Lance Armstrong Denies US Anti-Doping Agency Allegations
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong announced on Wednesday that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) intends to bring up discredited doping allegations made against him in a bid to take his victories away from him.
The 40-year-old has been issued with an immediate ban which disqualifies him from competing in triathlons, a sport he took up after his retirement from cycling in 2011. Armstrong maintains that he has never engaged in doping;
“Unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in my performance, passed more than 500 drugs tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about the USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence.” (Armstrong commenting on his website)
USADA issued a 15-page letter saying its investigation included evidence dating back to 1996 and blood samples collected from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 were “fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions”. The letter also states that over 10 cyclists as well as cycling team employees witnessed Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs and techniques.
Cyclists will testify that Lance Armstrong used testosterone, EPO, masking agents and blood transfusions, and that he administered and distributed drugs to other riders between 1998 and 2005, the police quoted from the letter.
“These are the same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation.” (Armstrong)
In February, Justice Department prosecutors stated they closed a criminal investigation after review , due to lack of evidence to charge Armstrong with using performance-enhancing drugs.