Eleven of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s ex-teammates have testified against him for an investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The 40-year-old seven-time winner of the Tour De France has always denied claims he had ever used performance-enhancing drugs during his career and earlier this year even tried to have a restraining order placed on the USADA.
However, this legal action was thrown out of a Texas court and on Wednesday the USDA has announced that it has evidence that “the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen".
The USADA handed the cyclist a lifetime suspension and wiped his Tour De France wins from the record.
It has produced a report, authored by USADA CEO Travis T Tygart, that sets out the evidence used to make these decisions.
Tygart said in a statement summarising the findings: “The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming and is in excess of 1000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team (USPS Team) and its participants’ doping activities.
“The evidence also includes direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong.”
These eleven teammates who testified against 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.
The damning statement also 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.”