Armstrong’s Ex-Teammates Said to Be Ready to Testify Against Him
Several of Lance Armstrong’s former teammates, including George Hincapie, the rider who was by his side for all of his seven Tour de France victories, have agreed to testify in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s case against Armstrong and several of his associates, two people close to the investigation said.
Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie — American riders who are now competing in the Tour de France — are also scheduled to be witnesses for the antidoping agency, which last week charged Armstrong with doping and playing a key role in a doping conspiracy while on the United States Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams. The two people with knowledge of the case insisted on anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
None of those riders responded Thursday to efforts to contact them. At the Tour on Thursday, Hincapie neither confirmed nor denied his role in the case and said his team ‘has nothing to do with this.’
‘I feel like I’ve always done the right thing for the sport,’ said Hincapie, a five-time Olympian who is riding in his 17th Tour, adding that he sympathizes with Armstrong. ‘I’m sad he is going through this,’ he said. ‘He’s done so many things for the sport. His accomplishments are incredible.’
Armstrong, who retired from cycling last year and denies ever doping, has until Monday to tell the antidoping agency if he is challenging or accepting the charges that carry a lifetime ban from Olympic sports, according to his spokesman, Mark Fabiani. Armstrong also could ask for a five-day extension. If he contests the charges, the case will go to an arbitration hearing. If he loses, he could be stripped of his seven Tour titles.