Cyclist Lance Armstrong has been ordered to pay $10 million in damages after losing a lawsuit with sports insurance company SCA Promotions Inc.
In 2006, Lance Armstrong, now 43, received $7.5 million in payments from SCA relating to his seven Tour de France victories.
Lance Armstrong admitted to doping and was found to have lied in proceedings.
SCA said: “The award, which must be paid directly to SCA, is believed to be the largest award of sanctions assessed against an individual in American judicial history.”
“According to the arbitrators’ written ruling, the sanctions award punishes Armstrong for <<an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy>>,” the company added.
Lance Armstrong testified in the proceedings, which took place almost 10 years after an initial hearing which found in his favor after he gave evidence under oath.
“SCA’s dispute with Armstrong is not over,” said SCA.
“It has a currently pending lawsuit in Dallas state district court where it is pursuing additional claims against Lance Armstrong and Bill Stapleton [Armstrong’s agent].”
Italian prosecutors have reopened an inquiry into the death of cyclist Marco Pantani after his family presented what it says is evidence he was murdered.
Marco Pantani, who won the 1998 Tour de France, was ruled to have died of a cocaine overdose after being found dead in his room on February 14, 2004.
His mother believes Marco Pantani, who was 34 when he died, was murdered.
Italian prosecutors have reopened an inquiry into the death of cyclist Marco Pantani (photo Il Calcio Magazine)
Tonina Pantani alleges he was beaten and forced to drink a lethal dose of cocaine dissolved in liquid.
“We have just received documents sent by those close to [Marco Pantani] and we have opened an investigation,” said Paolo Giovagnoli, the public prosecutor in Rimini, where Marco Pantani’s body was found.
“We will read them and if we decide to proceed with a new investigation, we will appoint an examining magistrate to do so.”
In the year of his victory in the Tour de France, Marco Pantani also won the Giro d’Italia.
Tonina Pantani told La Repubblica newspaper: “I will never stop until I see the truth written about Marco…”
The Pantani family says the marks found on Marco Pantani’s body show he had been beaten, and the high amount of cocaine found in his system suggested he had swallowed the drug, which it claims is something he would not have done willingly.
Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes has gone on trial accused of running one of the world’s largest sports doping rings.
Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes’s trial in Madrid comes nearly seven years after police raided his offices and seized some 200 bags of blood which were linked to a number of top cyclists.
Dozens of cyclists have been called to testify as witnesses in the trial.
Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, his sister and three former cycling coaches are charged with breaking public health laws.
They could not be charged with doping-related crimes because Spain had no anti-doping law at the time of their arrest.
Prosecutors must prove that the defendants’ actions put the lives of the athletes at risk – something the defence is expected to deny.
The case comes days after former seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong finally admitted to using banned drugs and blood doping during his cycling career.
Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes has gone on trial accused of running one of the world’s largest sports doping rings
Spanish police carried out a series of raids on offices, laboratories and flats in Madrid, Zaragoza and El Escorial in May 2006 as part of an investigation known as Operation Puerto.
They found around 200 bags of blood or frozen plasma with labels that were believed to be code-names for Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes’s clients – athletes who were allegedly benefiting from a highly-sophisticated doping programme.
Dozens of cyclists were allegedly implicated in the scandal, including former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, who is expected to give evidence in the trial.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has said that it was told, at the time of the raids, that the bags of blood also related to athletes from several sports, including football and tennis.
But the trial will focus only on cyclists who, according to the chief prosecutor in the case, are the only athletes that could be identified from the bags of blood seized.
The trial is expected to last until mid-March.
If found guilty, the defendants could face up to two years in prison and a two-year professional ban.
US rider Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France titles will not be awarded to anyone else, the International Cycling Union has announced.
Lance Armstrong was stripped of his yellow jerseys by cycling’s governing body for doping on Monday.
“The management committee decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events,” said a UCI statement.
Lance Armstrong crossed the line first every year between 1999 and 2005.
The UCI has also ordered Lance Armstrong to pay back all his prize money from this period.
The statement added: “The committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to 2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation.
“The committee also called on Armstrong and all other affected riders to return the prize money they had received.”
Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France titles will not be awarded to anyone else, the UCI has announced
On Monday, the UCI ratified the decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour titles.
The UCI’s statement went on to add that there was “little honour to be gained” from reallocating the yellow jerseys from 1999 to 2005 to any other riders.
A USADA report called the American a “serial” cheat who led “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.
Lance Armstrong has kept quiet since USADA’s report was published earlier this month.
Eleven of Lance Armstrong’s former team-mates have told their stories of doping with the US Postal Service cycling team, but none in such detail as Tyler Hamilton.
Tyler Hamilton’s book, The Secret Race, published in September, provides minute detail on how the drugs were obtained, how they were stored, delivered to the riders and injected, and how the syringes were carried away in a Coke can.
Most astonishingly, Tyler Hamilton explains how easy it was to beat the testers.
Lance Armstrong has rejected Tyler Hamilton’s allegations, while his lawyer described the latest condemnation from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as a “one-sided hatchet job”.
Tyler Hamilton started off on testosterone, a “red egg” as the cyclists referred to the pill, but soon graduated on to the more powerful EPO – erythropoietin – which he and his US Postal Service team-mates dubbed Edgar, after Edgar Allen Poe.
This stimulates the creation of red blood cells, boosting performance by about 5%, or, as Tyler Hamilton puts it “roughly the difference between first place in the Tour de France and the middle of the pack”.
EPO can be detected in the body for a number of hours after it has been taken – the “glowtime”. During this time, the cyclist needs to avoid a meeting with the dope tester.
So, during the months of training, they kept track of when they had taken the drug, and tipped each other off by phone whenever a tester appeared in Girona, the town in northern Spain where the cyclists were based. In The Secret Race, co-authored by journalist Daniel Coyle, he lists three tips:
“Tip one: Wear a watch. Tip Two: Keep your cellphone handy. Tip three: Know your glowtime, how long you’ll test positive after you take the substance. What you’ll notice is that none of these things is particularly difficult to do.”
They were more like “discipline tests, IQ tests” than drug tests, he says.
“If you were careful and paid attention, you could dope and be 99% certain that you would not get caught.”
Tyler Hamilton’s book, The Secret Race was published in September and provides minute detail on doping
On one occasion Tyler Hamilton heard a knock on the door when he was glowing, and simply hid inside the house in silence until the tester gave up and went away.
They never came during the night, making late evening the best time for doping. One elderly tester even called in advance to let the cyclists know when he was coming.
USADA describes Lance Armstrong as the enforcer of US Postal’s “massive and pervasive” doping programme.
“It was not enough that his team-mates give maximum effort on the bike,” Wednesday’s USADA report on Armstrong says.
“He also required that they adhere to the doping programme outlined for them or be replaced.”
It wasn’t only US Postal that was doping, of course. More than half the Tour de France winners since 1980 have either tested positive, been sanctioned for doping, or admitted it.
Tyler Hamilton said this week that it was “a dark period of cycling that we all went through”.
“None of us when we were 15 or 16 years old were planning on doing that, but we all kind of rode our way up the ranks and came into this world. It was a world that already existed, when we got there. The doctors, the riders had been doing these things for years.”
George Hincapie, US Postal team captain from 1999-2005, admitted doping for the first time on Wednesday, saying that early in his professional career it became clear to him “that given the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them”.
Tyler Hamilton writes in The Secret Race that he visited Lance Armstrong at his home in Nice some time before the 1999 Tour de France, and finding himself without EPO, asked if he could use some of Armstrong’s.
“Lance pointed casually to the fridge. I opened it and there, on the door, next to a carton of milk, was a carton of EPO, each stoppered vial standing upright, little soldiers in their cardboard cells.”
In 1998, the team had distributed the EPO in white lunch bags. But this was the year the Festina and TVM teams were caught with large quantities of steroids, EPO and syringes. So in 1999 greater care was needed. According to Tyler Hamilton, Lance Armstrong arranged for his gardener to follow the Tour on a motorbike, carrying a thermos flask full of EPO tubes.
“When we needed <<Edgar>>, Philippe would zip through the Tour’s traffic and make a drop-off,” he writes in The Secret Race.
By the following year, they had begun blood doping, flying to Spain to have their blood drawn by the team doctor, Tyler Hamilton says.
This blood, rich in red blood cells, was then delivered back to the tired riders, to help boost their red blood cell count during the race.
Riders found blood bags, still cold from the refrigerator, taped to the wall next to their beds in their hotel rooms. Hamilton describes the sensation of goosebumps as the chilled blood circulated around his body.
One of the doctors used by US Postal, Michele Ferrari – nicknamed Doctor Death by reporters – found ways of helping to reduce the EPO glowtime by using small “microdoses” injected into the vein.
The cyclists could also drink large amounts of water, or inject themselves with saline solution, in order to accelerate the fading of the glow.
“They’ve got their doctors, and we’ve got ours, and ours are better,” writes Tyler Hamilton.
After Dr. Michele Ferrari was convicted of sporting fraud by an Italian court in 2004, Lance Armstrong issued a statement, in which he said: “I have always said that I have zero tolerance for anyone convicted of using or facilitating the use of performance-enhancing drugs. As a result of today’s developments, the USPS team and I have suspended our professional affiliation with Dr. Ferrari.”
Lance Armstrong contests that he took 500 drug tests worldwide and never failed one. This is disputed. Tyler Hamilton says he failed tests, but managed to explain it away, or hush it up.
Tyler Hamilton himself kept a clear record for several years. He first tested positive just as he reached the peak of his career – a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics – when by mistake he was given another man’s blood.
Blood transfusions are potentially risky. Badly stored blood can poison an athlete when transfused. Tyler Hamilton never had this problem, but he did suffer from one botched transfusion, which left him urinating a fluid “dark, dark red, almost black”.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong announces he will no longer fight drug charges from the US anti-doping agency, ahead of a Friday deadline.
In a statement, Lance Armstrong, 40, maintains he is innocent, but says he is weary of the “nonsense” accusations.
The US anti-doping agency (USADA) now says it will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.
Lance Armstrong retired from professional sport in 2011.
USADA alleges he used banned substances as far back as 1996, including the blood-booster EPO, steroid and blood transfusions.
USADA says it will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles
Lance Armstrong sued in federal court to block the charges but lost.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, <<Enough is enough>>. For me, that time is now,” Lance Armstrong said in the statement.
“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999.
“Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s [USADA’s chief executive] unconstitutional witch hunt.
“The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.”
Lance Armstrong had been given until 06:00 GMT on Friday to decide whether to continue fighting the USADA charges.
The agency has said that 10 of Lance Armstrong’s former teammates are prepared to testify against him.
The cyclist has accused USADA of offering “corrupt inducements” to other riders.
USADA also accuses Armstrong of being a “ring-leader” of systematic doping on his Tour de France winning teams.
Travis Tygart said shortly after Armstrong’s statement that his agency would ban Lance Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his titles, according to AP.
The chief executive described the case as a “heartbreaking” example of a win-at-all costs approach to sports.
However, Lance Armstrong disputed that the USADA has the power to take away his titles.
“USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges,” his statement said.
The cycling governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) – which had backed Armstrong’s challenge to challenge USADA’s authority – has so far made no public comments on the latest developments.
Lance Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer prior to his record-breaking Tour wins, retired after the 2005 Tour de France but made a comeback in 2009.
He retired for a second time in February 2011.
Lance Armstrong now says he will be focusing on the work with his cancer charity.