sport

Six-month bans for quintet

Five of Lance Armstrong's former team-mates have accepted six-month doping bans from the US Anti-Doping Agency.

This came after their evidence helped strip Armstrong of his seven career Tour de France titles.

The USADA said the bans imposed on George Hincapie, Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie were reduced because of "substantial assistance" supplied by the riders in relation to their investigation into Armstrong.

A sixth former Armstrong team-mate, Canadian Michael Barry, also accepted the sanction, although Barry announced his retirement from the sport last month.

Ordinarily, the riders would have faced bans of at least two years for admitting the offences.

The bans have been back-dated to September 1, 2012 and will run through six months relating to their participation in any activity or competition organised by any signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code.

Each rider also had his competitive results erased for the specified period in which they acknowledged doping had taken place, and all but Danielson admitted they had withdrawn from the London 2012 Olympics as a part of the deal.