by Malcolm Curtis|The Local, Switzerland|October 14, 2012
The explosive report by the US Anti-Doping Agency, released this week, outlines documented hefty payments made by the seven-time Tour de France winner to Dr. Michele Ferrari over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006.
The information is included in a sweeping indictment of Armstrong and members of the US Postal Service cycling team for running “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping programme that the sport has ever seen”.
The 164-page report is buttressed by more than 1,000 pages of documentary evidence, including testimony from 15 cyclists, most of them members or former members of the USPS team.
The USDA had earlier stripped Armstrong of his Tour de France titles, although the American athlete, famous for successfully battling cancer, rejected the claims as hearsay and refused to admit wrongdoing.
This week his lawyers slammed the anti-doping agency’s report as a “one-sided hatchet job” that rehashed “old, disproved, unreliable allegations”.
The report places Ferrari at the heart of what US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart called a “doping conspiracy (. . .) 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.”
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