Armstrong faces a deadline at week's end. He can fight and go to arbitration -- a process that will involve testimony under oath and a likely public airing of what USADA claims will be very damaging testimony. Or he can do what the three doctors/trainers did -- nothing at all -- and allow sanctions to take hold. That could mean the loss of some or all of Armstrong's impressive Tour titles and a lifetime ban from elite level sports.
If there's a third option, Armstrong isn't saying.
But after years of rumors and allegations -- lawsuits and even a dropped federal investigation -- the answer to that controversial question seems to be coming up faster than a sharp turn during a mountain descent in the Tour. Did Armstrong dope? And if USADA concludes that he did, will they offer up the proof many fans will require in order to believe it beyond a reasonable doubt.
What follows is the official list of violations handed down today against Armstrong's former associates.
The anti-doping rule violations for which del Moral, Ferrari and Martí are receiving sanctions include:
(1) Possession of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment (such as needles, blood bags, storage containers and other transfusion equipment and blood parameters measuring devices), testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
(2) Trafficking of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids and masking agents.
(3) Administration and/or attempted administration of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, hGH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
(4) Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up and other complicity involving one or more anti-doping rule violations and/or attempted anti-doping rule violations.