ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
75°
Partly Cloudy
H 83° L 53°
  • cloudy-day
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 83° L 53°
  • cloudy-day
    55°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 83° L 53°
  • cloudy-day
    56°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 58° L 35°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Former teammates claim doping by Lance Armstrong

Page after page of damning details. They came from computer records, books, media reports and, maybe most significantly, the people Lance Armstrong used to train alongside and celebrate with. The people he used to call his friends.

Hit with a lifetime ban and the loss of all seven of his Tour de France titles, Armstrong challenged the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to give him the names of all his accusers. The agency obliged, listing 26, including 11 former teammates.

Armstrong said he wanted to see the hard evidence that he was a doper, and USADA gave him that, too, in the form of a 200-page tome filled with vivid recollections — the hotel rooms riders transformed into makeshift blood-transfusion centers, the way Armstrong's former wife rolled cortisone pills into foil and handed them out to the cyclists.

The report, released Wednesday, depicts what USADA chief Travis Tygart called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

Armstrong's attorney called it a "one-sided hatchet job."

Either way, it serves up the most detailed, unflinching portrayal yet of Armstrong as a man who would pay virtually any price — financially, emotionally and physically — to win the seven Tour de France titles that the anti-doping agency has ordered taken away.

It presents as matter-of-fact reality that winning and doping went hand-in-hand in cycling and that Armstrong was the focal point of a big operation, running teams that were the best at getting it done without getting caught. Armstrong won the Tour as leader of the U.S. Postal Service team from 1999-2004 and again in 2005 with the Discovery Channel as the primary sponsor.

USADA said the path Armstrong chose to pursue his goals "ran far outside the rules."

It accuses him of depending on performance-enhancing drugs to fuel his victories and "more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates" do the same. Among the 11 former teammates who testified against Armstrong are George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.

In a letter sent to USADA attorneys Tuesday, Armstrong's attorney, Tim Herman, dismissed any evidence provided by Landis and Hamilton, saying the riders are "serial perjurers and have told diametrically contradictory stories under oath."

Aware of the criticism his agency has faced from Armstrong and his legion of followers, Tygart insisted his group handled this case under the same rules as any other. Armstrong was given the chance to take his case to arbitration and declined, choosing in August to accept the sanctions instead, Tygart noted.

"We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand," Tygart said.

The report called the evidence "as strong or stronger than any case brought in USADA's 12 years of existence."

The testimony of Hincapie, one of Armstrong's closest and most loyal teammates through the years, was one of the report's new revelations.

"I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did," Hincapie said of his testimony to federal investigators and USADA.

His two-page statement did not mention Armstrong by name. Neither did statements from three other teammates-turned-witnesses, all of whom said this was a difficult-but-necessary process.

"I have failed and I have succeeded in one of the most humbling sports in the world," former Armstrong teammate Christian Vande Velde said. "And today is the most humbling moment of my life."

Tygart said evidence from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the U.S. Postal Service team's doping activities, provided material for the report. The agency also interviewed Frankie Andreu, Levi Leipheimer, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie. Andreu's wife, Betsy, was another key witness. She has been one of Armstrong's most consistent and unapologetic critics.

"It took tremendous courage for the riders on the USPS Team and others to come forward and speak truthfully," Tygart said.

In some ways, the USADA report simply pulls together and amplifies allegations that have followed Armstrong ever since he beat cancer and won the Tour for the first time. At various times and in different forums, Landis, Hamilton and others have said that Armstrong encouraged doping on his team and used banned substances himself.

But for those who have followed Armstrong and his story, this is a page turner. Written in a more conversational style than a typical legal document, the report lays out in chronological order, starting in 1998 and running through 2009:

— Multiple examples of Armstrong using drugs, including the blood-boosting hormone EPO, citing the "clear finding" of EPO in six blood samples from the 1999 Tour de France that were retested. The International Cycling Union (UCI) concluded those samples were mishandled and couldn't be used to prove anything. In bringing up the samples, USADA said it considers them corroborating evidence that isn't even necessary given the testimony of its witnesses.

— Testimony from Hamilton, Landis and Hincapie, all of whom say they received EPO from Armstrong.

— Evidence of the pressure Armstrong put on the riders to go along with the doping program.

"The conversation left me with no question that I was in the doghouse and that the only way forward with Armstrong's team was to get fully on Dr. Ferrari's doping program," Vande Velde testified.

— What Vaughters called "an outstanding early warning system regarding drug tests." One example came in 2000, when Hincapie found out there were drug testers at the hotel where Armstrong's team was staying. Aware Armstrong had taken testosterone before the race, Hincapie alerted him and Armstrong dropped out of the race to avoid being tested, the report said.

Though she didn't testify, Armstrong's ex-wife, Kristin, is mentioned 30 times in the report.

In one episode, Armstrong asks her to wrap banned cortisone pills in foil to hand out to his teammates.

"Kristin obliged Armstrong's request by wrapping the pills and handing them to the riders. One of the riders remarked, 'Lance's wife is rolling joints,'" the report read. Attempts to reach Kristin Armstrong were unsuccessful.

While the arguments about Armstrong will continue among sports fans — and there is still a question of whether USADA or the UCI has the ultimate authority to take away his Tour titles — the new report puts a cap on a long round of official investigations. Armstrong was cleared of criminal charges in February after a federal grand jury probe that lasted about two years.

USADA sought evidence from federal investigators, but in its report, the agency said none was ever turned over to its offices, based in Colorado Springs.

UCI confirmed receiving the report and said it would respond to it soon, "not to delay matters any longer than necessary." It has 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The head of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Doug Ulman, lauded Armstrong's work as a cancer fighter. Armstrong won all his titles after overcoming testicular cancer.

"Our longstanding concerns about the impartiality and fairness of USADA's proceeding are compounded today," Ulman said. "As a federal judge pointed out, USADA appears motivated more by publicity rather than fulfilling its mission."

Some of the newest information — never spelled out in detail before Wednesday — includes a depiction of Armstrong's continuing relationship with physician and training guru Michele Ferrari. Like Armstrong, Ferrari has received a lifetime ban from USADA.

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 that was later overturned. USADA cites financial records that show payments of at least $210,000 in the two years after that. It also 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."

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."

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.

His attorney, Herman, was even more pointed in his criticism. He called it "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."

___

AP Sports Writers John Leicester in Paris, Stephen Wilson in London, Graham Dunbar in Geneva, Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas, and Dave Skretta in Kansas City, contributed to this report.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill Friday that will cut funding to most state agencies and will spend cash reserves to help plugging the $215 million budget hole. Lawmakers were forced to fix a budget shortfall after they failed to pass a broad package of tax increases. The plan would impose cuts of about 2.5 percent on most agencies to make up for expected revenue lost from an unconstitutional cigarette tax the Legislature approved in May. The rest of would be filled by using one-time money, including savings accounts. Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Sept. 25 for a special session to fix the budget and find longer-term solutions to chronic shortfalls that have forced deep cuts to agencies and services for three consecutive years.
  • After more than a decade of making cars and SUVs — and, more recently, solar panels — Tesla Inc. wants to electrify a new type of vehicle: big trucks. The company unveiled its new electric semitractor-trailer Thursday night near its design center in Hawthorne, California. CEO Elon Musk said the semi is capable of traveling 500 miles on an electric charge — even with a full 80,000-pound load — and will cost less than a diesel semi considering fuel savings, lower maintenance and other factors. Musk said customers can put down a $5,000 deposit for the semi now and production will begin in 2019. “We’re confident that this is a product that’s better in every way from a feature standpoint,” Musk told a crowd of Tesla fans gathered for the unveiling. Musk didn’t reveal the semi’s price. On Thursday night, Tesla surprised fans with another product: An updated version of its first sports car, the Roadster. Tesla says the new Roadster will have 620 miles of range and a top speed of 250 mph. The car, coming in 2020, will have a base price of $200,000.
  • The Trump Administration on Friday asked Congress to approve a third major disaster aid relief package for areas hit hard by hurricanes in 2017, which would bring total federal aid to nearly $100 billion, as for the first time, the White House proposed budget savings to offset some of that cost. “This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has resulted in historic, widespread destruction that continues to affect the lives of millions of Americans,” said White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney in a letter to the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. In the same letter, Mulvaney that Congress has already approved over $53 billion in disaster relief this year, and that it’s time to find a way to pay for some of that. “The administration believes it is prudent to offset new spending,” Mulvaney added, sending a list of plans that would save $14.8 billion by using budget funds from past years which were never spent, and by canceling other programs. BREAKING: White House requests $44B hurricane aid package for Texas, Puerto Rico, smaller than requested. — AP Politics (@AP_Politics) November 17, 2017 The extra $44 billion is far less than what has been requested by officials in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico; just this week, Puerto Rico’s Governor traveled to Washington, D.C. to personally request $94 billion in aid. “We would just like to stress that this is a conservative estimate,” said Gov. Ricardo Rossello of the disaster aid request, as his island continues to struggle in the aftermath of devastation from Hurricane Maria. Even before the latest White House disaster request was official, it was getting less than rave reviews in the Congress. “We’ve been continually told to wait, wait, wait,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) about new disaster relief, as Lone Star State officials asked in October for $19 billion just for the state, and say infrastructure repairs could total $61 billion. Meanwhile, officials from Florida last month asked Congress for $27 billion in relief aid. Cornyn said Thursday night that his staff had reported this latest request from the White House was “wholly inadequate.” As for the budget cuts proposed by the White House – $14.8 billion would happen now, with an additional savings of $44 billion projected between 2025 and 2027. disaster11 Here is the list of budget cancellations and changes that the Trump Administration would make to save $14.8 billion: + Emergency farm conservation activities from Hurricane Sandy – $204 million + Advanced Tech Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program – $4.33 billion + Obama stimulus loan program for innovative tech – $479.4 million + Obama stimulus program for National Emergency health Grants – $23 million + Excess money at the Army Corps of Engineers – $210 million + Army Corps, flood control after Hurricane Sandy – $519 million + Agricultural Research Service – $212 million + Rural Economic Development Grants – $196 million + Rural Business Program – $25 million + Rural Energy Savings program – $8 million + Unspent money at Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – $72 million + Watershed & Flood Prevention – $90 million + Farm conservation programs – $1.42 billion + Supplemental WIC funding – $800 million + Unspent education money in Student Financial Assistance $3.9 billion + Unspent funds at HHS – $560 million + Justice Department working capital fund – $410 million + State Department, Democracy Fund – $99 million + Federal transportation highway aid – $1 billion + EPA state and tribal assistance grants – $150 million + EPA Environmental Programs and Management – $100 million Here is the full budget request for offsets on this latest hurricane aid plan. Those offsets amount to $14.8 billion, far short of the $53 billion that’s already been approved, without even including this latest request for another $44 billion.
  • Thursday, a local Subaru dealer handed over the keys to a brand new Outback SUV to a local Meals on Wheels program, thanks to a nationwide effort to “share the love.” Subaru is celebrating 50 years in the US by giving away 50 vehicles to Meals on Wheels around the country. The only one selected in Oklahoma was the metro Tulsa program. Lauren Danielson with Meals on Wheels tells KRMG the vehicle will help them serve their clients, especially when road conditions are bad and the normal volunteer routes can’t be covered. The keys for the new Outback were handed over personally by Larry Ferguson, owner of Ferguson Subaru in Broken Arrow, part of the Ferguson Superstore. He told KRMG Subaru of America has five charities it supports, including four national organizations.  Each dealership then chooses a local charity to support. Through January 2nd, Subaru of America will donate $250 to one of those charities for each new Subaru leased or purchased. “For every new Subaru sold, a portion of that goes to the charity, and that’s the customer’s choice,” Ferguson said. The local charity Ferguson chose this year is “Hope is Alive,” a group that works with people suffering addiction or alcoholism:
  • The man who was in a car with a Memphis, Tennessee, father who died after being shot and crashing his car . Loronzo Davis and a second man, Romedarrius Humphrey, were riding in a car that crashed on E. Crump near Lauderdale early Tuesday morning.>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Memphis father dies after being shot, crashing while driving to store When officers arrived, they found Davis suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Davis’ family told WHBQ that he had just left home to go to the store and never returned. He had a 4-year-old daughter. Humphrey was lying in the middle of Crump with a black jacket in his hands, according to a police affidavit. He had also been shot and was unresponsive. Humphrey was taken to an ambulance and his jacket stayed in the street. When police couldn’t find an ID in his jeans pockets, they said they looked in the jacket. >> Read more trending news In one of the pockets, officers said they found a grocery bag containing several clear plastic bags of marijuana – some of which were broken down into even smaller bags, according to the arrest affidavit. Officers said they also found a scale inside the grocery bag. The drugs had a total weight of 155.2 grams, police said. Humphrey was taken to Regional One in critical condition. He was treated for his injuries and then booked into the Shelby County jail. He has since been released on his own recognizance. Humphrey is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver or sell.