Armstrong teammate appears at cycling grand jury

FILE - This April 6, 2010, file photo shows Radio Shack team cyclist Lance Armstrong of the United States, left, and teammate Yarosloav Popovych of Ukraine, before the start of the 58th Circuit de la Sarthe cycling race in Sable sur Sarthe, France. Popovych checked in at the grand jury chamber in Los Angeles, along with his attorney on Wednesday morning, Nov. 3, 2010. He is the latest person connected to Armstrong to appear before the grand jury, which meets in closed session. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)
FILE - This April 6, 2010, file photo shows Radio Shack team cyclist Lance Armstrong of the United States, left, and teammate Yarosloav Popovych of Ukraine, before the start of the 58th Circuit de la Sarthe cycling race in Sable sur Sarthe, France. Popovych checked in at the grand jury chamber in Los Angeles, along with his attorney on Wednesday morning, Nov. 3, 2010. He is the latest person connected to Armstrong to appear before the grand jury, which meets in closed session. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File) (David Vincent - AP)

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By ANTHONY McCARTNEY
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 6:33 PM

LOS ANGELES -- A Ukrainian cyclist and teammate of Lance Armstrong testified for about two hours Wednesday before a federal grand jury that is investigating doping in the sport.

An attorney for Yaroslav Popovych said the cyclist was forced to appear before the grand jury even though he had no information that would be useful to the monthslong investigation.

"They forced him to be there," attorney Ken Miller said. "They served him in Austin, Texas, and made him appear two weeks later in Los Angeles when he was only supposed to be in the States for four days."

Popovych, who was served while in Austin to participate in a ride for Armstrong's cancer charity, Livestrong, had vacation plans that had to be postponed for Wednesday's appearance before the grand jury, Miller said.

"He didn't know anything about what they're investigating," Miller said. He added that authorities said Popovych wasn't a target of the investigation, but Miller declined to go into detail about what was discussed during the cyclist's testimony.

The 30-year-old rider is the latest person connected to Armstrong to appear before the grand jury, which meets in closed session. Others who have been called include exercise physiologist Allen Lim and Stephanie McIlvain, a longtime friend of the seven-time Tour de France winner.

Popovych has been a member of three Armstrong teams dating back to 2005 and is a current member of Team RadioShack along with Armstrong.

Armstrong has repeatedly denied allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Federal authorities have refused to talk about the cycling probe, which picked up steam and turned toward Armstrong after disgraced 2006 Tour winner Floyd Landis dropped years of denials and admitted last spring that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Landis also accused Armstrong and others of systematic doping.

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Associated Press writer Greg Risling contributed to this story.


© 2010 The Associated Press

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