Armstrong ‘pushed us towards’ banned boosting agent EPO: Ex-teammate

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SYDNEY - American racing cyclist Lance Armstrong encouraged members of his former team, Motorola, to use the banned boosting agent EPO, a former teammate has claimed.

Stephen Swart, a teammate in 1995, told Sports Illustrated magazine that the seven-time Tour de France champion urged fellow members of the team to take performance-enhancing drugs, convincing them it was the way to go if they were to become successful.

“He was the instigator. It was his words that pushed us toward doing it,” Sports Illustrated quoted Swart, as saying on its website, publishing the results of a long investigation by two of its reporters.

Swart was one of dozens of people interviewed in different countries by the reporters, who reviewed hundreds of pages of official documents over the past few months, the Herald Sun reports.

Sports Illustrated posted some of its findings on its website on Tuesday, and said that it will include a longer version of the story in the January 24 issue of the magazine.

Earlier, last year, Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis had shaken the cycling world by publicly accusing Armstrong and other team members of using performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions to gain an unfair advantage.

Landis had said that Armstrong had encouraged doping and that the team had sold its bikes to help finance an expensive doping program.

Armstrong, on the other hand, has always vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

The 39-year-old is considered one of the more remarkable athletes in American history, someone who dominated his sport and also had a compelling personal story, having beaten testicular cancer. (ANI)

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