The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has notified Lance Armstrong of formal doping charges that could cost him his seven Tour de France titles, the Washington Post reports today. "As a result of the formal charges, Armstrong has been immediately banned from competition in triathlons, a sport he took up after his retirement from cycling in 2011," the Post says. Armstrong denied the new allegations.
In the 15-page charging letter obtained by The Post, USADA made previously unpublicized allegations against Armstrong, alleging it collected blood samples from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 that were “fully consistent with blood ma nipu la tion including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.” Armstrong has never tested positive....
USADA is the quasi-government agency that oversees anti-doping in Olympic sports in the United States. It is empowered to bring charges that could lead to suspension from competition and the rescinding of awards. It does not have authority to bring criminal charges.
“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 released by his publicist. “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. Any fair consideration of these allegations has and will continue to vindicate me.”
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles dropped an investigation into allegations about Armstrong last February.