The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Reasoned Decision yesterday made clear its decision to ban Lance Armstrong for doping. As the decision shows, the agency had reason to strip him of his seven Tour de France wins.

The agency said it sanctioned Armstrong for use of banned drugs and methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and corticosteroids. For possession of banned drugs and methods. For trafficking them. For administrating them. And for assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting and covering up along the way to his seven wins, from 1999 to 2007.

“There will not be a hearing in this case because Lance Armstrong strategically avoided it,” the agency said. “He voluntarily gave up the right to cross examine the witnesses against him. He abandoned his opportunity to testify (and avoided the prospect of being cross examined) under oath in response to USADA’s witnesses. … He did not want to testify – he wanted to walk away and avoid the truth telling. However, his refusal to attend a hearing still speaks volumes.”

Highlights from Volumes 1999 to 2005

– Team director Johan Bruyneel and Dr Luis Garcia del Moral join the team from team ONCE, known for its organised doping.
– Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton and Kevin Livingston train with Dr Michele Ferrari and receive EPO injections.
– At the Tour, the three or ‘the A-Team’, receive special EPO deliveries from Armstrong’s Nice gardener, referred to as ‘Motoman’.
– Armstrong and team fabricate a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificate after he tests positive for cortisone in Tour prologue.
– The A-team trio receives EPO injections during Tour every three to four days.

– Hamilton said he and Livingston begin blood doping with Armstrong after he wins Dauphiné Libéré
– Armstrong abandoned Spanish race [País Vasco] to avoid test. Hincapie knew he was taking testosterone “[when] I heard that drug testing officials were at the hotel, I texted Lance to warn him to avoid the place. As a result, Lance dropped out of the race.”
– Tour: “As in 1999, there was an important but untold back story to the public accounts of Armstrong’s triumph that flooded newspapers, magazines, and the airwaves … USADA has first hand evidence that Armstrong engaged in the use of testosterone, EPO and blood doping.
– Hamilton recalled the rest day on July 11 in the Hôtel l’Esplan in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux near Mount Ventoux. “Kevin Livingston and I received our transfusions in one room and Lance got his in an adjacent room with an adjoining door. During the transfusion Lance was visible from our room.” Armstrong lets Marco Pantani win the next day.
– French media followed US Postal car, searched the rubbish bins and found drug Actovegin. Armstrong and team said it is for road rash and for staff member with diabetes. Vande Velde said that was not true. He explained, “Actovegin was given by the team doctor to Postal Service cyclists to enhance performance and with the claim that it would improve our circulation” and “would help me perform better.” USADA pointed out that it is not a banned drug, but that Armstrong and his team tried to cover-up its use. “In other words, if Lance Armstrong was willing to lie about Actovegin – and he clearly did lie about Actovegin – there is little reason to believe that Armstrong would not be willing to lie about other products and with regard to other topics.”

– George Hincapie began working with Ferrari, paying $15,000 for the season. He continued through 2006.
– Floyd Landis and Hamilton testified Armstrong tested positive for EPO at the Tour of Switzerland. UCI tells WADA lab director that one positive sample from the race is Armstrong’s.
– Greg LeMond’s Ferrari comments enraged Armstrong. After the Tour he said, “I’m going to take him down” and I’ll “shut him up.”

– Landis became Armstrong’s close friend. “Floyd watched over their blood bags while Armstrong was out of town. They shared doping advice from Michele Ferrari, and when Floyd needed EPO Lance shared that too.”
– Armstrong continued Ferrari relationship despite media pressure, paid $150,000 in 2002 to his Swiss account.
– Blood doping continues. “Landis personally witnessed the re-infusion of blood into Armstrong on the evening before the individual time trial.” Armstrong told Landis he had a second litre of blood for the second week.

– Armstrong paid Ferrari $475,000 during the year.
– Landis said small refrigerator in Armstrong’s Girona apartment stored blood. He was in charge of controlling it for a few weeks when Armstrong went away.
– Hincapie told of story where Armstrong borrowed his apartment to re-infuse blood with Del Moral’s help.
– Landis said he, Armstrong, Hincapie and other team-mates re-infused blood at the Tour on July 11 and 17.
– Hincapie recalled at this Tour or in the 2004 edition that Armstrong told him, “I am going to be 500 grams heavier today,” referring to a blood re-infusion.

– Pedro Celaya, coming from Spain’s ONCE team, replaced del Moral as the head team physician.
– Armstrong wired Ferrari $100,000 before the Tour began.
– Team re-infused blood twice in race, once on the side of the road in the bus. George Hincapie said, “[After] a stage … blood transfusions were given on the team bus to most of the riders on the team.”
– Armstrong used EPO in small doses “to stimulate the production of immature red blood cells known as reticulocytes in order to mask the transfusion was standard practice on the USPS/Discovery Channel Team as Tom Danielson has indicated.”
– In stage 18 Armstrong chased down an escape with Filippo Simeoni and threatened him for testifying against Ferrari. “Armstrong was captured on video making a ‘zip the lips’ gesture … [It was a] sad moment in the history of cycling.”

– Hincapie gave testimony that “Armstrong possessed EPO in 2005 and that in 2005 Armstrong administered EPO to Hincapie.”
– After seventh Tour win, Armstrong travelled directly to the USA. Hincapie said that Bruyneel asked him “to sweep” Armstrong’s Girona apartment to make sure it was free of drugs or related materials.
– Despite saying he stopped working with Ferrari, Tom Danielson recalls a training meeting with him, Armstrong and Ferrari in Girona. On March 29, Armstrong wired Ferrari $100,000.
– In March while training in Tenerife, Levi Leipheimer began working with Ferrari.
– On November 30, Armstrong lied under oath in SCA hearing regarding his relationship with Ferrari.

External link

Full PDF of USADA’s ‘reasoned decision’ plus links to supporting evidence

Related links

USADA publishes details of Armstrong doping case file

UCI responds to USADA Armstrong doping evidence

Former Armstrong team-mate Barry: ‘Doping had become an epidemic problem

Hincapie admits to doping during career

USADA strips Lance Armstrong of seven Tour titles

Lance Armstrong to be stripped of his seven Tour titles

Judge dismisses Armstrong lawsuit against USADA

LeMond suggests changes need to be made to drug testing and UCI

Vaughters denies that Garmin team riders will be suspended by USADA

Armstrong attacks USADA for opening formal action against him

Armstrong banned from triathlons as new doping charge brought against him

February 4 2012: Armstrong holds off the law

Armstrong case dropped by US investigators

Armstrong investigation arrives in Europe

Armstrong’s team mate Popovych testifies he did not witness doping

Armstrong’s team-mate Popovych summonsed in doping investigation

Landis admits he doped and implicates others

  • Miki

    Is it based on evidences or on testimonies of riders?
    Were they under the threat of ban to force them to testify?

  • Cherry

    TG, accept your point but I still have this issue about the drug tests. The only conclusion I can come to is that whilst what he and no doubt others did at the time was ethically questionable it didn’t contravene the rules in place at the time hence no failed tests. That tests were subsequently developed probably explains why the likes of George Hincapie and others stopped when they did and why he also has a clean record.

  • TG

    Cherry, I expect Mr Armstrong is trying to explain to his kids why all of these people are saying they saw him take drugs or picked them up for him. He must have made a lot of enemies if they are all lying.

  • Cherry

    Nick rather than appealing to Lances conscience perhaps you should explaini to his kids why you desperately need to believe that he’s a cheat despite not having failed a test. This whole thing has always been all about discrediting Lance Armstrong rather than cleaning up the sport and just confirms that my assessment of cycling as a sport I no longer want to be associated with is the right one. Over and out.

  • Nick Steele

    The most important question for me is: What does Lance say to his kids now? When they come home from school, and say “daddy, all the other kids say you took drugs and cheated in the Tour de France. Did you?” When he has to kneel down and look his own kids in the eye, what does he say?

    Strikes me that he has 3 choices:

    1) He can lie to them and say he never took drugs and cheated. That would be the most pitiful thing I can think of. If you are such a sad human being that you even lie to your own kids, then you are the lowest worm on the planet, and don’t deserve to even be a father. I couldn’t live with myself if I did that. Better to commit suicide, Lance.

    2) he can tell them the truth that he did dope, but then ask them to not talk about it – in other words ask his kids to help cover it up for him. Just as bad a moral choice as #1.

    3) or he can man up and tell his kids the truth,without strings. It would all crumble once he did, but this is the only choice a father can make if he truly loves his kids and wants to be a true father.

    What choice do you make on this one, Lance? There are no lawyers, nobody to intimidate or argue with, and nothing to hide behind. What do you say to your kids?

  • Sarah M
  • Cherry

    Dagenham Dave, we seem to have a conspiracy theory rather than hard evidence to explain why Armstrong, Hincapie and others weren’t caught especially when the UCI weren’t the only body responsible for testing. Yes I may be a sucker but it’s not because I think that Lance Armstrong is innocent it’s because in the absence of a valid reason why he wasn’t caught I still want to believe that cycling as a sport has any credibility. Perhaps what’s needed is more transparency so for instance it would be a big step in the right direction if Team Sky ste an example by making public the regime Bradley followed during the tour that as a clean rider enabled him toperform at the levels he did in the final days of the tour. I don’t suppose for a minute it will happen because it’s giving trade secrets away but unless something like this happens it’s difficult to see how anyone but the most blinkered cyling fan can truly believe that what they are seeing is above board. For me a little bit of my love for cycling died in 1998 and what was left has now disappeared also.

  • Graham Etheridge

    UCI def implicit, they st the Haematocrit levels @ 50% when the natural level of a healthy person/athlete is around 47%, it has been shown that during vigourous exercise the level falls, but back in the 90’s they all rode at or near 50% for the whole Tour, if their haematocrit levels went over 50% they had to have two weeks off the bike for “health reasons” !! thats why in the mountain stages everyday the same guys would be at the front tearing up the climbs,(Pantani, Herras, Virenque, Dufaux, Ulrich, Riis, Zulle etc, all drug cheats, but at the time, they would not of “failed” a drug test for EPO, thats how Armstrong did not “fail” a test, it was set to high & with the right “Doctor” and medication he & they could stay within the levels day after day.

  • Ray Ball

    does this mean all George Hincapie et al will all lose any of their wins?

  • dagenham dave

    Hein Verbrugge and Pat McQuaid – you ar implicit in all of this – what did you spend Lancelots donation money on after he paid you off for ‘overlooking’ his dope test failure at th TD Suisse?UCI you are guilty bet you won’t admit though!

  • dagenham dave

    I can’t beleive that it took people so long to suss out this chartatan – I know I did in 99! Lancelot you are a cheat and so are all of you cohorts! – but at least they have the bottle to admit it ! I can remember when you had you big ‘comeback’ how you and your team ‘ sprinted’ up the cols of the TDF ! Yeah right ! Put your hands up and admit your guilt ! You were a mediocre one day rider and turned into super man! Why should the cyclists of today have to endure having to be asked embassing questions about you actions ie Brad on TV tonight? You and Bruyneel should be in the dock! how many people are wering their US (EPO)ostals, Drugstana and Drugrecovery cycling jerseys now? Available for 50p on Ebay? To all the Lance beleivers : wise up suckers!

  • Cherry

    George Hincapie and others have admitted to using performance enhancing drugs but not how they managed to avoid being caught out. Is is because they were using sports science to stay one jump ahead and therefore whatever they were doing wasn’t actually illegal at the time?

  • Debbie

    Time to move on, plenty of great heroes in cycling today
    I agree with Steve get out there and let it go

  • deb

    Sad as it is for all Armstrong has done for the sport and cancer support these guys have got to fall as it will be the only way the next generation will learn that it actually does not pay. Imagine Brailsford and his boys in a similar situation 5 years from now they must know that all their credibility would be gone along with the adulation and a bit like the bankers they will find that they are despised and not revered! and let’s face it their ego’s couldn’t take it (which is why Lance just can’t face admitting it). I bet they are now terrified that they could get mixed up with a rider dabbling with drugs privately and would drop them like a stone if they found out.
    So for all his good work and his world status it can not be brushed under the carpet and for the sake of all the honest future riders who would be left down the results looking at the podium gods and not realizing that could have been him or her along with all the riches and glory stolen from them by organized cheats that seem all to prevalent in all walks of present day society were there is financial gains to be had!

  • steve clarke

    This is a SAD day for cycling, I know there are people, Lance included, who say we should forget the past and move on, however this sandal needs to be sorted out once and for all.

    I am very upset about all this, but this does raise quite a few questions for me:
    1. How can we TRUST the UCI?
    2. How can we TRUST the top teams when the directors are ex dopers?
    3. How can we TRUST the cycling press, when for years they “hyped” up Lance for their own gains, i.e HE HELPED SELL THE MAGAZINES????
    4. How can we TRUST that everyone is telling the truth???
    5. What about the chain of supply that sold the drugs in the first place??? It’s about time we dealt with this!
    6. How can we TRUST the Tour de France, how can we BELIEVE in cycling again??????
    7. I find it quite sad that OUR sport still supports its own and there is still the power of silence.
    Look at the Festia affair, Virenque is still a hero to the French, Festia are still sponsoring cycle races (including the Tour of Britain)
    8. How can we TRUST the TV commentators who never doubted Lance.
    9. How do we move on from this??????


    How can Phil Ligget continue to defend LA after all this and surely Pat Mc Quaid must resign.

  • Terry

    If the 500+dope tests were ‘negative’, where does that put the UCI, ASO and the labs ??

  • Tim

    Time for a complete overhaul of the sport, starting at the top!
    The UCI were aware and turned a blind eye, from Pat down we need wholesale change to clean the sport up.

    In terms of Lance… The evidence is there now, he just needs to confess all. No one believes him anymore… anything he says to the contrary will just been seen as a joke by all who hear his bullsh*t

  • Ken Evans

    The cancer has been exposed !

  • simon

    There was always this nagging doubt with me. How could someone for seven times win the most gruelling race in the world? Well Mr Armstrong we now know it was your Pharmaceutical friend that was helping you.
    Like the previous comments i feel sorry for those guys who were clean and watched as this man destroyed them in the field. At the time they must have doubted about there own fitness and training regimes.

    At least George Hincapie had the guts to tell the truth, but with beautiful distorted irony he was honoured by his peers as he was allowed to lead out the field as they entered the Champs-Elysees this year

  • Steve

    Best let it go. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of good races next year! Moping about it won’t do anyone any good, just go out and ride your bike!

  • Matt

    One of the key issues now is how complicit the UCI and other organisations were in this scandal.

  • Graham Etheridge

    Not a completes suprise, but the scale of it!!!
    Where do we go from here!?
    If they (UCI) strip him of his wins, who will they give it to? The Lantern rouge!?
    So so sad, I love this sport I even loved Lance for his “comeback” from cancer, but now….just a big bully & cheat among many other cheats, I feel sorry for those who lost a career because of these people, Bassons, Delion even Boardman & a very few others.
    I feel physically sick reading all this because of the impression it (again!) gives of pro cycling to those who dont know to much about the sport media & general public.
    A sad sad time for all who love cycling!

  • George Smiley

    Sorry Lance I can no longer support you, yet again another of my heroes is proved to be a false idol.
    But how in all the tests that he took he was never found out or his team mates?
    Landis was caught in 2006, then Tyler Hamilton, both former team mates. There are still riders in the peleton today that were teamates of Armstrong, will they be banned retrospectively?
    I cannot see how Armstrong dare show his face in public again, as a previous writer has written he may as well come clean and at least apologise for lying his face off all these years and for cheating all these years when so many believed in you?
    If the UCI or whoever strips him of his 7 Tour de France wins who will they declare a winner? Ulrich finished second three? times to Armstrong and he was running bent, so where do the titles go to the 3rd 4th 5th placed riders? Or even lower placings because thats the cleanest rider in the field?
    By god Lance you ain’t half created a mess and a half behind you, or do we do as in baseball use an asterix against Armstrongs name?
    Armstrong* Cheated his whole career!

  • Tony Lopez

    I cant understand how anybody can still believe Armstrong was clean!! He should just hold his hands up and admit it now coz he’s just making himself look like a total idiot!