Two doctors and a trainer affiliated with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong have received lifetime bans from the sport because they failed to contest allegations that they violated doping bans.
The former members of the U.S. Postal Service Pro-Cycling Team — Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, cycling team doctor, Dr. Michele Ferrari, cycling team consulting doctor, and Jose "Pepe" Martí, cycling team trainer — were charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency at the same time they announced charges against Armstrong.
As we've reported, the case against Armstrong has intensified. Yesterday, Armstrong asked a federal court to put the charges against him on hold. The court dismissed the suit, but said he could refile.
The USADA gave all those charged — including Armstrong — 10 days to decide whether they would fight the charges or accept the sanctions.
In a press release, USADA said the two doctors administered banned substances to members of the USPS team.
Del Moral, the USADA says, was "intimately involved" in administering blood transfusions, which "boost the number of circulating red blood cells to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and increase endurance." Del Moral, the USADA says, was also responsible for acquiring the blood and also administered saline to help the cyclists pass doping tests.
Ferrari, the USADA says, was involved in administering EPO and developing
"detailed training schedules for riders which included coded symbols designating when EPO should be used and the amount of the drug to inject."
Martí, the USADA says, delivered the banned substances — including EPO, human growth hormone, testosterone and cortisone — to the cyclists.
"A Lifetime period of Ineligibility as described in the Code prevents these individuals from participating in any activity or competition organized by any signatory to the [WADA] Code or any member of any signatory," the USADA said in a statement.
As ESPN explains it, the U.S. Postal Service spent $31.9 million to sponsor Armstrong's cycling team during "its glory years of 2001 to 2004." Armstrong won his first Tour de France title in 1999. Armstrong has always maintained he is innocent.