FIVE former teammates of Lance Armstrong have reportedly testified against the seven-time Tour de France winner in return for lenient sentencing.

THE US Anti-Doping agency has given the five cyclists, including key Cadel Evans teammate George Hincapie, a six-month suspended sentence for admitting to doping and giving evidence against Armstrong, according to a report on Cycling Central which quotes Dutch newspaper De Telegraf.

The other riders named are Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, and Jonathan Vaughters, and presumably the other as yet unnamed riders involved in the investigation against Armstrong.

Last week, USADA formally charged Armstrong with using performance-enhancing drugs after re-opening a case against him.

The charges came after a USADA review panel examined evidence in the case, which now goes to an arbitration panel to decide.

If found guilty, Armstrong could be stripped of the Tour de France titles he won from 1999-2005.

Armstrong maintains his innocence. Armstrong attorney Robert Luskin called the charges “wrong and baseless.”

Armstrong fired back his own response in the days that followed, and added recently via Twitter that he refused to be distracted by the antics of USADA.

“I refuse to be distracted by @usantidoping’s antics,” he said the day after USADA announced it had filed the charges that could cost him his seven titles in the world’s most prestigious cycling race.

Armstrong tweeted: “It’s 2012, I’m gonna continue to lead @LIVESTRONG, raise my 5 kids, and stay fit!”

 

 

 

 

Ref: www.news.com.au