Lance Armstrong's Teammate Remains Silent on Drug Use
Greenville resident George Hincapie, a former Armstrong teammate, was to be one of 10 former teammates to testify against the seven-time Tour de France champion.
On Thursday, one of the greatest cyclists in the world announced he would no longer fight the anti-doping charges that have crippled his career.
Lance Armstrong said that he would drop his fight against accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs as part of a doping scandal involving Armstrong’s Tour-winning team, which includes Upstate resident George Hincapie.
The move was quickly followed by the announcement by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that it would strip Armstrong of seven Tour de France titles, a gold Olympic medal, among other professional wins in the sport of cycling.
Armstrong, who retired last year after a two-year criminal investigation, said he was tired of fighting the accusations.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘enough is enough. For me, that time is now.”
The USADA sees Armstrong’s move as an admission of guilt. According to the New York Times, the agency had lined up 10 of Armstrong’s former teammates to testify against him, among those Hincapie.
It’s Hincapie’s testimony to the USADA that has been widely speculated to be the most damaging because of the closeness the teammates shared.
Publicly, Hincapie, who was part of Armstrong's seven Tour titles, has been loyal to Armstrong, repeatedly denying media requests to talk about the case.
Armstrong talked about his relationship with Hincapie in a July New York Times article, in which he describes his “road lieutenant” as the one rider who knew him best.
Hincapie, who announced that he would retire this year, has remained silent on the issue.
But perhaps his biggest display of loyalty comes now from his Twitter account, which features a picture of Hincapie with a yellow “Livestrong” bracelet beneath it.
Hincapie currently is riding in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which is expected to be his last race. Stage 5 of the event begins Friday.
Armstrong is expected to receive a lifetime ban from cycling on Friday, according to the Associated Press.