Tag Archives: federal

Lance Armstrong ordered to pay back prize money won while doping

It's payback time, Lance! Armstrong told to return EVERY PENNY of prize money earned during doping years

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UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 26 October 2012

Lance Armstrong has been told to pay back all the prize money he won while using performance-enhancing drugs.

The 1999 to 2005 Tours de France will be forever without a winner after Armstrong was stripped of the titles, the International Cycling Union confirmed.

The UCI on Monday ratified the decision taken by the United States Anti-Doping investigation to ban Armstrong for life and strip him of all results since August 1998, including his seven successive Tour wins.

Exposed: The USADA lifted the lid on Lance Armstrong's drug cheating

Exposed: The USADA lifted the lid on Lance Armstrong's drug cheating

At a special meeting of the UCI's
management committee, it was ruled results following any future
disqualifications relating to the Armstrong years, 1998 to 2005, would
not be reallocated.

A UCI
statement read: 'With respect to Lance Armstrong and the implications of
the USADA sanctions which it endorsed on Monday, October 22, the
management committee decided not to award victories to any other rider
or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.

'The
committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive
sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to
2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation. The committee also
called on Armstrong and all other affected riders to return the prize
money they had received.

The Armstrong allegations

2010
May – Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis launches allegations against the Texan.

2011
May – Forced to deny claims made by former team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance-enhancing drugs together.

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

June – United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirm they will file formal doping charges against Armstrong.

July – Armstrong files lawsuit against USADA accusing them of 'corrupt inducements' to other cyclists to testify against him.

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

August 24 – Armstrong announces he will not fight doping charges filed against him but insists he is innocent. He is stripped of all his titles and banned from cycling for life by USADA.

October 10 – USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him.

October 22 – Cycling's world governing body, the UCI confirms it has ratified USADA's decision to ban Armstrong from cycling for life and to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles for doping offences.

October 26 – The UCI confirms Armstrong's Tour titles will not be awarded to other riders, and calls on 'all affected riders' to return prize money earned while doping.

'The UCI management committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period – but that while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places.'

The UCI has come under intense criticism and scrutiny before and since the publication of USADA's 1000-page reasoned decision document, which concluded Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.

Three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond is among those to call for a change of leadership, but president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, now honorary president, have stood firm.

Allegations were levelled at the UCI for accepting donations from Armstrong, and, although any wrongdoing is denied, the management committee will commission an independent investigation.

The UCI statement added: 'In order to ensure that UCI and cycling could move forward with the confidence of all parties, the governing body also decided to establish a fully independent external commission to look into the various allegations made about UCI relating to the Armstrong affair.

'The committee agreed that part of the independent commission's remit would be to find ways to ensure that persons caught for doping were no longer able to take part in the sport, including as part of an entourage.'

Moves will begin next month, with recommendations to be published no later than June 1, 2013.

Erased from the history books: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005 by cycling's governing body

Erased from the history books: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven
Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005 by cycling's world governing body

'UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport,' McQuaid said. 'We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent commission and we will put cycling back on track.

'Today, cycling is a completely different sport from what it was in the period 1998-2005.

'Riders are now subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport.

'Nevertheless, we have listened to the world's reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised.'

Pending the results of the independent report, defamation proceedings against Paul Kimmage, a former cyclist and Sunday Times journalist, have been suspended, the UCI confirmed.

The UCI statement added: 'While continuing strongly to maintain the merits of UCI's case, the committee decided to seek to suspend the UCI legal action against journalist Paul Kimmage, pending the findings of the independent commission.

'UCI president Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen who are individual parties to the case will similarly seek to put their cases on hold.'

The Armstrong affair has ripped a hole through the heart of the sport.
At this week's route presentation for next summer's 100th Tour, the 41-year-old Texan's sequence of seven straight wins were marked using asterisks.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme believed no one should replace Armstrong as winner, as few racing in the era are untainted by doping, particularly the use of blood-booster EPO. He now has his wish.

Armstrong declined the opportunity to cooperate with USADA, but following Monday's ruling removed the reference to his seven Tour wins from his Twitter profile.

Lance Armstrong will not contest doping charges

Armstrong set to be stripped of seven Tour de France titles and banned for life after saying he won't fight doping charges

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UPDATED:

05:21 GMT, 24 August 2012

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has announced he will not fight the charges filed against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

American Armstrong said in a statement on his personal website that he is 'finished with this nonsense' and insisted he is innocent.

He said: 'There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough'. For me, that time is now.

Enough is enough: Lance Armstrong says he won't fight the doping charges

Enough is enough: Lance Armstrong says he won't fight the doping charges

'I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999.'

The 40-year-old has always denied claims he ever used performance-enhancing drugs during his career but USADA chief executive Travis T. Tygart has said Armstrong should face the same proceedings as any other athlete charged with doping offences.

Armstrong, who was charged in June, sought a temporary restraining order against the agency's legal action but that was dismissed in a federal court in Austin, Texas on Monday.

His statement added: 'Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt.

'The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.'

He added: 'Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances.'

In an 871-word statement, Armstrong called USADA's actions a “charade” and the allegations against him 'outlandish and heinous'.

He said: 'If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA's process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance.

'But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims.

'The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colours. I made myself available around the clock and around the world.

In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it'

If Armstrong, who in 2011 retired from cycling for a second time, is pronounced guilty of doping offences by USADA, he could see his remarkable career achievements wiped from the record books.

He is the most successful rider in the history of the Tour de France, winning each year from 1999 to 2005, his story made all the more remarkable by the fact his triumphs came after beating cancer.

Armstrong claims the USADA investigation 'has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs'.

He added: 'I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own eight-year limitation. As respected organisations such as UCI [world cycling's governing body] and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges.'

Armstrong claims: 'USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honour its obligations.

'At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at US taxpayers' expense.'

He added: “The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced.

'The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-team-mate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It's an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It's just not right.'

Five others – three team doctors and two officials – associated with the United States Postal Service professional cycling team, for whom Armstrong rode, are also the subject of legal proceedings from USADA.

Armstrong, in a passionate defence of his record, said USADA had no right to set the wheels in motion towards wiping out his Tour victories.

'USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles,' he said. 'I know who won those seven Tours, my team-mates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours.

'We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront.

'There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.'

Armstrong said he would dedicate himself to his family and to his Live Strong cancer foundation.

Responding to Armstrong's statement, USADA chief executive Tygart said:

'It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes.'

While Armstrong remains steadfast that he did not cheat, Tygart sees the case in a different light.

Tygart added in a statement released by USADA: 'This is a heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all-costs culture of sport, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe and honest competition, but for clean athletes, it is a reassuring reminder that there is hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.'

LANCE ARMSTRONG STATEMENT IN FULL

'There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough'. For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.

'I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA's charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognised the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA's motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

'If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA's process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colours. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition.

Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it

'From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own eight-year limitation. As respected organisations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges.

'The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA's improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA's own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process.

'USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honour its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at US taxpayers' expense.

'For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practise what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.

'The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It's an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It's just not right.

'USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my team-mates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together.

'For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.

'Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities.

'This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly 500 million US dollars. We have a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause.

'I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.'

Emanuele Pesoli still determined to prove his innocence

Pesoli still desperate to prove match-fixing innocence despite abandoning hunger strike

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UPDATED:

18:37 GMT, 16 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Former Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli remains determined to confront his accusers despite ending his four-day hunger strike on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old, now with Verona, chained himself to the gates of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) headquarters on Saturday in protest at the three-year ban handed to him for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.

But following medical advice, and on the promise of a meeting with FIGC president Giancarlo Abete, he unchained himself and returned home.

Gone home: Emanuele Pesoli (second right) has stopped his hunger strike

Gone home: Emanuele Pesoli (second right) has stopped his hunger strike

Pesoli was hit with the lengthy ban from football as a result of federal prosecutor Stefano Palazzi's investigation into betting irregularities during last season.

He was accused by two former team-mates, defender Carlo Gervasoni and midfielder Filippo Carobbio, in assisting in the fixing of Siena's game with Varese in May 2011.

Pesoli told calciomercato.com: 'I've never spoken to Palazzi but he suspended me for three years.

'I've never considered any plea bargain, I'm innocent and I'm not prepared to pay this penalty.

Innocent: Pesoli rejects any allegations

Innocent: Pesoli rejects any allegations

'I'm grateful to the FIGC for listening to me but I haven't got what I want yet.

'I want a meeting with Gervasoni and Carobbio but they haven't made that happen.

'Palazzi believed everything they said and I have never even spoken to him or had the chance to defend myself.

'He believed them and banned me for three years, while giving Gervasoni only three months.'

He added: 'I was at home, my phone rang – an unknown number. It was Gervasoni. I didn't know him at the time.

'After that call followed a lot of texts, mostly asking who would be playing on the next Sunday.

'They weren't direct questions, but they seemed to be asking for specific information.'

Determined: Pesoli (left) has a point to prove

Determined: Pesoli (left) has a point to prove

Despite his suspicions at the time, Pesoli is still unclear as to why he was implicated by Gervasoni.

'I can only assume it was out of revenge that I wouldn't be his accomplice,' he added.

'Maybe he thought if he dragged people down with him, he'd receive a lighter punishment.

'It's absurd that he's been banned for three months but I got three years.

'As far any contact with Carobbio – totally fabricated. My only crime was being a man of integrity and a clean player.'

The Verona defender is set to hold talks with Abete at the FIGC headquarters in Rome at 10am on Friday morning.

FBI not concerned with London 2012 security

FBI are not worried by London 2012 security, insists NYPD chief

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UPDATED:

16:41 GMT, 23 May 2012

New York's police chief says he is impressed with security planning for this summer's London Olympics, rejecting suggestions that US officials were concerned about arrangements for the Games.

Commissioner Raymond Kelly said London's police and security planning was far more comprehensive and organised than had been the case for the Atlanta games in 1996, when he was personally involved in a federal government role.

'It seems they really have a handle on just about any contingency that might take place,' Kelly said in London during a trip to meet Olympic security chiefs, senior London police and officials at MI5 domestic security agency.

'We've been universally very much impressed with everything we've seen. As far as I can see they have done an excellent job preparing all of their forces.'

No concerns: Raymond Kelly has dismissed security fears

No concerns: Raymond Kelly has dismissed security fears

Last November, the United States denied that there had been a diplomatic row over the Olympic security planning, following a newspaper claim that 1,000 agents including some 500 from the FBI, would be sent to protect US athletes and officials.

Chris Allison, Britain's national Olympic security coordinator, said the claim was 'rubbish' and that the reported FBI contingent had been grossly exaggerated.

'I think the FBI role is a supportive one. I don't think they're here with specific concerns,' Kelly said, dismissing the idea that the London police needed their assistance.

He added than rather than lecturing the British, his visit had been a learning one.

'We were takers rather than givers, put it that way,' he commented.

Allison and other senior British security figures have said protests and public order issues rather than al-Qaeda and international terrorism were the most likely threats to the Games.

Last year, Britain suffered its worst rioting in decades and there have been high-profile anti-capitalist protests in London, some inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street moment.

Kelly said he had discussed the riots with his London counterparts and it was an issue that they had factored in, with plans for a rapid mobilisation to deal with any unexpected events.

'Will there be demonstrations, will there be protests of some sort Sure. That's a given in this day and age. It's something that happens in New York and London literally everyday,' Kelly said.

'But the Met is well experienced. They're well prepared to handle it.'

Hawk-Eye goal-line technology as testing begins at Southampton

Hawk-Eye chief coy on timescale of goal-line technology as testing begins at St Mary's

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UPDATED:

16:55 GMT, 10 May 2012

Hawk-Eye managing director Steve
Carter believes their goal-line technology is on course to be licensed
by FIFA, but would not speculate on its use in the Premier League next
season.

The British company and German-Danish
firm GoalRef are vying to be approved as authorised suppliers of
goal-line technology and were chosen for the next testing phase by the
International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Spot the ball: EMPA officials (Swiss Federal Laboraties for Materials Science and Technology) test the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system at St Mary's Stadium

Spot the ball: EMPA officials (Swiss Federal Laboraties for Materials Science and Technology) test the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system at St Mary's Stadium

EMPA officials (Swiss Federal Laboraties for Materials Science and Technology)

The second phase of testing on Hawk-Eye's system began at the St Mary's Stadium in Southampton on Thursday, where independent body Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) undertook on-field research.

The process will continue on Friday and next week the system will be tried in the Hampshire Senior Cup final between Eastleigh and AFC Totton, with another match to be tested as well before the IFAB decide on July 2 whether to approve the system.

'It is tremendously exciting and it will be the highest profile and biggest sport that we do if we're successful,' Carter said.

A football is fired at a wooden mannequin to test the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system

Under scrutiny: A football is fired at a wooden mannequin to test the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system

'FIFA have appointed an independent scientific research institution called EMPA and they basically set a series of tests that we need to perform against.

'Subject to Hawk-Eye passing those tests, hopefully we will be approved for use as an official goal-line technology adjudicator.

'All of the results are confidential. We don't get to find out, but every indication is that everything is running very smoothly.'

EMPA officials (Swiss Federal Laboraties for Materials Science and Technology) fire a football at a wooden mannequin

EMPA officials (Swiss Federal Laboraties for Materials Science and Technology) fire a football at a wooden mannequin

Hawk-Eye's system uses seven high-speed cameras at each end of the ground to calculate a three-dimensional position of the ball, while GoalRef uses a chip in the ball which is monitored by magnetic fields in the goal.

Both could be available for the start of next season if approved by the IFAB, but Carter was keen not to talk about timescales.

'It varies from ground to ground on how long it takes to install the system,' he said.

Net result: EMPA officials study the results

Net result: EMPA officials study the results

'At the moment all of our concentration and energy is on doing as well as we can, making the technology as good as possible and making sure that we get excellent results from phase two.

'The roll out of that technology is something we have a lot of experience in through our work with cricket and tennis, but it is not something we are focusing on at the moment.'

Asked if it was feasible to have it in place for the start of the 2012/13 season, he added: “It is impossible for me to say right now.

'You would have to survey the grounds and there would be a lot of logistical things that we would need to go through and at the moment I don't have that information.'

Allen Stanford found guilty of 4bn fraud

Disgraced Stanford faces life behind bars after being found guilty of 4bn fraud

Disgraced financier Allen Stanford has been found guilty of orchestrating a massive 4.6billion fraud by a court in Houston, Texas.

Stanford set up a series of $20m (12.7m) cricket tournaments between England and West Indies in 2008 and announced the deal with the ECB by landing a helicopter at Lord's.

Jurors reached their verdicts against Stanford during their fourth day of deliberation, finding him guilty on 13 of the 14 charges except a single count of wire fraud.

Appeal: Stanford's lawyers have said they will contest the verdicts

Appeal: Stanford's lawyers have said they will contest the verdicts

Stanford, who was once considered one of the wealthiest people in the US, looked down when the verdict was read.

He faces up to 20 years for the most serious charges against him, but could spend longer than that behind bars if US District Judge David Hittner orders the sentences to be served consecutively instead of concurrently.

His mother and daughters, who were in the federal courtroom in Houston, hugged one another, and one of the daughters started crying whnen the verdicts were read out.

'We are disappointed in the outcome. We expect to appeal,' said Ali Fazel, one of Stanford's attorneys after the hearing.

Howzat! Stanford famously perched Matt Prior's wife Emily on his knee during the England v Middlesex Stanford Super Series match in 2008

Howzat! Stanford famously perched Matt Prior's wife Emily on his knee during the England v Middlesex Stanford Super Series match in 2008

Prosecutors called Stanford a con artist who lined his pockets with investors' money to fund a string of failed businesses, pay for a lavish lifestyle that included yachts and private jets, and bribe regulators to help him hide his scheme.

Stanford's attorneys told jurors the financier was a visionary entrepreneur who made money for investors and conducted legitimate business deals.

Stanford, 61, who's been jailed since his indictment in 2009, will remain incarcerated until he is sentenced.

Lance Armstrong doping probe dropped

Armstrong in the clear after Feds drop doping probe into seven-time Tour winner

Federal prosecutors dropped their investigation of Lance Armstrong on Friday, ending a two-year probe aimed at determining whether the seven-time Tour de France winner and his team-mates participated in a doping program.

Armstrong has steadfastly denied he doped during his glittering career, but the possibility of criminal charges threatened to stain his legacy as the world's greatest cyclist.

Legend: Lance Armstrong won the Tour seven times

Legend: Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong

'This is great news,' Armstrong
attorney Mark Fabiani said in a statement.

'Lance is pleased that the
United States Attorney made the right decision, and he is more
determined than ever to devote his time and energy to Livestrong and to
the causes that have defined his career.'

The probe, anchored in Los Angeles where a grand jury was presented
evidence by federal prosecutors and heard testimony from Armstrong's
former teammates and associates, began with a separate investigation of
Rock Racing, a cycling team owned by fashion entrepreneur Michael Ball.

Clear conscience: Armstrong always denied the allegations

Clear conscience: Armstrong always denied the allegations

United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said his office 'is closing an investigation into allegations of federal
criminal conduct by members and associates of a professional bicycle
racing team owned in part by Lance Armstrong.'

He didn't disclose the reason for the decision.

Investigators looked at whether a doping program was established for
Armstrong's team while, at least part of the time, they received
government sponsorship from the US Postal Service. They also examined
whether Armstrong encouraged or facilitated doping on the team.

In the clear: Armstrong was delighted by the decision

In the clear: Armstrong was delighted by the decision

Armstrong won the Tour de France every year from 1999-2005.

Betsy Andreu, who with her husband and former Armstrong teammate, Frank,
accused the cycling champion of doping, said she was shocked by
Birotte's decision.

'Our legal system failed us,' she said.

Allen Stanford declared fit to stand trial for alleged 4.5bn fraud

Former cricket mogul Stanford declared fit to stand trial for alleged 4.5bn fraud

Fit to stand: Allen Stanford outside court in Houston this month

Fit to stand: Allen Stanford outside court in Houston this month

Former cricket guru and alleged fraudster Allen Stanford has been ruled mentally fit to stand trial by a US federal judge.

Stanford – who signed a deal with the ECB back in 2008 to organise a five-match Twenty20 series between England, the West Indies and the “Stanford Superstars” – is alleged to have operated a $7bn (4.5bn) Ponzi scheme.

Stanford, 61, is accused of one of the biggest white-collar fraud cases since Bernard Madoff.

The Texan’s lawyers unsuccessfully argued that he suffers from an impaired memory following a prison attack in September 2009.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

“I see no brain injury that stands in the way of his standing trial,” said Dr Robert Cochrane, a psychological evaluator at the prison.

US District Judge David Hittner agreed after a three-day hearing in Houston, Texas, that Mr Stanford wasable to help his lawyers prepare for the trial.

Cricket mogul: Stanford with the England team in October 2008

Cricket mogul: Stanford with the England team in October 2008

Mr Stanford has spent more than eight months at a North Carolina prison hospital undergoing psychological tests and being weaned off anti-anxiety medication.

Charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009, Mr Stanford denies running a Ponzi scheme involving the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua.

Imprisoned: Stanford in 2009

Imprisoned: Stanford in 2009

Baseball"s home run king Barry Bonds avoids jail after misleading grand jury

Baseball”s home run king Bonds avoids jail after misleading grand jury

Baseball”s all-time record home run hitter Barry Bonds has been sentenced to 30 days” house arrest for misleading a grand jury but will remain free pending an appeal.

Bonds was convicted in April of one count of obstructing a federal grand jury investigation into steroid useby athletes connected to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative.

Free man: Barry Bonds leaves the Federal courthouse in San Francisco

Free man: Barry Bonds leaves the Federal courthouse in San Francisco

The BALCO case has seen drug convictions across a number of sports, including athletics and American football as well as baseball.

Three other charges, accusing Bonds of lying when he denied both taking performance-enhancing drugs and receiving injections from someone other than his doctor, were dropped after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

US district judge Susan Illston sentenced him to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service as well as a US dollars 4,000 (2,575) fine, but the sentence was delayed pending an appeal by Bonds against his conviction.