Key points of Wednesday’s U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that places Lance Armstrong at the center of a sophisticated doping program during the years he dominated the sport. Armstrong has consistently denied doping.
– “The evidence in the case against Lance Armstrong is beyond strong; it is as strong as, or stronger than, that presented in any case brought by USADA over the initial 12 years of USADA’s existence.”
– “Armstrong’s employment of drug dealers and doping doctors on his support team strongly supports the conclusion that Armstrong doped himself, as well as demonstrating Armstrong’s round-the-clock access to banned drugs, doping doctors and the facilitators of a team wide doping conspiracy.”
– Before a blood test at the 1998 world championships, Armstrong’s doctor smuggled in a liter of saline solution, which was used to lower red blood cell ratios.
– Team doctors would “provide false declarations of medical need” to use cortisone, a steroid. When Armstrong had a positive corticosteroid test during the 1999 Tour de France, he and team officials had a doctor back-date a prescription for cortisone cream for treating a saddle sore.
– Before a public weigh-in during the same race, teammate Frankie Andreu noticed a bruise on Armstrong’s upper arm that had been left behind by an injection. A team staffer used makeup to cover the bruise, which went unnoticed.
– During one leg of the 2004 Tour de France, Armstrong threatened Italian cyclist Filippo Simeoni, who had confessed to his use of the doping agent EPO and testified against the doctor who provided it to him. Simeoni told investigators that Amstrong said, “I have a lot of time and money, and I can destroy you.” Video of the race showed Armstrong making a “zip the lips” gesture at one point.
– Teammates Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie told investigators that Armstrong used blood transfusions to boost his oxygen capacity between 2000 and 2005.
– In the second quarter of 2010, Armstrong “was providing untimely and incomplete whereabouts information to USADA, thereby making it more difficult to locate him for out of competition testing.” During one 2009 occasion in France, Armstrong “left the tester for 20 minutes, ignoring requests to stay within an area that permitted observation.”
– “Armstrong’s use of drugs was extensive, and the doping program on his team, designed in large part to benefit Armstrong, was massive and pervasive. When Mr. Armstrong refused to confront the evidence against him in a hearing before neutral arbitrators, he confirmed the judgment that the era in professional cycling which he dominated as the patron of the peloton was the dirtiest ever.”
CNN’s Matt Smith and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.