Lance Armstrong Ran the 'Most Sophisticated' Doping Ring Ever

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The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is going big with its charges against embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong: Not only did Armstrong dope, the agency says, he "ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." 

Much of a 202-page preview of the report, currently being live-blogged by the Wall Street Journal, contains dozens of shocking details about the lengths to which Armstrong went to secretly take drugs—and to make sure his teammates did, too. Armstrong conceded to charges, but only because he was sick of contesting them, he said in August. But it's clear from the whopping 11 teammate and other insider testimonies that EPO, or blood doping to increase oxygen in the body, and other drugs were not a one-time blip for Armstrong. During 1999's Tour de France, Armstrong allegedly called upon his personal assistant "Motoman" to smuggle drugs to the team on his motorcycle because of tight security. Armstrong and team director Johan Bruyneel, whom Armstrong helped hire, made sure to keep track of all the riders' blood levels. And in 2000, Armstrong took a mixture of olive oil and steroids and dropped out of the race to avoid getting caught in a drug test. 

The USADA did not take this lightly: The full report, to be released this afternoon, is more than 1,000 pages long, a combination of testimonies from 26 witnesses, financial statements, emails, lab results and other evidence of  widespread doping on the team. Of course, Armstrong's lawyer Timothy J. Herman is not convinced of the validity of the report. He told The New York Times in a statement that it "will be a one-sided hatchet job — a taxpayer-funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.