Disgraced seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong was at the forefront of perhaps the most sophisticated doping program in sports history, according to a statement from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency obtained by the New York Times' Juliet Macur.
UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 11 at 2:10 p.m. ET by Jessica Isner
Thursday has brought even further explosive developments in the Lance Armstrong doping case.
Per The New York Times, not only is it true that Armstrong was using banned substances in his most recent two runs in the Tour de France—the USADA has reported that Armstrong's deceit ran much deeper than we expected.
The Times' Ian Austin writes:
An explanation emerged Wednesday, when the United States Anti-Doping Agency released its dossier on Armstrong, citing witness testimony, financial records and laboratory results. Armstrong was centrally involved in a sprawling, sophisticated doping program, the agency said, yet he employed both cunning and farcical methods to beat the sport’s drug-testing system.
Be sure to check out the full report for more details.
---END OF UPDATE---
Here is part of the agency's statement, via the New York Times:
The U.S.P.S. Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices. A program organized by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.
Though the full scope of the allegations has yet to be revealed, it seems that the evidence has finally caught up to Armstrong. Not only does that USADA have its own investigative evidence, but it also has first-hand testimony from 11 of Armstrong's former teammates, according to the Associated Press.
BREAKING: U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says 11 of Lance Armstrong's teammates testified against him in probe: apne.ws/RwDjh3 -CJ— The Associated Press (@AP) October 10, 2012
The 41-year-old cycling legend, who won seven straight Tours between 1999-2005, has staunchly denied ever taking performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
Despite the mounting evidence and a dropped lawsuit on his behalf, Armstrong released a defiant statement on his website denying the charges back in August.
Though his camp has yet to respond to the latest news, it seems apparent that the walls are closing in on his plausible deniability. The USADA went through a painstaking investigation to compile this evidence and likely would not present it to the public without sufficient proof.
This could very well be the death knell to the reputation of a once-beloved American figure.