Lance Armstrong has recently been "stripped" of his Tour de France titles by the USADA. They state, among other allegations:

(1) Use and/or attempted use of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents.


Additionally, scientific data showed Mr. Armstrong’s use of blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions during Mr. Armstrong’s comeback to cycling in the 2009 Tour de France.

The world cycling body has not made any similar allegations and Lance Armstrong maintains that he is the 'most tested athlete ever' and that he never failed a drug test.

It seems that the test for EPO is fairly new, being invented and first used around the year 2000:

A test for EPO didn't exist until 2000 and wasn't successfully used to catch doping until the 2002 Olympics. The accuracy of the procedure is getting better, but still has flaws. A 2008 study sent identical blood samples to two World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) labs, and the labs came back with completely different results. In one case, Lab A reported that all eight samples were positive for EPO doping, while Lab B found that all eight were negative.

People have even alleged that Lance himself admitted using EPO when asked about it in the 1990s, but he strongly denies these allegations.

What is the evidence indicating that Lance Armstrong used EPO during his cycling career?

  • 1
    This might be of interest to any answerers: velocitynation.com/content/interviews/2009/michael-ashenden
    – John Lyon
    Aug 27 '12 at 3:25
  • "is there sufficient (physical) evidence..." - we can't really answer that, Jozzas, we are not a jury :-) At best, we can report what a jury, or panel of scientists, reported. Can you please rephrase this?
    – Sklivvz
    Aug 27 '12 at 10:16
  • I don't want you to be a jury, just to present the evidence and maybe some analysis where it exists. The claim is "Lance Armstrong used EPO", an answer should research the evidence behind that claim. How about "what physical evidence exists?" Would that be any better?
    – John Lyon
    Aug 27 '12 at 11:02
  • 1
    I've cleaned up a bit further, removed leading bits etc. For example: if Armstrong admitted to using EPO that would be positive evidence to support the claim. Why should we exclude it?
    – Sklivvz
    Aug 27 '12 at 11:39
  • 1
    Looks like an interview with Oprah Winfrey is likely to be our primary source!
    – John Lyon
    Jan 10 '13 at 23:33

Yes, he did.

He admitted this in his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?

Lance: Yes

Oprah: Yes or no, was one of those banned substances EPO?

Lance: Yes

  • -1 Oprah Winfrey interviews are not a reliable source. All kinds of quacks peddle their wares with her. (joking) Jan 18 '13 at 5:27
  • 10
    @Andrew: It is worse than that! When Armstrong denied taking EPO, he was considered an unreliable source. Now that he claims to take EPO, suddenly he is reliable? How biased and hypocritical! :-)
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 18 '13 at 7:25
  • 2
    Armstrong has a much stronger motive for lying about not taking it than lying about taking it. Jan 18 '13 at 15:39
  • 2
    The humor is strong with this one...
    – windfinder
    Jan 18 '13 at 22:37

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