Lance Armstrong’s 1999 Tour de France Triumph Takes a Dark Turn - NYTimes.com
The evidence that Armstrong used EPO in the 1999 race was overwhelming, the report said, adding, “No other conclusion is even plausible.”
The tale behind Armstrong’s first Tour triumph, an achievement that made him an instant celebrity, is laid out in the investigative report in almost novelistic fashion. It involves a man on a motorcycle who delivered drugs to Armstrong’s team, an Italian doctor who was famous for helping riders dope, a training regimen designed to avoid drug testing, and the active complicity of the team masseuse.
The 1999 racing season began, the report said, with an unlikely goal for Armstrong, a cancer survivor: to win the Tour de France. He would skip many of the buildup races to concentrate on his sport’s major event. And for fuel, the report said, he would rely on banned substances.
A new team director, Johan Bruyneel, and team doctor, Luis Garcia del Moral, were hired that year for the Postal Service team. Armstrong called the team the Bad News Bears. He wanted a new team, according to the affidavit by Vaughters, his teammate, because the outgoing doctor, Pedro Celaya, “had not been aggressive enough for Armstrong in providing banned products.”
Bruyneel and del Moral, on the other hand, had formerly been associated with a racing team widely known, the report said, for “its organized team doping.”