US Anti-Doping Agency files doping charges against Lance Armstrong

USADA bans Armstrong from triathlon competition

For more on this story, see Cyclingnews.com.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has filed formal doping charges against Lance Armstrong, alleging that they collected blood samples from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 that were “fully consistent with blood ma­nipu­la­tion including EPO use and/or blood transfusions,” according to The Washington Post.

The Washington Post received a 15-page letter USADA sent to Armstrong and others Tuesday.

USADA banned Armstrong from competition in triathlons, which he has been racing the past two years. He recently won Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, his second half-Ironman victory this year.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in February dropped a two-year doping investigation involving Armstrong. During that time, former Armstrong teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton — both of whom were stripped of awards after doping cases — accused Armstrong of doping.

Armstrong posted the following statement in response to USADA's new allegations.

"I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned," Armstrong wrote. "These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation. These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA’s malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play."

"I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."

Armstrong’s attorney Robert D. Luskin told The Washington post that USADA’s latest allegations were caused by “malice and spite.”

USADA's letter alleges that Armstrong, team doctors and team manager Johan Bruyneel were involved in doping from 1998-2011, and that “the witnesses to the conduct described in this letter include more than ten (10) cyclists,” The Washington Post reported.

Armstrong used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents, alleges the USADA letter.

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, issued a press release on Wednesday evening stating the body had only just been informed by USADA of this decision and that it was "the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject."

"The UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved  in the proceedings opened by USADA," the press release said. "The UCI will follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them. The UCI will not comment further at this stage."

The UCI has been supportive of Armstrong in past doping scandals.

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