PtG Article 14.06.2012

USADA brings doping charges against Armstrong

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has brought formal doping charges against Lance Armstrong, Washington Post reveals. The seven-time Tour de France winner has been immediately banned from all competitions and stands to lose his titles if he is found guilty.

In a 15-page letter sent to Lance Armstrong by USADA on Tuesday the agency alleges that some of the blood samples taken from Lance Armstrong from 2009 and 2010 were "fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions."

Lance Armstrong has never been tested positive for doping and denied the charges made by USADA.

“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,” Armstrong said in a statement.

Armstrong’s attorney, Robert D. Luskin, said in a telephone interview with Washington Post that “these charges are a product of malice and spite and not evidence”. 

USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement that "USADA only initiates matters supported by the evidence." 

"We do not choose whether or not we do our job based on outside pressures, intimidation or for any reason other than the evidence. Our duty on behalf of clean athletes and those that value the integrity of sport is to fairly and thoroughly evaluate all the evidence available and when there is credible evidence of doping, take action under the established rules."

Besides Armstrong, five former cycling team associates are named in what the letter states to be a massive doping conspiracy from 1998 to 2007. The letter also adds that “the witnesses to the conduct described in this letter include more than ten cyclists” who are willing to testify against Armstrong and the others. 

USADA has the power to bring charges that could lead to suspension from competitions and to retract awards, but does not have the authority to bring criminal charges. 

Read Armstrong’s response on his website here 

Source: Washington Post, USA Today

One of Armstrong’s longtime accusers, Greg LeMond, spoke out against Armstrong at Play the Game 2009. Read more here  

View his presentation here