The reputation of seven time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong appears to have been damaged permanently by the latest revelations from the US Anti-Doping Agency. Their 1000-page dossier states that Armstrong and his US Postal Service team-mates ran "the most sophisticated doping programme ever".
The report draws a damning picture of Armstrong, a US sporting icon after his successful battle with cancer. He emerges as a bully who sought out the most sophisticated doping options and coerced team-mates into doing the same.
The report does not hold back in identifying Armstrong as the most culpable member of the team. "His goal led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his team-mates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own," the report asserts. "It was not enough that his team-mates give maximum effort on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping programme outlined for them or be replaced."
The report relies on testimony from many of Armstrong’s former team-mates, with the amount of evidence and the level of detail overwhelming. This did not stop Armstrong from hitting back with a statement through his lawyers. He described the report as: "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".
Armstrong’s bluster will convince few. The most devastating witness against him is George Hincapie, his closest ally in the US Postal team, who testified that Armstrong had a blood transfusion at Hincapie’s Girona apartment in 2003.