Lance Armstrong accused of anti-doping violations by USADA

Jonathon Harker
Lance Armstrong accused of anti-doping violations by USADA

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has accused Lance Armstrong – and five additional individuals – of anti-doping violations.

The five include three team doctors and two team officials from US Postal team.

The allegation, timed less than two weeks before the Tour de France begins, prompted Armstrong to respond in a statement on his site.

Armstrong said the charge was discredited and pointed out the claim was the same as the one that has already been investigated by the Justice Department and then dropped. 

"These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity," slammed Armstrong.

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"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."

There's plenty of detail on the long-running doping accusations in an interview with an exercise physiologist here.

Following Armstrong's statement the USADA confirmed it had made the accusation.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said: “In response to numerous inquiries regarding the public statements made by Mr. Lance Armstrong, we can confirm that written notice of allegations of anti-doping rule violations was sent yesterday [June 12th] to him and to five additional individuals all formerly associated with the United States Postal Service (USPS) professional cycling team…This formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations."

Tygart added: "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.

"As in every USADA case, all named individuals are presumed innocent of the allegations unless and until proven otherwise through the established legal process. If a hearing is ultimately held then it is an independent panel of arbitrators, not USADA that determines whether or not these individuals have committed anti-doping rule violations as alleged."

Armstrong's statement in full:
"I have been notified that USADA, an organisation 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. 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."

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Tags: lance armstrong , tour de france , lance , USA

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