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Salt Lake City’s Zabriskie among witnesses in Armstrong case


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In a letter sent to USADA attorneys Tuesday, Herman dismissed any evidence provided by Landis and Hamilton, calling them "serial perjurers and have told diametrically contradictory stories under oath."

Hincapie’s role in the investigation — not confirmed until Wednesday’s report — could be more damaging, as he was one of Armstrong’s closest and most loyal teammates through the years.

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"Two years ago, I was approached by U.S. federal investigators, and more recently by USADA, and asked to tell of my personal experience in these matters," the cyclist said in a statement published shortly after USADA’s release. "I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did."

Hincapie’s two-page statement did not mention Armstrong by name.

Written in a more conversational style than a typical legal document, the report lays out in chronological order, starting in 1998 and running through 2009:

— Multiple examples of Armstrong using the blood-boosting hormone EPO, citing the "clear finding" of EPO in six blood samples from the 1999 Tour de France that were retested. UCI concluded those samples were mishandled and couldn’t be used to prove anything. In bringing up the samples, USADA said it considers them corroborating evidence that isn’t necessary given the testimony of its witnesses.

— Testimony from Hamilton, Landis and Hincapie, all of whom say they received EPO from Armstrong.

— Evidence of the pressure Armstrong put on the riders to go along with the doping program.

"The conversation left me with no question that I was in the doghouse and that the only way forward with Armstrong’s team was to get fully on Dr. Ferrari’s doping program," Vande Velde said in his testimony.

— What Vaughters called "an outstanding early warning system regarding drug tests." One example came in 2000, when Hincapie found out there were drug testers at the hotel where Armstrong’s team was staying. Aware Armstrong had taken testosterone before the race, Hincapie alerted him and Armstrong dropped out of the race to avoid being tested, the report said.


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Though she didn’t testify, Armstrong’s ex-wife, Kristin, is mentioned 30 times in the report.

In one episode, Armstrong asks her to wrap banned cortisone pills in tin foil to hand out to his teammates.

"Kristin obliged Armstrong’s request by wrapping the pills and handing them to the riders. One of the riders remarked, ‘Lance’s wife is rolling joints,’" the report read. Attempts to reach Kristin Armstrong were unsuccessful.

In addition to Armstrong and Ferrari, another player in the Postal team circle, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, also received a lifetime ban as part of the case.

Three other members of the USPS team will take their cases to arbitration. They are team director Johan Bruyneel, team doctor Pedro Celaya and team trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti.

Armstrong chose not to pursue the case and instead accepted the sanction, though he has consistently argued that the USADA system was rigged against him, calling the agency’s effort a "witch hunt" that used special rules it doesn’t follow in all its other cases.

The UCI has asked for details of the case before it decides whether to sign off on the sanctions. It has has 21 days to appeal the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

USADA has said it doesn’t need UCI’s approval and Armstrong’s penalties already are in place.

UCI President Pat McQuaid, who is in China for the Tour of Beijing, did not respond to telephone calls from The Associated Press requesting comment.

The report also will go to the World Anti-Doping Agency, which also has the right to appeal, but so far has supported USADA’s position in the Armstrong case.

ASO, the company that runs the Tour de France and could have a say in where Armstrong’s titles eventually go, said it has "no particular comment to make on this subject."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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