Armstrong says teammates’ testimonies over dope charges ‘reek of vendetta’

Updated: Jul 06, 2012, 10:32 AM IST

Wellington: Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong has again hit out against his doping charges after five former team-mates allegedly testified against him and admitted to doping in return for ‘lenient sentencing’.

One of the Americans, George Hincapie, who is a key lieutenant at BMC Racing for defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, is believed to have admitted to doping and has reportedly given evidence to US Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) investigation against Armstrong.

“So let me get this straight ... come in and tell us antidoping exactly what they wanted to hear in exchange for immunity, anonymity, and the opportunity to continue to race the biggest event in cycling,” quoted Armstrong, as writing on Twitter.

“This isn`t about US antidoping wanting to clean up cycling - rather it`s just plain ol`` selective prosecution that reeks of vendetta,” he added.

Hincapie was the only rider to support Armstrong through all his record seven Tour de France wins from 1999-2005.

The other riders who confessed to doping along with Hincape include Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, and Jonathan Vaughters.

Speaking before the stage five at Tour de France, Hincapie neither confirmed or denied that he had given evidence against Armstrong, his long-time friend, but he said he felt bad for him.

"I haven`t (spoken to Armstrong) in a while - I feel bad he`s going through all this, Lance has done so many things for the sport," Hincapie said.

USADA have also claimed that they have testimony from 10 other former team colleagues of Armstrong, but have not revealed their identities.