DALLAS (CN) – Lance Armstrong committed perjury when he denied under oath that he had ever taken performance-enhancing drugs during his professional cycling career, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says in its lengthy Reasoned Decision.
In 2004, Armstrong and Tailwind Sports sued Dallas-based SCA Promotions in Dallas County Court, claiming SCA refused to pay $5 million in sponsorship bonuses that were triggered when he won the Tour De France.
USADA claims that Armstrong testified under oath during arbitration proceedings in January 2006 that “he never violated the rules of the [Union Cycliste International] or the Tour de France in connection with the Tour de France in 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004” and that he “had never taken any performance enhancing drug in connection with his cycling career,” according to the “reasoned decision” released last week.
Armstrong also denied under oath that US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team doctor Michele Ferrari ever “prescribed, administered or suggested any kind of a drug or doping program” to him and that there was “nothing in Lance Armstrong’s dealings with Dr. Ferrari that would suggest that Dr. Ferrari was encouraging other athletes to use performance enhancing drugs,” according to the report.
However, “As demonstrated by the testimony of numerous witnesses in this case, each of the above statements made under oath and subject to the penalties of perjury were materially false and misleading when made,” USADA claims.
USADA claims the cited testimony was just part of Armstrong’s efforts to lie about his drug use. It claims he also lied during a French investigation of his team in 2000.
“Mr. Armstrong claimed that the drug Actovegin was not used by members of his team, when in fact it was, and that Actovegin was not used in an effort to enhance performance, when in fact it was,” the report states. “Numerous witnesses from Mr. Armstrong’s teams at that time have clearly demonstrated the falsity of Mr. Armstrong’s statements.”
USADA also claims that Armstrong tried to procure false affidavits from potential witnesses in 2010.
“As reflected in emails sent by Mr. Armstrong, and as set forth in the affidavit of Michael Barry, Mr. Armstrong contacted, or attempted to contact, former teammates and others, including Dr. Michele Ferarri and Paolo Salvodelli, and asked them to sign affidavits affirming that there was no ‘systematic’ doping on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team,” the report states. “Such affidavits would be materially false as Mr. Armstrong was well aware that systematic doping had occurred on his teams.”
The agency claims that Armstrong retaliated against witnesses and tried to intimidate them. It claims he told fellow cyclist Filippo Simeoni, “You made a mistake when you testified against Ferrari … I can destroy you.”
The report adds: “As he and Mr. Simeoni returned to the peloton, Mr. Armstrong made a taunting ‘zip the lips’ gesture. Because the event occurred during a stage of the 2004 Tour de France, Mr. Simeoni’s recollection is well corroborated and supported by video footage.”
The USADA stripped Armstrong of all his cycling victories, including seven Tour de France titles, and banned him from professional cycling for life after his lawsuit against the agency was dismissed in Austin Federal Court in August and after he refused to fight the doping charges in arbitration .
USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said last week that the agency is submitting the “reasoned decision” and evidence to the UCI, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the World Triathlon Corp.
As the governing body for cycling, the UCI had requested such a report from the U.S. agency in August. The UCI has yet to enforce a ban on Armstrong. Armstrong has competed in triathlons since he retired from cycling in 2011.
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