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The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released its dossier on Lance Armstrong today.

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 program that sport has ever seen.
One could have ancipated that they had put together a strong case. Afterall, Armstrong - a famously proud man - announced in August that he wasn't going to fight the charges that the ADA were preparing against him, and was banned from cycling for life and had all of his results since 1998 stripped from him - that includes all seven of his Tour de France victories.

Even so, the report is astonishing. It runs for more than 1,000 pages. I haven't read them all, but the sports journalists at The Guardian have been burrowing in all day, and live-blogging the most interesting nuggets they find.

The full report includes the testimony of 26 people, including 11 former US Postal Service teammates of Armstrong. Over and over again these men describe the doping practices that they say fueled Armstrong's unprecedented success as well as the conspiracy necessary to keep the true story underwraps.

The most devastating element of the report will likely be the section focusing on George Hincapie:

   Hincapie has testified that he was aware of Armstrong’s use of EPO and blood transfusions.

He reports that Armstrong even provided EPO to Hincapie for Hincapie’s own use.

Hincapie explains how he, like Armstrong, was a client of the doping doctor Michele Ferrari who incorporated EPO and blood doping into Hincapie’s training program.

And, Hincapie admits that he participated in the USPS/Discovery Channel blood doping program. A close friend of Armstrong and a key member of his team, Hincapie was in a position to know a great deal about what Armstrong was doing throughout the period from 1994 through 2005. As Armstrong wrote: “There have been times when I’ve practically lived out of the same suitcase with George Hincapie. In cycling we’re on the side of a mountain for weeks, in small hotel rooms, sharing every ache, and pain, and meal. You get to know everything about each other, including things you’d rather not.”

As indicated in his affidavit, Hincapie remains loyal to Armstrong. While Hincapie felt compelled to tell the truth to USADA, it was clear in discussion with him that he had no axe to grind and still thought highly of Armstrong’s abilities as a cyclist and ability to overcome adversity.

However, what Hincapie also knew about Armstrong and what he has testified to inintimate detail is Armstrong’s immersion in the doping culture on the USPS/Discovery Channel teams. Hincapie had no doubt that Armstrong doped and therefore no one else should either.

Joe Lindsey explains at bicycling.com why the Hincapie testimony is so devastating:
Armstrong has attacked other former teammates and associates who’ve accused him of doping, with claims that they are lying because they are jealous of his success, or are trying to make money. But Hincapie will not be as easy to refute or discredit.

Unlike Landis and Hamilton, Hincapie has never tested positive or reversed his story. He retired from pro racing in August after a 19-year professional career that saw him become one of the most respected cyclists in the peloton, and equally beloved by fans. ...

Hincapie’s friendship with Armstrong, his reputation among his peers and fans, and his reticence up to now in discussing what he had told investigators—or even admitting that he had spoken with them at all—make his most recent statements that much more damaging to his friend and former teammate.

In addition to the testimony of the riders, there is also evidence in report of banking records showing more than one million dollars in payments from Armstron to Dr. Michele Reffari, an Italian doctor now banned from cycling for life for doping.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  such a disappointment n/t (8+ / 0-)

    keep your eyes on the sky. put a dollar in the kitty. don't the moon look pretty. --becker&fagen

    by homo neurotic on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 04:31:05 PM PDT

  •  so they're better cheaters than everyone else nt (6+ / 0-)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 04:34:15 PM PDT

  •  A sad tale, indeed (6+ / 0-)

    It's always disappointing to see our heroes besmirched, especially such a one as Armstrong, whose feats so far surpassed those of even his most able competitors.  My first reaction, though, is to condemn the blatant hypocrisy inherent in this and so many other similar stories.  These guys all start out with extraordinary talent, dedication to hard work, and an innate physical predisposition to excel.  Then they put in the hours of hard work, both mental and physical, to prevail in the face of fierce and equally talented and capable competition.  They're subjected to the most relentless and uncaring pressure to win, to win at all costs, and then, once victory is in hand, it is snatched away from them because, well, we said victory at all costs, but, well, just not ALL costs.  I always sneer at the criticism leveled at athletes who engage in "excess celebration" after a momentary victory on the field, be it a touchdown, home run, whatever, and I ask, rhetorically, "you demanded victory, you demanded feats of superhuman skill, and now, at the very pinnacle of hard-earned success, you deny them the small satisfaction of exulting in the very triumph you've so relentlessly demanded of them".   Hypocrisy!!!

    Out here in the fields I fight for my meals,
    I get my back into my living.
    I don’t need to fight
    To prove I’m right.
    I don’t need to be forgiven.

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

  •  I've spent much of the day (9+ / 0-)

    reading what was released.  It's just breath-taking.  Even if you figured he was lying, the depth, duration and blatancy of the deception is hard to grasp.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 04:44:14 PM PDT

  •  Hincapie knows what happened to Marion Jones (7+ / 0-)

    She wasn't caught doping. Her crime was lying to federal agents about Balco, a company under investigation. Ultimately she lost all 5 medals earned at the Sydney Olympics and was sentenced to jail.

    Hincapie knew it was in his own best interest to tell the truth when asked by authorities.

  •  Merely being "human" (8+ / 0-)

    isn't enough these days. We're pressured on all fronts to be the "super-" this-or-that. The "super" employee. The "super" mom. The "super" athlete. The bar is always rising.

    I was shocked to see adds in this very venue for testosterone pills, "To make you feel like a new man." No, it wasn't about enhancing your sports performance, per se, just making you all-around more competitive and virile, so you can score really hot babes, and whatever.  

    I heard something on NPR about bankers and Wall Street traders taking testosterone pills in order to cultivate the aggression and competitiveness and energy to "compete with the younger guys coming up." As if maturity weren't valued, at all.

    Too bad about Lance Armstrong. But I think many of us saw it coming.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:04:30 PM PDT

    •  My doctor was telling me about the many adult (8+ / 0-)

      patients that she has who ask for ADD meds.

      She refuses to treat adults for ADD. Too many try to game the test, and with controlled substances, it's just too dangerous.

      Moms and Dads on adderall, not because they need it, but because they're trying to be superhuman.

      It's incredibly sad what our society has become.

      © grover


      Join Muppets Against Mitt! Go to www.barackobama.com to join now. This message brought to you by the number 2012 and the letters B and O.

      by grover on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:11:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everything feels less secure (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        synductive99, Odysseus, Lujane

        nowadays, so there's more pressure to perform and to achieve, in whatever sphere.

        Once upon a time, we "worked hard to get ahead." Nowadays, if we "work really hard and follow all the rules to the letter," we can enjoy the same socioeconomic standing as our parents did. Maybe.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:34:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Over the years, it just seemed harder and harder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, Lujane, Creosote

    for me to believe that as the allegations stacked up, everyone was a liar. My experience is that when evidence starts to get overwhelming and pointing to the same conclusion, it's usually accurate. I stopped believing in Armstrong's pure athleticism long ago, and watched the last couple Tours with sadness.

    I admire what Armstrong has accomplished in raising the profile of cancer awareness. I've read the info on HGH and I do hope for his sake that it did not contribute to Armstrong's own cancer. But regardless, he certainly made the best of that situation and has done good for others out of it.

    I dunno. It seems that virtually everyone in the sport does dope, so it seems almost pointless to pretend that they don't.  Part of me says, "why bother?" But there are health risks. And there are so many kids who idolize these folks.

    There seems to be no good answer.

    © grover


    Join Muppets Against Mitt! Go to www.barackobama.com to join now. This message brought to you by the number 2012 and the letters B and O.

    by grover on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:05:27 PM PDT

    •  There is a good answer. Don't dope. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, Creosote

      Read up on Bradley Wiggins.

      •  Two questions: (5+ / 0-)

        How often do clean cyclists win big races?

        How often do cyclists that we assume were clean do we later find out were doping all along?

        I'd love for no athletes ever to use any drugs stronger than Aleve. If you're injured, sit out until you're fully recovered. If you can't play at that level then you're not good enough.

        But I'm also a sports fan (although not a hard-core cycling fan. I follow it casually). I know what really goes on. I have friends who are and were professional athletes.

        How many Tour de France winners were not later found to have been doping?

        © grover


        Join Muppets Against Mitt! Go to www.barackobama.com to join now. This message brought to you by the number 2012 and the letters B and O.

        by grover on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:18:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The current Tour winner and Olympic Gold Medalist (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          synductive99, Creosote

          is a clean rider.

          •  Wiggins? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grover

            There's been quite a few discussions about how the Sky team has been very similar to the postal teams of Lance's heyday.  It's also a bit odd that Wiggins went from a track guy/TT specialist to someone that could climb fairly well and does well in grand tours.  He and Sky might be clean but it wouldn't be surprising if they weren't.

            •  I wondered that. (0+ / 0-)

              I wondered how anyone could say with any certainty that Wiggins is clean. People used to say that with 100% certainty about Armstrong, heck right up until this year.

              But I thought maybe SantaFeMarie had info that the public lacks, and she seemed so certain.

              Otherwise, we know absolutely that clean test results mean nothing. We know that we can't trust the riders' word. How many have lied over the years? Too many, unfortunately.  

              I dunno. It's a mess.

              © grover


              Join Muppets Against Mitt! Go to www.barackobama.com to join now. This message brought to you by the number 2012 and the letters B and O.

              by grover on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 01:00:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  A sad part of the story, though (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      synductive99, grover, Lujane, Creosote

      After the doping disaster of the 1998 Tour, the riders had decided that 1999 was going to be clean. There was some fear of jail cell, making sure this was going to be sincere.

      At the first mountain stage, Armstrong leaves the best climbers in his dust. It's a phenomenal performance. And his blood EPO level for the race, it turns out, was through the roof.

  •  So there's a huge conspiracy and Armstrong is the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leu2500, PrahaPartizan

    Only one worthy of punishment?

    So USADA gets to put out their case, with no chance for any rebuttal, and the only "evidence" is testimony. No tests of Armstrong showing any banned substance. Seems to me that USADA is the one that is exercising a conspiracy.

    •  What is stopping Armstrong from putting out (0+ / 0-)

      his case?

      •  He has, over and over. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        synductive99

        Reading bits and pieces tell a story of hearsay and conjecture. Hincapie's story is summarized as "he believes" that Armstrong doped. Not he witnessed administration of banned substances.

        I haven't seen USADAs story of why their 1000+ tests showed no evidence. If the alleged conduct were true, he'd have been positive more than a few times.

        •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

          so Armstrong didn't dope, but pressured others into doping to improve their results, which he, out of everyone else, had no need to do.

          Denial: not just a river.

        •  So your complaint is that Armstrong has put out (0+ / 0-)

          his case and no one believes it. Possibly because it is shot full of holes. What motivation does Hincapie have to kneecap Armstrong?

          Why did Armstrong throw in the towel in August?

          •  His statement said he couldn't get a fair (0+ / 0-)

            Hearing. Watching USADA over the years leads me to believe that that is true.

            According to USADA's rules events 7 years or more ago are not investigable. But their charges include them. Then the accused must submit to an arbitration procedure under the direction of USADA. Not fair.

            It appears that USADA is employing the same, or worse, coercive tactics that are accused against Armstrong.

            Unfortunately we'll never know the truth, and USADA's  (and WADA) incompetence hasn't lessened the use of performance enhancing substances either.

            If the alleged substances were so effective, then why weren't they found? If their levels were too small to measure, what is the mechanism that allows such a huge effect for a negligible amount?

            USADA has no scientific proof for its allegations. It is purely hearsay or bought testimony.

  •  Follow the money (0+ / 0-)

    Lance Armstrong may be rich, but he didn't pay $1M to Reffari for nothing.

    Romney economics: Feed our seed corn to the fattest pigs and trust them to poop out jobs.

    by blue aardvark on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:12:54 PM PDT

  •  I have a Lemond Zurich road bike... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote

    and it always bothered me that Greg Lemond attacked Armstrong for alleged doping because I believed Armstroing's denials. I felt I shouldn't be supporting my hero's attacker by buying one of his bikes.  Now it looks like Lemond was right so I'll be happier riding my fine steel Zurich!

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:15:26 PM PDT

  •  which also proves that in major conspiracies... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby, Cassandra Waites, Creosote

    ... there are enough people who know, that sooner or or later someone will come forward.

    Useful ammo with which to fight all the prevailing CT: Birthers, 9/11 Truthers, etc. etc.  

    "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

    by G2geek on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:34:01 PM PDT

  •  In the past 20 years I have completely (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skod, Cassandra Waites, blueoasis

    lost interest in professional sports. Here is yet another reason why.

    -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

    by Wreck Smurfy on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:42:02 PM PDT

  •  Really sad... (0+ / 0-)

    Most Republicans are against contraception because you can't get pregnant from anal sex. ---Chelsea Handler

    by hobie1616 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 06:19:21 PM PDT

  •  I had hoped it wasn't true, (0+ / 0-)

    but I have an acquaintance who has raced with some of the people who were listed as witnesses in this and he always said there was doping going on. So even though this isn't really a revelation, it's still a disappointment.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 06:42:36 PM PDT

  •  Moi aussi--I so wanted to believe that Armstrong (0+ / 0-)

    won because he was the best.  I feel a bit crushed now.  Not sure whether I'll ever trust anything in sports again.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 06:55:36 PM PDT

  •  Live Strong -- Through Chemistry! n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Evidence has been around for a long time (0+ / 0-)

    I was a huge bike racing fan back in the 80s and 90s. Cycling has never been a clean sport (is there any big money sport that is?) but it seemed to me that there was a step functioni n the early 90s with EPO and a certain Dr Michele Ferrari. Ferrari had the magic touch, turning fading stars (like Toni Rominger) and never weres (like Piotr Ugrumov) into real contenders for the Grand Tours. In the early days he all but said he was using EPO. I finally stopped watching with the 96 Tour, when Bjarne Riis (another Ferrari protege) turned into an unrecognizable monster. Riis never failed a test, and the only way we really know he doped was when he had a change of heart and owned up 10 years after the fact. Evidence of doping was not primarily from failed tests but from raids on teams. The sport became too much about who had the best doctors (where best = best at pushing the limits) and who had the least compunction.

    Re: Armstrong. The first red flag was after Armstrong's hospitalization, when Andreu came out with his statements. Andreu was a loyal lieutenant, but also a real square, and it's impossible to believe he'd just make that up.  Later would come the Bassons affair, the statements by Vaughters and Hamilton. But the real kicker was insisting on Michele Ferrari. You don't hire him unless you want the best in doping.

    Today speeds and power outputs are much more believable, so perhaps the sport really is clean. I'm skeptical, but willing to keep an open mind about it.

  •  The only thing missing is an explanation of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, blueoasis

    how he passed literally hundreds of doping tests with flying colors. Possibly one of the most tested persons in sports history and he racked up hundreds of "negatives". In fact, I don't recall him ever failing one.

    It would be ice if they could drum up a reasonable theory to explain that.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 09:23:26 PM PDT

  •  So are they going to stop the charade of testing? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan

    If passing tests doesn't mean you are clean, what is the point?

    Your request has bad syntax or is inherently impossible to satisfy. --httpd_err400form

    by Bob Novak Douchebag of Liberty on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 09:50:49 PM PDT

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