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Lance Armstrong doping scheme most successful, sophisticated ever: USADA

Doping program for cyclists on Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team most successful, sophisticated in sports history, anti-doping agency says.
lance armstrong 7 tour de france titlesEnlarge
From top left, Lance Armstrong celebrates his Tour de France titles in 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999 on the podium on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

A doping program for cyclists on Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team was the most successful and sophisticated ever in sports history, the US Anti-Doping Agency said today.

USADA is sharing its “reasoned decision” today with the global bodies that oversee cycling, triathlons and the fight against doping.

In doing so, it’s also making its case against Armstrong public for the first time.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said Armstrong had a chance to come clean, but “rejected it.”

“The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service pro cycling team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” he said on the USADA website.

More than 1,000 documents, testimony from 26 people including 15 cyclists, email, and evidence of payments, data and test results form the backbone of the case against Armstrong.

More from GlobalPost: Lance Armstrong blasts USADA as biased

USADA will send the proof to the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC).

It’s also making the material available online at USADA.org later today while also holding a press conference, The Associated Press said.

It confirms “the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding,” Tygart said.

“The USPS Team doping conspiracy was 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,” he added.

Eleven of Armstrong’s teammates testified against him. They are Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

“I have personally talked with and heard these athletes’ stories and firmly believe that, collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they ever did on a bike,” Tygart said.

“Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.”

USADA accused Armstrong of doping, stripped him of his cycling titles (including seven Tour de France wins) and banned him from competing again.

He tried to sue the agency, but lost in court and later gave up his chance to appeal.

More from GlobalPost: Tyler Hamilton book calls Lance Armstrong a drug mastermind  

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