Hincapie admits to taking drugs

Lance Armstrong’s former team-mate George Hincapie has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.

The American, who rode for the US Postal Service team, helped Armstrong in his seven Tour de France wins.

But he released a statement on Wednesday confessing that he cheated.

He said: “It became clear, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete without them.”

He added: “Because of my love for the sport, the contributions I feel I have made to it, and the amount the sport of cycling has given to me over the years, it is extremely difficult to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances.”

Hincapie, 39, was

among 11 riders identified as having provided evidence to the United States Anti-Doping Agency

(Usada) in its investigation into doping.

Hincapie, who retired in August, has joined a number of former Armstrong team-mates, including Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, who have admitted to doping during their career.

Armstrong has always denied using drugs but was banned for life in August after deciding not to fight the charges laid against him by Usada.

In their report released on Wednesday, Usada said Armstrong’s team ran “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen”.

Hincapie said he stopped using drugs six years ago and decided to come clean about his own past in a bid to restore credibility to the sport.

“Two years ago, I was approached by US Federal investigators, and more recently by Usada, and asked to tell of my personal experience in these matters,” he said.

“I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did.

“Cycling has made remarkable gains over the past several years and can serve as a good example for other sports.

“Thankfully, the use of performance enhancing drugs is no longer embedded in the culture of our sport, and younger riders are not faced with the same choice we had.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/19903814

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