Former Murrieta resident and pro cyclist Floyd Landis testified against his fellow cyclist in an alleged Lance Armstrong-led sophisticated doping ring, it was announced today.
“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,” U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement released Wednesday.
The USADA announced it is turning over its reasoned decision in the Armstrong case and supporting information to the Union Cycliste International, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the World Triathlon Corporation, according to the statement.
The evidence in the alleged team-run operation numbers more than 1,000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the USPS Team and its participants’ doping activities, Tygart said.
The 11 teammates of Armstrong 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, according to USADA.
The active riders have been suspended and disqualified appropriately in line with the rules, Tygart said.
Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping, was among those who testified during USADA's investigation.
“It took tremendous courage for the riders on the USPS Team and others to come forward and speak truthfully. It is not easy to admit your mistakes and accept your punishment…” Tygart said.
“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,” Tygart said.
“Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.”
Armstrong did not fight the USADA charges, but insisted he never cheated, the Associated Press reported.
“Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognized competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward," Tygart said.
Two other members of the USPS Team, Dr. Michele Ferrari and Dr. Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy, Tygart said.
Other alleged evidence includes financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that “further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding,” Tygart said.
“The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices,” Tygart said.
“…A program organized by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.”
Tygart said a “Code of Silence” regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling has been “shattered, but there is more to do.”
The 202-page USADA report is attached to this article.
Landis, who has since moved from his Bear Creek Murrieta residence, now lives in Idyllwild where he continues to train, The Press-Enterprise reported.
In August, Landis admitted to defrauding supporters of his nonprofit, the now-defunct Floyd Fairness Fund.