It’s official. Lance Armstrong is screwed. Seriously screwed. A new report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) says his career was “fueled from start to finish by doping.” And up to two dozen witnesses including 11 of Armstrong’s former teammates are backing that up.
The USADA report claims that there is “overwhelming evidence that demonstrates that Mr. Amrstrong doped throughout the majority of his professional cycling career.” It also says Armstrong’s teammates testified under oath to him giving them the drugs, plotting how to pass drug tests, and trying to intimidate teammates from testifying against him.
But that strong-arming tactic didn’t work.
Witnesses who provided sworn statements against Lance include 15 professional cyclists, 12 members of Armstrong’s cycling team, including 11 former teammates, and his former masseuse. In addition, nine of the pro cyclists were patients of Dr. Ferrari (the same doctor who Lance used and is at the center of it all) and gave first-hand accounts of his doping practices.
Here is what the USADA report says:
These eleven (11) teammates 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.
That’s some pretty strong testimony from not just one, but 11 former teammates, all saying the same thing: Lance doped, he cheated and he lied.
The report goes on to say that Lance had his chance to make it right, but instead he stuck to his lies:
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.
So many of us didn’t want to believe–and some still don’t– that Armstrong had anything to do with what the USDAD calls “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” But even his biggest fans must admit that the evidence is mounting against him.
Tell us what you think. Does this indict him in your mind?