Lance Armstrong was regarded as just another promising cyclist in the racing pack when he arrived in Paris for the 1999 Tour de France. Little known outside the sport, his modest personal stats at the Tour included a 36th-place finish four years earlier. He had missed the prior two years after undergoing cancer treatment.
But from the first day, seemingly out of nowhere, Armstrong took control of the 2,290-mile race and cycled into sports history, winning the first of what would become an unprecedented seven consecutive victories in the world's premier endurance race.
Now, that feat of athletic domination has been called into question by allegations that performance-enhancing drugs may have played a role. Such rumors have long shadowed Armstrong's career, but the latest assertions are more troublesome -- for the first time, they have been made under oath.
Sworn testimony as well as exhibits and other documents constitute the record of confidential arbitration proceedings, a series of closed hearings conducted early this year in Dallas in connection with a contract dispute.
The Times reviewed the files -- including thousands of pages of transcripts, exhibits and other records. They are filled with conflicting testimony, hearsay and circumstantial evidence admissible in arbitration hearings but questionable in more formal legal proceedings.
The record shows no eyewitnesses to Armstrong's alleged drug use. And in his own sworn testimony, Armstrong unequivocally denies that he ever doped. Records also show he has never failed a competition drug test.
"I would never beat my wife, and I never took performance-enhancing drugs," he testified in January.
Still, the Texas case provides some of the most serious doping allegations to date and the first on-the-record outlines of a possible case against one of the most popular athletes in the United States.
Among accusations contained in the hearing record were:
* Testimony with new details about tests in 2004 that apparently detected drugs in Armstrong's preserved urine samples from the 1999 race.
An Australian anti-doping researcher told arbitrators that the samples showed evidence "beyond any reasonable doubt" of a banned substance: synthetic EPO, or erythropoietin. However, a Dutch report questioned the tests' validity and Armstrong, in his testimony, rejected the findings and denied using EPO.
* Testimony that Armstrong once acknowledged to doctors that he'd used drugs, what one former teammate called "hot sauce."
The wife of a cycling teammate testified that during an Indiana hospital visit she heard Armstrong tell a doctor he took various drugs, including steroids. Armstrong denied using drugs and testified that no such conversation occurred.
* Testimony of some teammates that they discussed with Armstrong adopting a doping regimen to improve their Tour competitiveness as early as 1995.
* Allegations of prohibited blood transfusions by members of Armstrong's team in 2005.
In one exchange of computer messages, marked as an exhibit in the arbitration case and discussed during the hearings, two racing colleagues referred to refrigerated blood supplies that supposedly were delivered along the race course by motorcycle couriers.
* Testimony of a secret Armstrong meeting in a parking lot outside Milan with a controversial Italian doctor who has publicly defended the safety of a banned drug.
The doctor, convicted of "sporting fraud" in a 2004 case overturned by an Italian appeals court this year, had what Armstrong himself testified was "a dodgy reputation." The American racer acknowledged monthly meetings with the doctor but denied in his testimony that drugs were involved.
The arbitration case stemmed from a business dispute between Armstrong and SCA Promotions Inc. -- a Dallas company that had offered to pay a bonus to the racer if he won the Tour in 2004, which he did. The company resisted making the payment after allegations of doping surfaced that summer.
The case was settled before any action by the presiding three-judge panel, with SCA Promotions agreeing in February to pay the contested $5-million fee, plus interest and attorney costs.
Though no verdict or finding of facts was rendered, Armstrong called the outcome proof that the doping allegations were baseless. "It's over. We won. They lost. I was yet again completely vindicated," he said in a statement in June.
The newest Armstrong allegations have emerged amid a widening doping scandal in the current Tour de France, the first without the American racer since 1998. Some of the sport's top riders were barred when the race began last weekend. Police raids in Madrid in May linked 58 cyclists to blood doping, including the top three finishers behind Armstrong in last year's Tour.
Heightened controversy has swirled around Armstrong since initial reports in France last summer that EPO was detected in the American racer's 1999 Tour samples.
In a report commissioned by professional cycling's international governing body, a Dutch lawyer dismissed those doping claims, saying in May that the test results were botched by a French lab and don't "constitute evidence of anything."
The Dutch report generated a furious controversy in the cycling world and added to public confusion over the Armstrong allegations.
At the same time, sports authorities now have the ability to make greater use of circumstantial evidence in pursuing doping-related inquiries. In a ruling in December, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, the final authority for many disputes in the international sports world, said it must "constantly be borne in mind
In a sign of how seriously Armstrong is taking disclosures in the arbitration case, the racer has launched a series of public appearances to vigorously deny that he has ever used illicit substances.
And Armstrong's attorneys e-mailed and sent by certified mail a subpoena seeking to compel disclosure of how The Times obtained access to the records. They also dismiss as "misleading or incorrect" aspects of the case files "leaked to the press in violation of the explicit orders issued by the Arbitration Tribunal."
The most extensive accusations against Armstrong contained in the Texas arbitration files revolve around allegations of EPO use.
In cycling, as in other endurance sports such as triathlon or marathon racing, oxygen equals power.
The science of getting oxygen to the muscles can prove, in practice, fantastically complex. Yet the underlying theory is simple: The more red blood cells inside the system, the more oxygen those cells can carry to the muscles -- and thus the harder an athlete can train, recover and race.
The kidneys produce the hormone erythropoietin. It tells bone marrow to make red blood cells.
Synthetic EPO is a biotech marvel created in the 1980s to treat anemia resulting from kidney failure or from cancer chemotherapy. It mimics the effects of naturally produced EPO and is thus banned by anti-doping authorities. Riders inject it, in the style of a diabetic injecting insulin.
By the fall of 1996, according to a 1998 letter sent to racers by an anti-doping executive of the International Cycling Union, "rumors and unease over the use of EPO assumed a vast scale. The theory was that the person who administered the most EPO injections could win the competition. An untenable situation," said the letter, filed in the case.
Armstrong was linked to EPO by former racing teammates who testified in the Texas arbitration. They described a 1995 bike ride in Italy during which they recalled talking about EPO's potential for making their Motorola team more competitive.
In a deposition, Stephen Swart testified that "one of the discussions there was about EPO and how we were still riding at such a disadvantage to the European teams and having to look seriously on how to rectify the problem."
Swart, a New Zealander, was asked, "What did Mr. Armstrong say?"
"Well, basically saying that ... you know, you have to do what you have to do," Swart responded.
Questioned about what he understood Armstrong's position to be on the use of EPO, Swart said, "You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out." He said his conclusion at the end of the ride with Armstrong was that "for us to be competitive at the Tour that year, that we needed to start a medical program of EPO."
Swart said he tried EPO himself in 1995 but testified that he stopped because it wasn't "working for me."
Regarding the same bike ride and alleged EPO discussions, a second teammate, Frankie Andreu, testified of "a general tone about ... stepping up, meaning in training and possibly maybe even participating, maybe taking EPO ... because there were many riders that were doing it."
Armstrong testified: "I was never party to that conversation. If it took place -- I'm not calling Frankie a liar, but there ... there are many other people he could have had that talk with."
Armstrong was also asked: "Did you begin an EPO program in 1995?"
"The answer is no," he testified.
According to Swart's deposition, he and his teammates -- including Armstrong -- had their blood tested during one of the mountain stages of the 1995 Tour. The team doctor, he said, was checking the riders' hematocrit level -- the percentage of red blood cells in the population.
Anything over 50% leads experts to suspect EPO use; a high hematocrit reading also prompts medical concerns because a dense concentration of red blood cells can turn the blood sluggish.
The cycling union would later impose a rule barring any rider with more than 50% from starting. But in 1995 there was no such rule.
His own hematocrit level, Swart said, was 47. Everyone else on the team recorded a level over 50, including Armstrong, Swart testified. The level for most males is about 42.
Asked if he believed Armstrong "was using EPO based on his hematocrit levels," Swart testified in his deposition: "That's the only way you could come to that conclusion. There's no other way your hematocrit would be that high."
Armstrong denied he was using EPO. Under questioning at the arbitration hearing, he was asked:
"Do you recall if any riders for the Motorola team tested with hematocrit levels above 50?"
"No ... Certainly not myself," Armstrong responded.
There was no test for EPO at that time, nor in 1999 when Armstrong broke through to win his first Tour de France. Scientists developed testing methods that were first implemented in professional cycling in 2001. The tests have always required scientific interpretations that continue to make them controversial.
As part of a project in 2004 to refine lab procedures, researchers used archived urine samples from earlier years. That's how a collection of Armstrong's 1999 race samples happened to be tested years later.
The results, Australian researcher Michael Ashenden testified in Dallas, show Armstrong's levels rising and falling, consistent with a series of injections during the Tour. Ashenden, a paid expert retained by SCA Promotions, told arbitrators the results painted a "compelling picture" that the world's most famous cyclist "used EPO in the '99 Tour."
The tests were conducted on what doping authorities call the "B sample," the second half of urine samples traditionally used in doping tests. The "A samples" were used and discarded in 1999.
Armstrong's B samples -- actually a collection of several samples provided at various points throughout the 1999 race -- were among samples of several supposedly anonymous racers taken out of deepfreeze in 2004.
The process is supposed to involve lab control numbers only, not an athlete's name. However, a French newspaper matched up Armstrong's name to at least six positive samples using race documents obtained from the International Cycling Union.
To make a typical doping case, then and now, authorities must prove a positive A and B sample. Such conclusive testing is not possible in the absence of an A sample.
Nonetheless, Ashenden testified that results he analyzed showed a "patent abuse which very, very closely resembles what I would suspect to see in an athlete actually using EPO."
Ashenden is a noted expert on blood doping. He coordinated research resulting in a two-year suspension of another former Armstrong teammate, Tyler Hamilton, found to be transfusing with someone else's blood in 2004.
The EPO test separates proteins by their electrical charge -- that is, when a sample is run through an electrically charged gel, it separates those produced naturally in the body from those of injected EPO. Scientists then read the intensities and positioning of natural and injected EPO isoforms, or molecules, on the gel.
Any reading over 80% traditionally was viewed as positive for the presence of injectable EPO.
Ashenden provided arbitrators with a day-by-day breakdown of Armstrong's test results from the 1999 samples. For example:
On July 3, 1999, Armstrong won the first race of the Tour -- the 4.2-mile prologue. His doping control form shows he was tested at 9:45 a.m. Ashenden said Armstrong's reading was 100%.
Such a high level, Ashenden testified, "is consistent with an injection that was received within just a few hours."
July 13, the first day in the Alps, ended in Sestriere, Italy. Armstrong took a six-minute lead. He was tested at 5:15 p.m. His test reading: 96.6%, consistent with an injection he "would have received -- could have received earlier in ... the day," Ashenden testified.
Tests for the final six racing stages showed "there was never enough EPO," natural or otherwise, "in any of Armstrong's urine samples to report a result," Ashenden said.
His explanation: When an athlete takes injectable EPO, the levels of that injectable EPO fall off day by day. At the same time, the kidneys have stopped producing natural EPO because the body recognizes "there's too much blood in his circulation."
The result, he testified, is that there isn't enough EPO of any sort to measure as the body gets a "chance to come to its ... natural level." The Australian researcher concluded that "not finding enough EPO in the sample to analyze ... you see that when an athlete stops taking EPO injections."
Ashenden defended the testing process, saying researchers had no way of knowing whose samples they were testing at the time.
A French newspaper reported last fall that three other racers tested positive for EPO during the same trials -- cyclists from Spain, Denmark and Colombia. All three cyclists later denied using EPO.
Armstrong's lawyers tried to block Ashenden's testimony, arguing it was unfair and "unduly prejudicial." The arbitration panel denied that bid.
Armstrong flatly rejected Ashenden's analysis. He called the claims a "pure witch hunt."
"When I gave the sample, there was no EPO in the urine," he testified at the hearings.
In his report made public May 31, Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman said the French lab that performed those tests did not follow the stringent protocols required to establish a doping violation. That, in addition to the missing A samples, would make establishing such a violation impossible under traditional standards.
Edward Coyle, a University of Texas sports performance researcher retained as an expert by Armstrong's lawyers, testified that Armstrong had, post-cancer, not only lost weight, resculpting his body, but simultaneously improved his power output -- thereby producing a "huge" power surge.
Asked whether he thought Armstrong could win the Tour without doping, Coyle replied, "Yes, I do, and I believe he can."
Since then, Armstrong has accused the French lab of misconduct and, in a June 9 letter to the International Olympic Committee, accused the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of pressuring the French lab to produce what he characterized as an "improper report." He blamed WADA for subsequent press accounts linking him to EPO, and he called for the IOC to force WADA Chairman Dick Pound to resign.
The IOC, on June 21, said it was "encouraging an independent inquiry."
Accusations arising during the arbitration also turned to the practice of blood manipulation -- a process called "autologous transfusion" by which racers withdraw, store and then re-inject their own blood to increase oxygen-bearing red blood cells during competition. It is a prohibited practice, but difficult to detect.
During an instant-messaging exchange a year ago between two former Armstrong racing colleagues, Jonathan Vaughters told Frankie Andreu that transfusing took place during the 2005 Tour.
Their computer conversation took place during the early morning of July 26, according to testimony, shortly after each had returned from the 2005 race in France. Andreu was at his suburban Detroit kitchen table and Vaughters at his home in Colorado.
A printout of the messages -- marked as Exhibit 100, discussed in the hearing and reviewed by The Times -- included Vaughters' account of an elaborate transfusing scheme.
"Yeah, it's very complex how [they] avoid all the controls now, but it's not any new drug or anything, just the resources and planning to pull off a well devised plan," said the participant identified as "Cyclevaughters."
He said the blood was drawn "right after the Dauphine," an apparent reference to an eight-stage French race in June that is considered an important tune-up for the Tour de France in July.
Andreu, identified in the transcript as FDREU, asked about the blood supplies. "How do they sneak it in, or keep it until needed?"
Vaughters responded that the blood was delivered "on the rest day" by motorcycles equipped with "refridgerated [sic] panniers."
During the 2005 Tour, Armstrong lost the yellow jersey -- worn by the race's leader -- to German Jens Voigt at the ninth stage, on Sunday, July 10. After a rest day on July 11, Armstrong reclaimed the yellow jersey, finishing second in a 111-mile mountain stage.
"Today I had good legs," Armstrong told reporters afterward.
Vaughters, who did not testify in the hearing, also wrote about doping during his message exchange, telling Andreu that some teams were getting "25 injections every day." He also wrote: "It's not like I never played with hotsauce, eh?"
Reached by telephone recently, Vaughters declined to comment.
Armstrong's attorneys provided an affidavit signed by Vaughters on Feb. 2 that played down his computer comments to Andreu. Vaughters' affidavit called his instant-message conversation "nothing more than
It also said Vaughters has "no personal knowledge that any team in the Tour de France, including Armstrong's Discovery team in 2005, engaged in any prohibited conduct whatsoever."
The affidavit said his comments "regarding teams and riders in the session are nothing more than rumors and speculation."
Attorneys for Armstrong called the computer messages "incorrect and unfair." In an e-mail to The Times, Sean E. Breen, of the Austin-based law firm Herman, Howry & Breen, said that "the gossip in the message is unsubstantiated and unreliable" and said Vaughters' comments to Andreu should not be characterized as "factually based."
Andreu signed a sworn affidavit as well, validating that the instant-messaging conversation took place as represented in the printout.
The Michigan racer's wife, Betsy Andreu, provided some of the most hotly contested testimony of the arbitration hearings.
She told the judges that a few days after Armstrong's cancer surgery a decade ago, she and her husband were among a group of friends visiting Armstrong at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. The racer had undergone surgery for testicular cancer that doctors said had spread to his brain.
It was a Sunday, Oct. 27, 1996. She recalled that a Dallas Cowboys football game was on television in the room.
Armstrong was about to start a post-surgery chemotherapy regimen. Two doctors came in, asked some "banal questions," she testified, and then, "boom, 'Have you done any performance-enhancing drugs?' And he said, 'Yes.'
"And they asked, 'What were they?'
"And Lance said, 'EPO, growth hormone, cortisone, steroid, testosterone.' "
Frankie Andreu corroborated his wife's recollections in his own testimony. However, Armstrong sharply disputed their accounts.
"The story is not true," Armstrong testified.
More recently, in response to reports about the Andreu couple's testimony published last month in The Times and the French newspaper Le Monde, Armstrong issued a statement calling the couple's version "absurd and untrue."
Adam Paskoff, a lawyer representing the couple, said in a telephone interview that they "answered honestly and truthfully under court order."
One doctor who supervised Armstrong's cancer care said in an arbitration affidavit that he had "no recollection" of any declaration of prior EPO use by Armstrong. Dr. Craig Nichols, although not identified as among those present at the Indiana hospital with the Andreus in 1996, said in his affidavit that "Lance Armstrong never admitted, suggested or indicated that he has ever taken performance-enhancing drugs."
Armstrong did take EPO during his racing hiatus for cancer treatment. Nichols acknowledged in his affidavit that he administered EPO to the racer in 1996 to offset the side effects of his chemotherapy.
After January 1997, Nichols said, neither he nor his colleagues gave Armstrong any additional EPO. "There would have been no reason to do so" once chemotherapy ended, he said.
The prescribed EPO could not have had any performance-enhancing impact on Armstrong's cycling months or years later, Nichols said, because its effects only "last for approximately two weeks."
Betsy Andreu's arbitration testimony also put a spotlight on Armstrong's relationship with controversial Italian doctor Michele Ferrari. She described riding along on a secret rendezvous between Armstrong and the doctor in a parking lot outside Milan.
Ferrari was waiting in a camper van. The site was selected, Andreu testified, "so [Armstrong] wouldn't be seen with him."
Armstrong did not dispute the meeting. "I was in there for a brief meeting, check body fat and body composition and 15 minutes later we are gone," he testified.
"But I understand the insinuation that I went in and got doped up the day before [the race]. I've heard that, but that's not what happened."
Ferrari once defended EPO, telling the French newspaper L'Equipe in 1994 that the synthetic hormone "is not dangerous; it's the abuse that is. It's also dangerous to drink 10 liters of orange juice."
In 2004, an Italian court convicted Ferrari of "sporting fraud" after a trial in which an Italian cyclist testified that the doctor had advised him to use EPO and steroids. That conviction was overturned in May by a Bologna appeals court, which ruled that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict.
In testimony, Armstrong called Ferrari's reputation "dodgy." Ferrari, responding to questions from The Times, said about their secret meetings:
"Those were the times when it wasn't appropriate for him to be seen with someone labeled as a 'bad guy,' like I was at the time."
However, Armstrong said he regarded the doctor as a genius on such matters as "altitude issues." Ferrari also was an expert on diet and on such cycling-specific issues as cadence, the racer said.
And despite the doctor's reputation, Armstrong testified, he "never had any reason to believe that this guy was dirty."
In testimony, Armstrong said Ferrari did not prescribe, administer or suggest any kind of drug or doping program.
Ferrari, who credited Armstrong's success to hard work, said that in cycling "suspicions are ever-present, kicking in every time an athlete pulls off a good performance. Suddenly mystery surrounds it all, assuming some sort of magic or chemical formula."
In response to The Times, Ferrari said he neither provided drugs to Armstrong nor suggested any.
Frankie Andreu testified that Armstrong once showed him "an assortment of little round pills" that Armstrong said he took "at different parts during the race, like 50 kilometers to the end, 30 kilometers to the end."
Andreu said, "I have absolutely no idea what they were."
They were caffeine pills, Armstrong said in his testimony.
"If you want a confession, I'm a bit of a coffee fiend. That's the extent of my performance-enhancing drugs," he told the arbitration panel.
Only high concentrations of caffeine have ever been restricted. Three years ago, WADA removed caffeine entirely from its list of banned substances.
Questions about EPO use came up again in testimony by onetime Armstrong friend and three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond. In deposition testimony, LeMond said the two racers had a falling out in 2001 after a heated phone exchange.
LeMond testified Armstrong said to him in that call, " 'Oh, come on. You're telling me you never did EPO? Everybody does EPO.' "
Again, Armstrong adamantly denied that he used EPO or that he had such a conversation with LeMond.
"I would not admit to a doctor or a friend or Greg LeMond that I had taken a substance when I have never taken them," Armstrong testified during the hearings in January.
In an earlier deposition, Armstrong also said LeMond's version of the call and his own recollection were "completely opposite ... because Greg, who I know has serious drinking and drug problems, is -- was clearly intoxicated, yelling, screaming."
In a telephone interview, LeMond said, "I have never been treated for alcoholism. I have never been treated for drug addiction. Have I been drunk in my life? Absolutely. You go to a bike race, everybody's drinking. Do I have a drinking problem? Absolutely not. That is just his way of trashing me."
LeMond declined to comment further.
In the end, the sometimes wildly conflicting testimony provided during the Texas hearings never had to be reconciled by the panel of impartial judges. Both sides agreed to settle at the close of testimony.
The legal dispute centered on a contract between Armstrong and SCA Promotions. The company had agreed to pay the racer a $5-million bonus if he won the 2004 race, his sixth in succession, but the firm threatened to back out when questions arose about possible doping.
Armstrong sued in a Texas court and the case was sent to arbitration.
In a key decision prior to settlement, the arbitration judges ruled that SCA was acting as an insurer -- a role that exposed it to potential triple damages, at least $15 million, if it lost the suit.
The $7.5-million settlement SCA paid to Armstrong included interest and attorney fees.
Throughout the hearings Armstrong asserted that he always competed drug-free throughout his career, including the 1999 race.
"I'll go to my grave knowing that when I urinated in the bottle, it was clean," he testified in January.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Evidence of a banned substance?
Archived urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France were later retested for the presence of synthetic erythropoietin, or EPO, which can boost an athlete's performance by increasing the oxygen available to muscles. Samples allegedly taken from winner Lance Armstrong at various points along the 2,290-mile route showed the probable presence of EPO in the 2004 tests, according to testimony and evidence in Texas arbitration hearings.
Results of the tests
A blood doping expert retained by litigants in the arbitration case testified that his analysis of EPO tests found results consistent with a series of injections during the Tour. A reading of 80% or higher was considered positive for EPO.
Prologue, July 3: 2004 analysis of sample taken after this 4.2-mile sprint showed reading of 100%. Such a level is consistent with an injection within hours of the race.
Stage 1, July 4: 89.7%.
Stage 8, July 11: The next sample tested was from this 34.8-mile time trial. A positive reading via "visual interpretation" but no percentage reported.
Stage 9, July 13: 96.6%. The first mountain stage.
Stage 10, July 14: 88.7%.
Stage 11, July 15: Missing.
Stage 12, July 16: 95.2%.
Stage 13, July 17: Positive reading via visual interpretation but no percentage reported.
Stage 14, July 18: 89.4%.
Stages 15-20, July 20-25: EPO levels undetectable. The retained expert called these results consistent with what would be expected in an athlete who had ceased taking EPO injections.
Armstrong's cycling career
1993: First full season as a professional cyclist. Crowned world champion in Oslo. Earns one stage win in Tour de France, but fails to make it to the end, pulling out of the race in the mountains.
1994: Best result this year is a second place in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
1995: Wins several one-day cycling events, including the premier U.S. cycling event, the Tour DuPont. After Armstrong's teammate Fabio Casartelli crashes and dies during the Tour de France, Armstrong wins one stage but finishes 36th overall.
1996: Wins Tour DuPont again. But he abandons the Tour de France and has a disappointing Olympic Games prior to receiving a diagnosis of testicular cancer in October. Doctors give him a 50% chance of survival after the cancer spreads to his lungs and brain.
1997: Declared cancer free and joins U.S. Postal team in October.
1998: Returns to cycling.
1999: First Tour de France victory.
2000: Tour de France win No. 2.
2001: Tour de France win No. 3.
2002: Tour de France win No. 4.
2003: Tour de France win No. 5.
2004: Record-breaking sixth Tour de France victory.
2005: Armstrong announces he will retire from cycling after the Tour de France, which he wins for a seventh consecutive time.
Testing positive, by sport
Cycling produced the most positive tests for banned substances of any Olympic sport, according to a 2005 report. The sport also yielded the highest percentage of positive tests. Here is a look at some of the figures, made public June 12:
*--* Tested Number % positive positive tested Cycling 482 12,751 3.78% Baseball 390 10,580 3.69 Boxing 83 2,433 3.41 Triathlon 74 2,170 3.41 Archery 25 850 2.94
Sources: Transcripts of arbitration hearing testimony by Michael Ashenden in Lance Armstrong vs. SCA Promotions, Inc.; 1999 Tour doping control forms; 1999 Tour map, stage distances from www.memoire-du-cyclisme; Tour de France Society; US Geological Survey; Landsat Imagery; BBC Sport; Tour de France; World Anti-Doping Agency