The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting this morning that four former teammates of Lance Armstrong have not only implicated the seven-time Tour de France champion but also confessed their own usage of performance enhancing drugs.
The four -- arguably among the biggest names in U.S. cycling in the past decade -- are reported to be George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde. The newspaper is reporting that their deal with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the organization that recently announced its own investigation of Armstrong, includes a six-month suspension for their own participation in doping activities. According to the article, the suspension will begin at the end of the current racing season. Each is currently racing in the Tour de France; none of the four however, holds a spot on the current U.S. Olympic team.
According to Die Telegraaf , Garmin-Sharp team boss Jonathan Vaughters is also involved in the investigation, though Sharp denied publically this morning that he nor anyone else involved with Slipstream Sports, the owners of the team, have been given a six-month ban by the United States Anti Doping Agency.
Vaughters denied the report in a posting on his Twitter account this morning: "Regarding the Dutch media report: no 6mos (sic) suspensions have been given to any member of Slipstream Sports. Today or at any future date."
Additionally, the riders named in the story as being involved have been mum as well when pressed on the matter by reporters, issuing no comment statements, and that they could neither confirm nor deny any involvement with the matter.
More to come on this for sure; it was the talk of the Tour de France this morning.
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- Drugs and Doping in Professional Cycling
- All About Lance Armstrong
- Lance Armstrong: a photo gallery of a life in cycling
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