Three of Lance Armstrong's former medics given lifetime bans

Lance Armstrong

The US Anti-Doping Agency has given lifetime bans to three of the six men named in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy case.

Luis Garcia del Moral and Michele Ferrari worked with the American during his seven-year Tour de France reign.

Trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti worked with the rider's US Postal Service team.

USADA announced the punishments on Tuesday, the day after a deadline had passed for the trio to either accept or challenge the sanctions.

The two other alleged conspirators, another doctor Pedro Celaya and former team boss Johann Bruyneel, have either requested a five-day extension to respond to the charges or asked for a full arbitration hearing to begin.

Armstrong has been accused of violating anti-doping rules during his time with USPS and has until Saturday to either accept the charges or agree for the case to go to arbitration.

If found guilty, Armstrong faces a lifetime ban and being stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles.

Lawyers for the 40-year-old are attempting to persuade a federal court in Texas to block the doping case from proceeding, but that process hit a setback this week when US District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed the case.

The three men named on Tuesday have been sanctioned for possessing, trafficking and administering doping products, and being involved in the cover-up of their use.

Marti worked as a trainer for the USPS and Discovery Channel Cycling Teams during the period from 1999 through 2007. Before then, Dr del Moral was team physician for the USPS Cycling Team from 1999 through 2003, with Dr Ferrari a consulting doctor for the same team between 1999 and 2006.

The USADA said in a statement: "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."