Leipheimer won’t confirm USADA rumours, wants to focus only on Tour de France
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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Leipheimer won’t confirm USADA rumours, wants to focus only on Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 8:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
American rider asked about witness claims

Levi LeipheimerFormer US Postal Service rider Levi Leipheimer said prior to the start of today’s stage of the Tour de France that he wouldn’t comment on reports that he is one of several witnesses who will give evidence in the US Postal Service investigation.

Questioned by reporters prior to the start, the Omega Pharma Quick Step rider said that he is focussing only on the current competition.

“I really don’t have anything to say. All I can say is that I am here at the Tour de France, I am 100 percent focussed on this race. So far I am still in the hunt for the classification. That is all I have to say,” he stated.

According to Telesport, a source has confirmed that he, George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), Garmin-Sharp riders Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie plus Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters have all spoken to the US Anti Doping Agency and are witnesses in the case.

The Dutch newspaper claims that the riders have been given reduced six month bans by USADA, starting in December and running through the off season.

Asked if there was a deal in place with USADA, Leipheimer declined to answer. “Again, I can’t say anything. I’m not going to comment. And beyond that, I’m here in the Tour with Omega Pharma Quick Step. That is all I can say,” he said.

Vaughters, Hincapie and BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz earlier gave their own reactions.

Leipheimer was part of the US Postal Service team in 2000 and 2001. He then returned to working with Johan Bruyneel in 2007 when he joined the Discovery Channel team, spent two years with Astana (2008 - 2009) and a further two years with Team RadioShack (2010 – 2011).

If indeed he is a witness, his testimony will be highly important as he was part of the setup more recently than the others named today.

Telesport is part of the newspaper De Telegraaf, a Dutch publication. Former US Postal Service manager Johan Bruyneel is a columnist in it. He is missing this year’s Tour due to the charges he faces from USADA, which could result in a lifetime ban for him, Lance Armstrong and four others.

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