World cycle body seeks Armstrong evidence
By Suzanne Halliburton
15:56 AEST Sat Aug 25 2012

The US Anti-Doping Agency stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles on Friday and banned him from sanctioned sports for life, but it's still unclear whether the international cycling community will recognise its actions.

After USADA's announcement, it was clear that agencies in the United States and Europe were undecided over who had the authority to punish Armstrong.

The International Cycling Union asked USADA for its evidence, which it has yet to reveal, while Tour officials declared they were monitoring the situation.

Armstrong's legal team still was considering whether to appeal a ruling made earlier this week by US District Judge Sam Sparks, who said he didn't have the jurisdiction to issue a permanent injunction against USADA.

Armstrong's two main sponsors - Anheuser-Busch and Nike - stood by the cyclist on Friday while his Austin-based foundation received 400 donations totalling $US75,000 ($A73,000), said Livestrong Foundation spokeswoman Rae Bazzarre.

That's an increase of more than 770 per cent from the day before.

Meanwhile, the 40-year-old Armstrong plans to compete in two Aspen, Colo, sporting events this weekend - a mountain bike race on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday, events that don't fall under USADA's umbrella.

On Friday, he told the American-Statesman that "I'm fine." And he tweeted his thanks to his supporters worldwide.

Armstrong, who retired from cycling a year ago, announced late on Thursday that he would not go through arbitration to fight USADA's charges, declaring he would always be the true winner of the Tours from 1999 to 2005.

USADA acknowledged that it took Armstrong's decision as an admission of guilt, which is why the agency moved so quickly on Friday to penalise him, even changing its own rules to wipe away an eight-year statute of limitations.

"Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition," said Travis Tygart, USADA's chief executive.

Tim Herman, Armstrong's Austin-based lawyer, explained the cyclist's decision to give up the fight against USADA in an interview Friday with the Statesman.

"Lance has been going through this; he's been hounded for over a decade," Herman said.

Herman said the arbitration process is unfairly weighted in USADA's favour and would probably take years to proceed before an arbitration panel and on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

USADA has won 58 of its 60 arbitration cases.

In his career, Armstrong was investigated by the French government, an independent lawyer from the Netherlands hired by the International Cycling Union, and then by the US government.

No penalties ever were issued.

An arbitration panel awarded Armstrong $US7.5 million ($A7.20 million) in damages in 2006 after Dallas-based SCA Promotions refused to pay him a $US5 million ($A4.8 million) bonus because of what it claimed was Armstrong's drug use to win its Tours.

USADA stated that based on testimony from 12 people, Armstrong used, distributed and trafficked in prohibited substances, including steroids, blood-boosting products and masking agents.

USADA also said Armstrong administered the products to others, then assisted and encouraged a cover-up of at least one doping violation.

The agency never revealed the identities of its witnesses in its official charging document. But in an August 10 court hearing, USADA said two of those witnesses were Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, both of whom failed drug tests.

Landis lost his 2006 Tour championship, while Hamilton was stripped of his 2004 Olympic gold medal.

It's unclear if the Tour could even award the yellow jersey to a new champion.

Germany's Jan Ullrich finished second to Armstrong in 2000, 2001 and 2003 and was third in 2004. But he stopped riding after he was implicated in a blood-doping scandal that rocked the Tour in 2006.

That same scandal also forced a suspension of Ivan Basso, runner-up to Armstrong in 2005.

User comments
Interesting to read Lance Armstrong's statement online - he does not say once "I did not dope" - he just says there's no physical evidence and that, regarding participation in testing, he played by the rules. So you can't blame him for lying... but pretty much says it all for me
Why does a Armstrong have to prove his innosence. if there is evidence to show his guilt, please produce it or stop persicuting him.
The USADA sounds like it needs a corruption audit preformed on itself. Disgusting performance on thier behalf. would someone please update me on the tour standings oer the past 20 years??
He is a true champion. I would give up contesting too, the time and money and stress. He knows he won those tours and all the USADA is doing is putting a bad light on the sport of cycling. If they still had concerns should of been handled more discretely until they had 100% proof. He is retired and cheat or not should of been left alone and used to promote the sport as he is a well regognised athlete. I even know who he is and I have no real interest in cycling.
Does the usada even have the power to strip him of international titles?
You know its guilty until proven innocent stuff. There's no hard evidence, so lets find a bunch of lessder humans to make complaints on a "this is what I saw him doing" stuff. Pathetic. There is the drugs in sports problem but this is only eclipsed by the Politics in Sports!!
Firstly may I point out that John Fahey, the former NSW Liberal Premier, was the worst premier Australia has ever had. Now in his position as head of the Anti Doping Agency, his credibility as an administrator has sunk to new depths. Fahey assumes that Lance Armstrong is guilty, simply because Lance Armstrong will not attend the hearing. Fahey is the sole judge and executioner of the new Spanish Inquisition. Lance Armstrong may or may not be guilty of doping offences, that is not the issue here. If the ADA feels there is a case, they should take the matter to a High or Supreme Court to get a fair verdict. Witnesses must be interrogated, names and dates must be produced when these offences too place. What drugs were taken? What masking agents were used to hide the drugs that were allegedly used? Without full and accurate details, Lance Armstrong must be considered to be innocent on all accounts unless found guilty by irrefutable evidence as borne out in a court of law.
It is fascinating to see that the USA has changed its legal system from "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until you prove yourself innocent". Look carefully at the disgraceful Lance Armstrong situation. For many years beyond his 7 Tour de France wins he has constantly been tested AND CLEARED of any doping. Now he has been attacked again by the very organisation which should have been supporting him based on a few comments by loser cyclists but no blood tests. Fine for them to find him guilty because HE HAS NOT PROVEN HIMSELF INNOCENT, I note that NIKE still supports Lance and so do I, hang your head in shame America.
7 wins at the Tour, not to mention other events, and not one positive result in that time. Interesting that his accusers (Landis and others) have all confessed and taken USADA administered punishments. USADA and WADA including that fool John Fahey (washed up ex Premier of NSW) think that because you don't defend a charge then its an admission of guilt. Having been in a couple of legal stoushes there comes a time when you just turn around and say enough is enough that all Armstrong did he admitted no guilt and none was proven in accordance with that tired old Western Democratic principle of " Innocent until proven otherwise" there was no fairness in the process a failure to appear and defend is interpreted as guilt. He won 7 Tours and will always be remembered for that. I also thought it was up to the Tour organisers to strip him of his wins not a bunch of self important Yanks who in all probability have achieved nothing in their lives through hard work and determination.
Amazing how many people try to defend him, the guy has decided to avoid fighting the charges, the first time EVER in a long string of battles, to avoid the evidence becoming public. The sad truth is this sport in particular has been tainted for decades now, it is so riddled with drug use, many of Lance's team mates having been caught which is the tip of the ice berg. Sadly the doping agencies can simply not keep up with advances and changes in chemical biology or techniques to simply mask results. If you actually take a look at testing for EPO and or blood doping for example you will actually see how unreliable the methods are, the actual scope of testing and trying to find a positive result is so narrow compared to the potential options athletes might have to avoid them. Ironically drugs in sport is like drugs in society, try all you like to prohibit them but it is just a reality you can not contain.
Forgive my ignorance, but doesn' the USADA have to still PROVE their case against LA BEFORE they can strip him of titles.(Assuming that they even have the authority to do so) Up until now they have said they have evidence and laid charges but this hasn't gone to court or before the various sporting bodies. Then they critise LA for saying he doesn't want to fight them. USADA is funded by tax payers, LA would be paying his own lawyer fees.........Bit one sided.
a huge percentage of pro athletes use some form of performance enhancing drugs, some get caught out, many do not. the fact that an elite athlete has never tested positive, does not mean he or she has never used drugs to cheat. it just means they have the ability to avoid detection. through heads up inside info, or through using the many masking agents available. it is also interesting to note that athletes use all kinds of excuses for any anomaly found in their samples. very very rarely do they just cop it on the chin. to think that a negative urine result means no performance enhancement has been used is to be blind of the methods being used in these modern times. as the testing improves, the avoidance techniques improve more. ive never returned positive urine result and i'm tested often. does this mean i dont use drugs ???????
This witch hunt has gone a long way to destroying sport in general ! If achievements can be challenged by allegation and can be undone without the civility of due and just legal process then lets not bother with it at all ...what about the world series, Olympics .......etc
Does this now open the door for any athlete on the world stage who is repeatedly beaten by a US athlete to make an allegation against another about doping despite constant testing that all athletes must undergo. At all times Lance Armstrong has passed these tests when other have failed. Should the Amaury Sport Organisation strip him of his Tour De France titles then it surely would be regardsd by the millions of viewers and competitors from then on as the Tour de Farce.
WHAT HAS HE DONE TO UPSET THESE PEOPLE SEEM TO BE ATTACKING HIM EVERYTIME HE TURNS AROUND..... He is a champ and has done the sport a huge honour. But if you win once your good if youb win twice you are a champ... if you keep winning oh he must be using drugs
Its a damm shame he is a true champ..... but if you sling enough mud some of it will stick even if you are dreug free
Isnt it strange that EVERY champion over the last 40 years , At one time or another is called a CHEAT,,,,,Bolt, thorpe , spitz to name just a few,,,,IF Lance did cheat (BLOODY BIG IF)then for him to get away with it for so long , PROVES the incompetents of the Anti dopeing agencies , This is a man who fought and WON against cancer , but now has to fight a more insidious foe,(USADA) the should be MADE to show ALL the evidence to the world's media, then everyone will be able to see what is really going on,,,,Maybe someone should test them( USADA) to see what THEY are on..OR did Armstrong just *** OFF the wrong people??????
Where is the proof! Which riders have brought this claim against him. Maybe they made a bargin with USADA. Why not question them on thier positve results or motives. Shame a this man's reputation is now tainted by rumour with no actual proof.Can't blame him for not wanting to subject himeself and his family to the burden of the investigation both financially and physically.Sounds like he has already been through it a number of times.
It's about time - all drug cheats should get caught. I feel very sorry for all who don't cheat & are constantly the runners up missing out on gold medals, sponsorships and acclaim. All the drug cheats can rot in hell! Unfortunately it takes much too long to catch those desperate people. They should be very very ashamed of bringing sport down to their level.
wasn't it ASADA that ignored positive drug tests of usa atheletes b4 atlanta olypmics? pathetic how the officials take the word of self confessed drug cheats over a man of obvious integrity. so much for the presumption of innocence!
I'm not buying into whether Lance is a drug cheat or not. However there are some point I would make. First. Though they take samples often, testing methods are always being improved as are drugging methods, so sometimes it isn't for some years before drug cheats are discovered. Secondly, if this was some Russian or Chineses athlet we probably wouldn't be having this debate. Thirdly, Lance has decided not to fight the charges in court, so and chance of a legal resolution isn't going to happen. Now I can accept Lance's argument thathe if fed up with it all, and I don't really blame him, but if he doesn't do it for him self, he should at least do it for his supporters and fans.
Unfortunately, Cycling has always had a drug culture attached to it. The Chemists have always been able to keep in front of the testing for years. Now with the advancement of technology, it is catching up with the cheats. Although it does say a lot that they were 15 years or so infront. So either the Chemists were exceptionally good or the sports governing body were extremely lax. Either way it is sad. If these so called chemists were so good at this cheating, why don't they put their expertise at fighting cancer and diseases and show the whole world how good they really are and not just cheats. Sad day for all sports....
Let's not forget how hard the Tour de France is, and to win it even once drugs or not is an amazing achievement. But to go on to win it six more times takes more than a quick steroid jab. And, all after surviving cancer. This man has won it seven times because he has an amazing talent and a super strong body. Now the USADA should be made to prove THEIR allegations rather than assuming he's guilty. I don't blame him for giving up the fight it's exhausting and a waste of his precious life. Him, his family, friends and fans all know what he's achieved and that's all that matters. Wouldn't be telling anyone where I worked if I was a USADA employee very unpopular at the moment I'm sure.
USADA do not have the power to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour De France title's so please tell me how they have done so? The international cycling federation is the only power who can do so, and last time i checked USADA is not the ICF
Strip Armstrong of his titles ? Now the second placegetter will be elevated ? Check the results over the seven year period who came second. Well done !
Complete witch hunt, his problem is people in high places in both the french and US cycling circles dont like him and are determined to see him go down. Unbelievable to think that he has been tested so many times and been proven as NOT a drugs cheat, and yet they still cant let a true champion of the sport be and get all the accolades he deserves. Absolute inspiration as a man and as a champion rider. No wonder he has given up, you can only spend so much and fight for so long against major corporations who never run out of money, time or personnel... shame USADA, shame.
Just who the devil does USADA believe they are? The only people that should be able to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles ir the Tour organisers! Why should one body come out with this action when none of the other reputable Organasations has said antthing? I believe Lance!
Lance Armstrong has submitted to and passed regular drug tests, both urine and blood tests, his performance has always been scrutinised and questioned. He survived cancer and came back, and still the witch hunt went on. Now to have the USADA say that he should be stripped of his Tour De France titles, and that his ban is backdated to 1998, how does any of this work. Why not back date it to the day he was born, or even better to the day he was concieved, because obviously this is when he got his advantage, his drive, his talent, his ability, that has made him the amazing athelet he is. Why would any other athelete now strive to be that calabre of athlete now, having seen the way the USADA goes after the talented?? Who can blame Lance Armstrong for giving up after so many years of unfounded suspicion?? At least he can sleep well at night knowing he is a great athelete who has never cheated.
If Armstrong has always passed drug tests, he shouldn't be striped of his wins. After hundreds of drug tests which have proved negative, why have the USADA been so intent on pushing their claims that he is a drug cheat. The USADA has had to rely on the testaments of people who have been drug cheats. I can't understand why there has been such a witch hunt in the case of Lance Armstrong, why have they been so adamant that Armstrong is a drug cheat when all his drug tests have shown otherwise. If the Tour titles are taken from him, who would be bothered to follow cycling any more.
Good on you Lance Armstrong. The best way is to turn your back on these hypocrites. Doesn`t matter what you say or do these idiots have already made up their minds. Go and enjoy your life with your family and don`t ever look back. You are a true sportsman to so many people....

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