Sat, Jun 30, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Landis, Hamilton part of Armstrong’s doping case

AP, AUSTIN, TEXAS

Lance Armstrong’s legal team said Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, former Armstrong teammates who have admitted using performance-enhancing drugs, are part of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) efforts to prove the cyclist doped during his record-setting career.

A letter sent from Armstrong’s attorneys to USADA on Wednesday says the agency’s alleged evidence against Armstrong includes previously disclosed Landis e-mails and Hamilton’s interview last year with 60 Minutes. Both men accused Armstrong of doping.

Armstrong says he is innocent and stresses that he has passed more than 500 drugs tests. USADA has said at least 10 former Armstrong teammates and associates will testify against him. The agency has said it would keep their names confidential to protect them from intimidation.

The letter was the first mention of specific names behind the allegations that Armstrong cheated while winning the Tour de France every year from 1999-2005.

In 2010, Landis wrote an e-mail to USA Cycling chief Steve Johnson alleging he participated with Armstrong in a complex doping scheme when they were teammates. Hamilton’s interview with 60 Minutes aired in May last year during a federal criminal investigation into doping allegations against Armstrong. The two-year probe ended in February with no charges filed.

USADA’s case against Armstrong is now before an agency review board to determine if there is enough evidence to charge him with violations that could result in a lifetime ban from the sport and strip him of his titles. Armstrong, 40, retired from cycling last year.

If USADA files charges, the case goes to an arbitration panel to determine Armstrong’s guilt.

The latest letter from Armstrong attorney Robert Luskin questioned whether USADA has violated its own rules in presenting evidence and whether the agency’s statute of limitations had passed.

Luskin also attacked the credibility of Landis and Hamilton while urging the USADA review board to recommend dismissing the case.

Landis won the Tour de France in 2006, but was later stripped of his title for steroid use. He first denied doping, then later acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

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