Lance Armstrong Doping Insiders: Those Who Knew Before His Downfall

Image: Lance Armstrong Doping Insiders: Those Who Knew Before His Downfall

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 06:46 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Lance Armstrong revealed the names of people who had prior knowledge of his doping before his downfall as a cycling champion, including three doctors and the manager of his racing team.

The names were revealed during testimony in late 2013 and were made public in previously undisclosed documents filed earlier this week. The release stemmed from a whistle-blower lawsuit regarding Armstrong's sponsorship by the U.S. Postal Service. The suit could potentially lead to fines in excess of $100 million.

According to the Armstrong, those who provided him with performance-enhancing drugs included trainer Pepi Marti, Dr. Pedro Celaya, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral and Dr. Michele Ferrari, all of them involved with Armstrong's teams or part of his entourage, The Associated Press reported.

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Other names revealed in the testimony were those of team manager Johan Bruyneel, who Armstrong claimed also assisted with his doping, and former U.S. Postal Team financier Thomas Weisel. All six of the men named have denied having any knowledge of the cyclist's doping on prior occasions.

The 41-year-old Armstrong, who survived stage-three testicular cancer in early 1997, was stripped of all seven Tour de France wins and banned from competitive cycling for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after the agency released a detailed report of his drug use in 2012.

In January 2013, Armstrong admitted to having doped during his career and then later lied about it, in an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

In his testimony, Armstrong insisted there was not payment for a cover-up, saying under oath that he "has not paid or offered to pay someone to keep his or others' doping a secret."

The cyclist, however, admitted that "on occasion he provided benefits or made contributions to many people and institutions, some of whom may have been aware of, or suspected [his] use of performance-enhancing drugs and banned methods."

In light of this, the cyclist reiterated that he "never provided any such benefits or contributions with the intent for it to be a payoff to keep doping a secret."

Armstrong's testimony also repeated his prior claim that during his 2009-2010 comeback, in which he finished third in the 2009 Tour de France, he had not been doping at the time.

To date, Armstrong has refused to provide sworn testimony to the USADA.

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