe that allowing individuals like the riders mentioned today to come forward and acknowledge the truth about their past doping may be the only way to truly dismantle the remaining system that allowed this 'EPO and blood doping era' to flourish. Hopefully, the sport can unshackle itself from the past, and once and for all continue to move forward to a better future.

Our mission is to protect clean athletes by preserving the integrity of competition not only for today's athletes but also the athletes of tomorrow. We have heard from many athletes who have faced an unfair dilemma – dope, or don't compete at the highest levels of the sport. Many of them abandoned their dreams and left sport because they refused to endanger their health and participate in doping. That is a tragic choice no athlete should have to make.

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, and for the young riders who hope to one day reach their dreams without using dangerous drugs or methods.

These eleven (11) team-mates of Lance Armstrong, in alphabetical order, are 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 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. 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.

Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognised competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward.

The entire factual and legal basis on the outcome in his case and the other six active riders' cases will be provided in the materials made available online later today. Two other members of the USPS Team, Dr Michele Ferrari and Dr Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy.

Three other members of the USPS Team have chosen to contest the charges and take their cases to arbitration: Johan Bruyneel, the team director; Dr Pedro Celaya, a team doctor; and Jose 'Pepe' Marti, the team trainer. These three individuals will receive a full hearing before independent judges, where they will have the opportunity to present and confront the evidence, cross-examine witnesses and testify under oath in a public proceeding.

From day one in this case, as in every potential case, the USADA board of directors and professional staff did the job we are mandated to do for clean athletes and the integrity of sport. We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand.'

LANCE ARMSTRONG FACTFILE

1971: Born September 18, in Dallas.

1991: Signs with Subaru-Montgomery and becomes US national amateur champion.

1993: Crowned US national champion. Wins first stage in Tour de France but fails to finish. Beats Miguel Indurain to win world championship.

1994: Wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege spring classic.

1996: October 2 – Diagnosed with testicular cancer. The disease later spreads through his whole body. Founds Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer.

1997: Declared cancer-free after brain surgery and chemotherapy. Signs with US Postal Service team after being dropped by Cofidis.

1998: Wins Tours of Holland and Luxembourg.

1999: Claims first Tour de France title, winning four stages.

2000: Wins second Tour. Secures time-trial bronze in Sydney Olympics.

2001: Victorious in Tour of Switzerland.

July 29: Becomes only the fifth rider to win three Tour de France titles in a row.

2002: Wins Dauphine Libere and Midi Libre.

July 28: Becomes only the fourth person to win four successive Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis

2003: Equals the record of five victories in the Tour de France, but is pushed to his limit by German Jan Ullrich, who finishes just 61 seconds off the pace.

2004: July 25 – Clinches record sixth Tour de France victory.

2005: July 24 – Wins his seventh Tour de France, two more than anyone else, before retiring.

September 6 – Claims he is considering coming out of retirement after being angered by drug allegations against him.

2008: September 9 – Announces he will return to professional cycling and will attempt to win his eighth Tour de France in 2009.

2009: March 23 – Suffers a broken right collarbone when he crashes out on stage one of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain.

May – Appears in first Giro d'Italia, finishing 12th. Tour is somewhat marred by financial cloud over Armstrong's Astana team and the American is linked to a takeover.

June – Astana's financial issues are resolved and Armstrong is named in the Tour de France team, but with 2007 champion Alberto Contador of Spain as leader.

July – Contador and Armstrong endure a fractious relationship. Contador claims a second Tour title, while Armstrong finishes third. Armstrong announces he will launch his own squad in 2010, Team Radio Shack.

2010: January – Team Radio Shack make their debut at the Tour Down Under in Australia. Armstrong finishes 25th overall.

Lance Armstrong riding on the Champs Elysees

May – Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, launches allegations at the Texan.

June 28 – Announces that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last.

July – Finishes final Tour in 23rd place, 39 minutes and 20 seconds behind winner Contador.

2011: February 16 – Announces retirement for second time.

May – Forced to deny claims made by former team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance-enhancing drugs together.

2012: February 4 – An investigation into alleged doping by Armstrong is dropped by federal prosecutors in California.

June 13 – The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirm they have initiated legal proceedings over allegations of doping against Armstrong.

June 30 – The USADA confirm they will file formal doping charges against Armstrong.

July 9 – Armstrong files a lawsuit in a US federal court asking for a temporary restraining order against the agency. Armstrong also claims the USADA offered “corrupt inducements” to other cyclists to testify against him.

July 11 – Armstrong refiles lawsuit against the USADA after initial lawsuit was dismissed by a judge as being a “lengthy and bitter polemic”, designed to attract media attention and public sympathy.

August 20 – Armstrong's legal action against the USADA dismissed in court.

August 24 – Armstrong announces he will not fight the doping charges filed against him by the USADA, saying in a statement he is “finished with this nonsense” and insisting he is innocent. He is stripped of all his titles banned for life from cycling by USADA.

October 10 – USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him. The organisation say the US Postal Service team “ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”, with “conclusive and undeniable proof” of a team-run doping conspiracy.

VIDEO: USADA explains drug test procedures

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Petr Cech to have elbow operation in summer

Cech-out: Chelsea ask Czechs to rest No 1 keeper in bid to stave off elbow operation until summer

|

UPDATED:

17:48 GMT, 10 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Chelsea are hoping that Petr Cech can last the season with an elbow injury before the Blues No 1 undergoes surgery this summer.

The European champions are hoping to manage Cech through the season and they have asked the Czech Republic to rest him from friendly internationals.

The Czech national coach Michal Bilek has agreed to Chelsea's request.

Worry: Chelsea are concerned that Petr Cech may not be able to cope through the season

Worry: Chelsea are concerned that Petr Cech may not be able to cope through the season

'An investigation showed a bit of ossification in his elbow, so they (Chelsea) are planning a surgery in England after the season,' Krejci told the Czech news agency CTK.

'They have asked us if we could rest him in friendly fixtures. We have come to an agreement with coach Michal Bilek and decided to be on good terms with Chelsea.

'We are going to grant their wish and rest him.

'Petr cannot stretch the arm properly. If he has to stretch the elbow, it hurts him sometimes.

'There is nothing to be worried about, though. There is basically nothing that could make this problem worse.

'The only thing that could force an
immediate surgery is if the intensity of pain would get much higher or
if the elbow was blocked in some way.'

Cech captained the Czech Republic in
Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Denmark in Copenhagen, which
ended in a 0-0 draw, but he will sit out the Tuesday's friendly against
Finland.

Cech's fitness provides a concern for Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo, as Ross Turnbull and Henrique Hilario are the only viable replacements for the Czech No 1.

Get off! Cech appeared for Chelsea in their 4-1 defeat by Atletico Madrid

Get off! Cech appeared for Chelsea in their 4-1 defeat by Atletico Madrid

Get off! Cech appeared for Chelsea in their 4-1 defeat by Atletico Madrid

Tyler Hamilton implicates Lance Armstrong

Hamilton implicates former team-mate Armstrong in institutionalised doping offences

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UPDATED:

13:06 GMT, 3 September 2012

Lance Armstrong's former team-mate Tyler Hamilton has lifted the lid on what he claims was institutionalised doping at the US Postal Service team.

In his new book The Secret Race, extracts from which were reproduced in The Times on Monday, Hamilton said Armstrong's former team was 'two years ahead of what everybody else was doing' in terms of its alleged doping activities.

Accused: Tyler Hamilton claims Lance Armstrong and other members of the US Postal Service team took blood-boosting drugs

Accused: Tyler Hamilton claims Lance Armstrong and other members of the US Postal Service team took blood-boosting drugs

The revelations come amid increased
scrutiny regarding drugs use in cycling, after the US Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) last week announced its intention of stripping Armstrong of his
seven Tour de France titles following the Texan's announcement that he
would no longer contest long-standing doping charges.

Hamilton and Armstrong rode together for the US Postal team from 1998 to 2001, a period that delivered three of Armstrong's Tour wins.

Hamilton, who has twice been banned for doping offences, has previously spoken out against both Armstrong and the team in interviews with federal criminal investigators.

One of the team's techniques, Hamilton claims, was the use of blood doping, whereby an amount of a rider's blood was extracted, stored and then re-injected to boost the red blood cell count.

'With the other stuff, you swallow a pill or put on a patch or get a tiny injection,' Hamilton wrote.

'But here you're watching a big clear plastic bag slowly fill up with your warm dark red blood.

Claim: Hamilton, who has been banned twice for doping offences, has accused Armstrong in his book

Claim: Hamilton, who has been banned twice for doping offences, has accused Armstrong in his book

'You never forget it.'

Hamilton also alleged that at the 1999 Tour Armstrong's gardener, named only as Phillipe, followed the riders on a motorbike carrying a flask containing vials of the blood-boosting drug EPO.

'When we needed Edgar [Allan Poe, a slang term for EPO], Phillipe would zip through the Tour's traffic and make a drop-off,' he claimed.

Hamilton also questioned the quality of the doping tests the riders were subjected to.

Armstrong has never failed a doping test, a fact frequently held up by his supporters as proof of his innocence, but Hamilton wrote: 'They weren't drug tests. They were more like discipline tests, IQ tests.

'If you were careful and paid attention, you could dope and be 99 per cent certain that you would not get caught.

'They've got their doctors, and we've got ours, and ours are better. Better paid, for sure.'

Armstrong's representatives were not immediately available for comment about the book's claims.

Armstrong has always denied using drugs throughout his career.

I've done nothing wrong: Armstrong has denied ever using performance enhancing drugs in his career

I've done nothing wrong: Armstrong has denied ever using performance enhancing drugs in his career