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Associated Press
Lance Armstrong competes Sunday in a cancer fundraiser in Ellicott City, Md.

Cyclist gets accusers' names – all 26

Agency goes public with its evidence against Armstrong

Lance Armstrong said he wanted to see the names of his accusers. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency gave him 26, including 11 ex-teammates.

The world's most famous cyclist said he wanted to see the hard evidence that he was a doper. The agency gave him that, too: About 200 pages filled with vivid details – from the hotel rooms riders transformed into makeshift blood-transfusion centers to the way Armstrong's ex-wife rolled cortisone pills into foil and handed them out to all the cyclists.

In all, a USADA report released Wednesday gives the most detailed, unflinching portrayal yet of Armstrong as a man who, day after day, week after week, year after year, spared no expense – financially, emotionally or 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.

USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart said the cyclists were part of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

Armstrong did not fight the USADA charges, but insists he never cheated.

His attorney, Tim Herman, called the report "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."

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 but he declined, choosing in August to accept the sanctions instead, Tygart said.

"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."

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.

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