Three associates of Lance Armstrong have received lifetime bans for doping violations, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced Tuesday.
Team doctor Luis Garcia del Moral, team consulting doctor Michele Ferrari and trainer Jose "Pepe" Martí trafficked, encouraged the use of and administered performance-enhancing drugs while part of the US Postal Service team, USADA said in a news release.
Armstrong won six of his seven Tour de France titles as a member of the USPS team.
"The objective of USADA's investigation into the sport of cycling is to protect the rights of clean athletes by ridding the sport of those in the system, whether coach, doctor, trainer, or manager who abuses their influence by encouraging, coercing or assisting athletes in cheating through the use of dangerous performance-enhancing drugs," USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement. "When USADA has information about the existence of a sophisticated, far-reaching doping conspiracy, it is our duty under the established rules to conduct a thorough, fair investigation to uncover the truth."
USADA had already sought a ban of Armstrong and his manager, Johan Bruyneel. Armstrong originally had until Saturday to respond to allegations that he led a conspiracy to use performance-enhancing drugs from 1998 to 2010, but USADA extended that deadline on Wednesday for 30 days.
Armstrong, who could lose some or all of his Tour de France titles, has denied the allegations.
Following the precedent it set in its allegations against Armstrong in June, USADA did not detail how it came about the evidence it had against del Moral, Ferrari or Martí. However, USADA's claims against the three are lengthy: