Did Everyone Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs on Lance Armstrong’s Team?

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The United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) by Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service professional cycling team gave the impression that everyone on the team used PEDs. The report compiled evidence and rider testimony that implicated Armstrong and his teammates in the systematic use of PEDs such as erythropoietin (EPO), anabolic steroids (testosterone) and human growth hormone (hGH).

Eleven of Armstrong’s teammates provided testimony suggesting that a sophisticated doping program was organized and administered to most riders on the team. But at least two former USPS team cyclists, in addition to Armstrong, have denied using PEDs.

Julian Dean, a former professional cyclist from New Zealand, was a member of Armstrong’s team during the period in which Armstrong won three Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2001. However, Dean has strongly denied using PEDs, denied being aware of doping by US Postal, and denied ever seeing Armstrong use drugs.

“I didn’t really fit into that, they had a very directed team for the Tour de France and put a lot of energy into those guys,” said Dean. “Because I was a sprinter I would do things like the Vuelta [de Espana] or some of the other bigger stage races over the years, without being considered for the Tour because there wasn’t much I could contribute.”

While Dean’s explanation for being left out of the loop seems plausible, he is certainly aware of the consequences that befall those who admit to doping in their past. Dean’s boss Matt White, who was a rider for USPS during the Lance Armstrong years, was recently fired after admitting to being a participant in the US Postal doping strategy.

Patrick Jonker, a former pro cyclist from the Netherlands, also reported being oblivious to any PED use at team postal during the 2000 season he spent with the team. He gave an account that was very similar to Dean’s recollection. Jonker never discussed PEDs and never witnessed PED us by any of his teammates including Armstrong.

Jonker feels he may have escaped recruitment into the doping culture due to being one of the riders who wasn’t asked to participate in any of the major Tours (i.e. the Giro de Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta de Espana).

“I’ve never doped and it never crossed my mind,” said Jonker. “There are a lot of riders like myself and Julian Dean who spoke out last night that never did the wrong thing and always did the right thing and raced cleanly… We’d like to get the message across that it wasn’t every single rider in the team.”

Jonker did acknowledge that doping was a problem in cycling during his career but was critical of efforts to scapegoat riders like Armstrong.

“Lance is more hated than murderers…” said Jonker. “[But] it’s the system; the world they were living in at one particular time.”


Cycling News. (October 14, 2012). Jonker says he “never doped”. Retrieved from

Cycling News. (October 13, 2012). Julian Dean denies knowledge of U.S. Postal doping culture. Retrieved from