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3 former Armstrong associates banned for life

By the CNN Wire Staff
July 11, 2012 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari, center, leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy, in 2004.
Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari, center, leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy, in 2004.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The three were affiliated with the U.S. Postal Service cycling team
  • They had been given until Monday to request an arbitration hearing
  • The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says they trafficked performance-enhancing drugs

(CNN) -- Two doctors and a trainer associated with Lance Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service team were suspended for life Tuesday by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Dr. Michele Ferrari, a consultant; Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, team doctor; and Jose "Pepe" Martí were part of a large-scale doping conspiracy, according to USADA. The agency says Armstrong, who won six Tour de France championships while with U.S. Postal, was also involved in doping.

Each was given a Monday deadline to accept sanctions or contest the charges. Armstrong was granted a five-day extension.

Among the charges against the two doctors and Marti was the accusation that they trafficked performance-enhancing drugs and masking agents.

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"Permanently banning these individuals from sport is a powerful statement that protects the current and next generation of athletes from their influence, and preserves the integrity of future competition," USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a written statement.

Also Tuesday, Armstrong refiled a lawsuit against USADA in a bid to halt a doping case against him. The move came one day after a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, blasted the cycling champion in a sharply worded ruling. Armstrong has said he has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs

Like the original, the refiled suit asks the court to file an injunction against USADA by Saturday, the agency's deadline for Armstrong to agree to contest the charges or accept sanctions.

Former USPS team manager Johan Bruyneel and Dr. Pedro Celaya also have been charged by USADA. The agency's release did not specify whether they also were granted extensions for their cases or had opted for an arbitration hearing.

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