14 Oct 2012

Armstrong's "lieutenant" admits to doping

7:22 am on 14 October 2012

George Hincapie, one of Lance Armstrong's former cycling team-mates and closest allies, has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs.

The 39-year-old American, who rode alongside Armstrong in each of his seven Tour de France wins, has released a statement confessing that he cheated because early in his career it became clear that it wasn't possible to compete at the highest level without the help of drugs.

Hincapie, regarded as Armstrong's unofficial lieutenant during his record-breaking feats in the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005, has joined a list of former Armstrong team-mates, including Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, to admit to doping.

They are among 11 riders identified as having provided evidence to the United States Anti-Doping Agency in its investigation into doping in cycling.

Hincapie said he stopped using drugs six years ago and decided to come clean about his own past in a bid to restore credibility to the sport.

He says the use of performance enhancing drugs is no longer embedded in the culture of cycling.