Former pro cyclist Joe Papp has been sentenced to three years’ probation, including six months of house arrest, for running an online drug ring that distributed EPO and human growth hormone.
The sentence was pronounced Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, according to ESPN’s Bonnie Ford. Papp pleaded guilty to two felony charges in February 2010, but his sentencing was delayed while he cooperated with federal and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) inquiries into his former customers and others.
Papp bought EPO and human growth hormone illegally from China and had them shipped to a mailbox at a UPS store in Bethel Park, prosecutors said in 2010. He made about $80,500 from drug sales between September 2006 and September 2007, prosecutors said.
Today, the 36-year-old Papp told ESPN, he is unemployed, living with his mother and getting by with the financial support of family.
Earlier Friday, USADA leveled an eight-year sanction against Papp for a “non-analytical” rule violation — “distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs on behalf of a Chinese drug distributor via the Internet,” according to the agency’s press release.
Papp could have been banned for life, this being his second offense, following a positive test for synthetic testosterone at the 2006 Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey that netted him a two-year suspension.
But USADA ordered the reduced sanction based on his “substantial assistance to anti-doping authorities, sharing information about ongoing criminal activity as well as potential anti-doping rule violations by athletes under USADA’s jurisdiction and/or the jurisdiction of other anti-doping organizations.”