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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

So, About Those Witnesses Against Lance Armstrong

Illustration for article titled So, About Those Witnesses Against Lance Armstrong

The revived case against Lance Armstrong hinges on more than just blood samples from 2009 and 2010 that reportedly show evidence of doping. USADA, still humping this case years after most of us stopped caring about it, allege "a massive doping conspiracy from 1998 to 2007," involving Armstrong, his teammates, his team manager and an Italian doctor. To back up these claims, USADA claims it has testimony from "at least 10" former teammates.

Armstrong has already attacked the credibility of two of the known witnesses, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, pointing out that they're confessed dopers themselves. But a report in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf identifies five more witnesses—and claims that USADA offered them reduced suspensions in exchange for their testimony against Armstrong.

The newspaper claims former Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie, David Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde and Jonathan Vaughters received six-month bans, to begin in September, after admitting to their own doping and providing evidence to implicate Armstrong.

"So let me get this straight ... come in and tell them exactly what they wanted to hear and you get complete immunity AND anonymity? I never got that offer," Armstrong wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "This isn't about [USADA CEO Travis] Tygart wanting to clean up cycling - rather it's just a plain ol' selective prosecution that reeks of vendetta."


Vaughters has denied making any deal, on behalf of current teammates Vande Velde and Zabriskie. Hincapie refused to speak about anything other than the current Tour De France, and Leipheimer said "I can't say anything."

Armstrong criticizes USADA for ‘selective prosecution' in doping inquiry after immunity report [AP]

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