26 testify against Lance Armstrong in doping case
Ex-teammates interviewed include Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie
Long thought of as the mastermind of Armstrong's alleged doping plan, Ferrari was investigated in Italy and Armstrong claimed he had cut ties with the doctor after a 2004 conviction. USADA cites financial records that show payments of at least $210,000 in the two years after that. It cited emails from 2009 showing Armstrong asking Ferrari's son if he could make a $25,000 cash payment the next time they saw each other.
"The repeated efforts by Armstrong and his representatives to mischaracterize and minimize Armstrong's relationship with Ferrari are indicative of the true nature of that relationship," the report states. "If there is not something to hide, there is no need to hide it and certainly no need to repeatedly lie about it."
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.
Sworn affidavits from Hincapie and several others, included in the agency's report, were dated after Aug. 23, when Armstrong announced he would not fight the charges. The affidavits were dated as such, USADA said, because lawyers originally thought those witnesses would present their testimony live at an arbitration hearing.
The report also went 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.
"We would like to commend USADA for having the courage and the resolve to keep focused in working on this difficult case for the sake of clean athletes and the integrity of sport," WADA President John Fahey said.
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."
AP Sports Writers John Leicester in Paris, Steven Wilson in London, Graham Dunbar in Geneva, Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas and Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.
On the web: cyclinginvestigation.usada.org
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