AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A former teammate of Lance Armstrong’s has reportedly told federal investigators that widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs on the U.S. Postal Service team was done with Armstrong’s knowledge and encouragement.
The New York Times reported in Thursday editions that the cyclist, who was identified only as a former Armstrong teammate, backed up claims by Floyd Landis that the Postal Service team engaged in systematic doping.
The cyclist told the newspaper he had spoken with federal investigators looking into cheating in professional cycling. Special agent Jeff Novitzky of the Food and Drug Administration is leading the probe, which is focused on a sport that Armstrong once dominated with seven Tour de France victories.
Armstrong has strongly denied any allegations he took performance enhancing drugs.
The former teammate said he detailed some of his own drug use to investigators, even though he has never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs or methods. He said he has not been called to testify before the grand jury in Los Angeles that has been convened for the case.
Bryan D. Daly, a defense lawyer representing Armstrong, said any cyclists who claim that Armstrong doped are not telling the truth.
“They just want them to incriminate Lance Armstrong and that’s my concern,” Daly said. “To the extent that there’s anyone besides Floyd Landis saying things, the bottom line is, if you take away the soap opera and look at the scientific evidence, there is nothing.”
Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour title after failing a doping test, recently dropped longtime denials and said he used drugs during the height of his career. He implicated several cyclists, Armstrong among them.
Armstrong’s attorneys have said the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has been trying to broker deals with cyclists who testify or produce evidence against Armstrong. If those riders have used performance-enhancing drugs, they could receive reduced punishment, Armstrong’s attorneys said.
More riders are expected to meet with the grand jury as early as next week, people close to the investigation told The Times.
Armstrong was in Denver on Wednesday to announce a new multistage race beginning next year.
AP Photo of Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France during his U.S. Postal days.