January 18, 2013
BERLIN (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) -- Lance Armstrong confessed to doping Thursday after more than a decade of speculation and rumours that the American used banned substances en route to seven Tour de France titles after returning to cycling from testicular cancer.
July 1999: It is revealed after Armstrong's prologue win at the Tour that one rider has submitted a suspicious test. UCI president Hein Verbruggen says the rider has a doctor's certificate for the use of cortisone. A week later it becomes clear that the mentioned rider is Armstrong, who goes on to win the Tour in a comeback from cancer, good news for organizers a year after the doping scandal at the race around the Festina team.
June 2001: Armstrong submits a suspicious test at the Tour de Suisse, allegedly for the blood booster EPO. The Lausanne lab chief, Martiel Saugy, confirms it years later. No sanctions are spoken out and Armstrong later donates 125,000 dollars to the UCi, for the fight against doping.
July 2004: The book "LA Confidential" by journalists David Walsh and Pierre Ballester is published ahead of the Tour, with grave doping allegations against Armstrong.
July 2005: Armstrong wins a record seventh Tour titles and retires.
August 2005: French sports paper L'Equipe says that six doping samples of Armstrong from 1999 contain EPO. The samples were frozen and examined after the introduction of an EPO test in 2001.
May 2006: A UCI report frees Armstrong from all doping allegations, with WADA dismissing it as "a flawed and partial document."
October 2008: The French Anti-Doping Agency suggests to Armstrong to retest the 1999 samples, which he declines.
May 2010: Armstrong's former team-mate Floyd Landis admits to doping for most of his career, and also accuses Armstrong of doping.
May 2011: Tyler Hamilton is the next former team-mate to implicate Armstrong, saying in a television he saw Armstrong inject EPO.
June 2012: Armstrong, who ended is second career in 2011, is suspended after USADA says that samples from 2009 and 2010 are identical to those in which blood manipulations including and/or blood transfusions were conducted.
August 2012: Armstrong says he is not contesting the findings.
October 2012: USADA says in its final report that Armstrong led "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen" and calls for him to be stripped of all Tour titles. The UCI follows the recommendation, disqualifies Armstrong from all events since 1998 and bans him for life.
January 2013: Armstrong admits to doping from the mid-1990s until 2005 in a television interview, using EPO, human growth hormone, steroids and other substances. But he denies having forced team-mates to dope, reveals nothing about who else doped and who helped in the practices, and says there was no cover-up of a positive test by the UCI. He is also stripped of his 2000 Olympic bronze.
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