George Hincapie has reportedly become the latest of Lance Armstrong’s former team mates to tell federal authorities in America that he saw the seven-time Tour winner take performance enhancing drugs.

If true, the allegations are the most damning yet for Armstrong and could provide the watershed moment in this ongoing saga.

Hincapie used his Twitter feed to deny having spoken to 60 Minutes (the CBS Network program that made the claims) but hasn’t denied the testimony. He also Tweeted, “As I’ve said in the past, I continue to be disappointed that people are talking about the past in cycling instead of the future.”

The allegations come just days after another former team mate, Tyler Hamilton admitted in an interview with 60 Minutes that he saw Armstrong take EPO . Hamilton has appeared in front of a Grand Jury in the same Food and Drug Administration (FDA) case being lead by Jeff Novitsky.

Armstrong and his Lawyer Mark Fabiani were quick to dismiss Hamilton, saying he is discredited and out to promote a forthcoming book, but they may find it more difficult in light of Hincapie’s alleged confessions.

Hincapie was ‘like a brother’ according to Armstrong, and the BMC rider, who has now seemingly admitted doping during his career, has never been discredited by a positive test or subsequent lies.

Hincapie, a stalwart of the American pro cycling scene for over a decade, is currently riding the Tour of California where he is lying in 16th position.

Read Lionel Birnie’s comment on the Cycle Sport website

The pair join an ever growing list of former team mates to admit to widespread doping on the US Postal and Discovery Channel teams run by Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel, but according to the New York Times the charges facing Armstrong could be far more serious.

They list fraud, corruption, drug trafficking and money laundering as possible charges against Armstrong whose defence looks weaker and weaker by the day.

Initially his only tactic was to discredit those who alleged any wrong doing or doping on his part. More recently he and those around him have suggested that the whole investigation is a waste of taxpayers money.

Another former US Postal team mate Jonathan Vaughters, the highly respected team boss of Garmin-Cervelo and head of the AIGCP, confirmed once again on his Twitter feed that he would tell the truth to any investigation, if questioned.

Lance Armstrong has always denied doping and cites the 500 doping tests that all returned negative results during his career. Samples of his urine from the 1999 Tour de Frane tested positive for EPO but the testing was part of a retroactive study done annonymously and with a prerequisite that sanctions would not be implemented.

External links

CBS News: Ex-teamate testified on Lance Armstrong and EPO

Related links

Lance Armstrong: the end of the legend

  • KyleJeff

    Tony, maybe you wanna re-read the piece. It says Hincapie denied talking to 60 minutes, not that he denied making the testimony, i.e. he made the testimony but didn’t want to tell a TV program about it.

    And as for why would a Turkey vote for Christmas? Are you reading this stuff? Do you understand what you’re reading? These guys are appearing in front of a GRAND JURY! If they lie they go to prison, just like Marion Jones – that’s why the turkey votes for Christmas.

  • Tony Davies

    This article aims for the sensational. It says Hincapie denied via Twitter but goes on to say he’s admitted to widespread doping – which is it? Hincapie still has a cycling future – why would a turkey vote for Christmas? The ‘comic’ is a professional outfit – please let’s have some objectivity.

  • Wise up

    Lance Armstrong’s drug taking really doesn’t bother me one bit.

    Hincapie and all the others taking drugs in the past doesn’t bother me either. What really gets on my t**ts is the idiots that think Lance is clean and an amazing superman. They are getting fewer by the day, but they still chirp on about him being the most tested athlete in the world. Why is the world full of these deluded assholes? Can someone please tell me?

  • Scott Taylor

    Walls crashing down. Hincapie is the calalyst. I boughtinto the LA story, just like plenty other cyclists. I had the book, the band and the lycra kit. However they are all in the bin, and I feel let down by LA and his band of what looks much more like cheating scumbags. Our sport is rotten to the core and has been for decades. Cracking piece by Lionel Birnie.

  • adam

    Hincapie is not Hamilton or Floyd. He has nothing to gain from this. However, if called to a federal court one would like to think he had told the truth… since the ramifications of not doing so are pretty serious. (i.e. not a measely two years ban from sport).

    It’s a shame since my Tour upbringing is based around the years that LA won. And there’s numerous moments that have nothing to do with doping. (The Look, the cross country manoeurve to avoid Beloki, the Luz Ardiden fal land recovery). But….

  • Mike

    I was never inspired by Lance.
    I was impressed by his performances, but my heroes have always been marked out by the way they did things, and how they behaved, not merely by there achievements.
    I am afraid Lance has always come across as arrogant and and bent on media fame and megga bucks for him to appeal to me as a sporting hero.
    He was unlucky to get cancer, and very lucky to survive it. End of story, for most, but he was determined to make out he was a superman. On the evidence, not so. My sister survived a very bad cancer and she has never claimed to be anything other than lucky.
    My sporting heroes are ordinary people who can do, or have done, extraordinary things.
    I met Mary Peters, who won Olympic gold in the heptathlon, when she was head of British Athletics, and a more ordinary, warm and friendly person you could not wish to meet. A true sporting hero and someone to aspire to emulate.

  • phil tregear

    reccomend buying the sunday times today on this subject. my opinion: no one can win at endurance cycling without doping. L.A. simply has more to loose in terms of prestige etc than his compatriots who have confessed. This explains his behaviour.
    As for Stuarts comments, get real. The truth is the truth, it is far better to admit a lie than conceal it.
    The legal and financial ramifications of what is happenning here are fascinating to behold.

    PS I remain inspired by LA. How many other great champions were eventually discovered to have doped? the list is endless.

  • george

    In 2004 I remember saying how can he be so much better than the dopers, who also went into wind tunnels , checked out the route of the tour etc etc…..

    Stop living in denial cycling is full of dopers I believe more so in the past than now, but the desire to win is the biggest driver and people will go that extra mile and do that extra thing. Try riding a bike for 6 hours a day for 3 days on the trot……. then ask how do you do it competitively for 21 days. Bread and water?

    Lastly the people coming forward aren’t rats they have guilt and want to free them selves, good on them. Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t help. You can’t stop the tide coming in , and its coming in like the severn boar.

  • Bex

    Stuart – “what happens on tour stays on tour?” this is professional sport, not a stag do! Presumably these “rats” have had to tell the truth, since it is a federal investigation and lying leads to jail time.

  • martin

    if hincapie and hamilton are telling the truth the you can’t call them rats if the place they’re doing it is in front of a grand jury

  • Mike

    Well Stuart, the evidence stacking up would sugest that Armstrong was not the all conquering, all American hero, and that it was all smoke and mirrors.
    I am not surprised that people who bought into the carfully concieved media campaign still refuse to accept the damning statements now coming to light. Hero worship is always difficult to overcome.
    As has been said about lots of sports people and performances in the past, If something looks too good to be true it usually is.
    I for one will have to accept, If it is proven beyond resonable doubt, that I was cheated.

  • Esdel

    I refuse to believe that during his 7 TOUR WINS, he was not tested, so with so many people involved it would of been impossible to hide it.
    Its very simple, he is and probably was the most tested bloke in the sport, and therefore these so called team mates and try to smear one of the greatest cyclists ever.

  • adam

    Dear Stuart M, If it turned out that Manchester United had been winning for the past two decades due to doping players, bribing referees etc. Would they stil be held up as being thegreatest team in the UK? Clearly not…..
    Lance’s cancer recovery is undoubtedly amazing, but if – and let’s not be naive about this – he has cheated throughout his career, his records are a joke and deserve to be scribbled out of the history books.

  • barry

    Re Stuart ” why has Hincapie inplicated LA ”
    simple he would be in jail if he did not tell the truth.
    LA cannot bribe the federal Investigators like he did with the UCI Mafia

  • mIKE

    So Stuart you support the Omerta code or as you put it “what happens on tour stays on tour”? Happy to support the drug taking cheats who have driven our sport for so many years? The same unwritten rule that has caused the deaths of so many fit healthy young men?

    Come off it – the pro peleton is beginning to say “no” to using their bodies as laboratories. These riders do incredible feats for our entertainment – I for one would rather the pace was a little slower, the mountains a little less steep and the riders were clean, than watch automatons churning out massive kmph because of chemical assistance.

  • Jon

    Finally! Fess up Lance and stop dragging other people through the dirt to protect your web of lies. Come clean at last and help cycling make a break from the bad old days.

  • Brian

    Of course Hincapie is “disappointed that people are talking about the past in cycling instead of the future”. He has buildt a great living for himself out of cheating. I hope he gets punished as hard as his master in Dope, Lance A. Those guys must be ousted from the sport if Cycling really wants to solve the doping problem.

  • theswordsman

    “I continue to be disappointed that people are talking about the past in cycling instead of the future” is the mantra for people who have gotten away with things in the past and consider themselves above punishment for their actions. It’s like the people every two years who tell us to believe in the new breed of cyclists. My favorite was when they said that before the Tour de France when Ricco, Schumacher, Kohl & the boys got busted.

  • Stuart Mcintosh

    What happened to the unwritten rule of “what happens on tour, stays on tour”??
    All these ‘so called friends’ of Lance are rats.Tyler Hamilton has a book coming out and is trying to promote it by creating scandal. As for Hincapie, how sad it is that he has to betray one of his team mates and long time friend – why??
    Regardless of the outcome of any enquiry, he will always be, in my opinion, one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.