Investigators say cyclist Armstrong was doping ringleader

By REUTERS
October 11, 2012 05:20

 
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NEW YORK - If the United States Anti-Doping Agency is right, then Lance Armstrong cheated his way to the top of the cycling world through an elaborate doping scheme never seen before in the sport.

Hotel rooms were transformed into blood banks as riders were given late-night transfusions, doctors were paid off and competitors were warned about tests in advance, said the anti-doping agency, or USADA.

More than six weeks after it banned Armstrong for life and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles, USADA revealed on Wednesday the findings of its investigation into Armstrong and his US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team.

Armstrong's lawyer called the investigation a "hatchet job" and "witch hunt." The champion cyclist has denied cheating and has never failed a doping test. But he did not fight the charges.

His accusers said Armstrong - one of the world's most famous athletes who also is well known for his cancer-fighting charity work - was not only a willing participant, but the ringleaders, ordering teammates to cheat.

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