Cycling: Two team-mates of Armstrong admit drug use

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The Independent Online

Two of Lance Armstrong's former team-mates have admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs while preparing for the 1999 Tour de France, according to a report in the New York Times.

Frankie Andreu, who as part of the US Postal Service team helped the seven-times champion Armstrong win the Tour de France in 1999 and 2000, said in an interview for the newspaper that he had used the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO).

"I did make a couple of bad choices, but that was a long, long time ago," Andreu was quoted as saying.

"It's not something to be proud of. I did use EPO, but only for a couple of races. I tried my best never to use performance-enhancing drugs."

The other rider spoke on condition of anonymity because he was still involved in the sport, the newspaper said.

Both riders asserted that they had never seen Armstrong take any banned substances.

Armstrong's compatriot Floyd Landis asked a US Anti-Doping Agency review board on Monday to dismiss the doping charges brought against him as a result of the positive test for testosterone following his stunning comeback in stage 17 that set up his victory - now annulled - in the Tour de France. He claims that there were errors in the testing process.

"The details of the submission support Landis's long-held innocence and argue that tests conducted on the athlete's 'A' and 'B' urine sample from stage 17 of the Tour de France do not meet the established World Anti-Doping Agency criteria for a positive doping offense," said a statement.

Landis has repeatedly denied taking performance-enhancing drugs.