Wednesday, June 13, 2012

USADA files official charges against Lance Armstrong

Click to enlarge photo(s)
Lance Armstrong at Mont-Tremblant 2009 Gala photo © Pasquale Stalteri / Miroir du Cyclisme
June 13, 2012 -From what Miroir du Cyclisme understands, some new evidence exists which could ultimately strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles. Tuesday, according to the Washington Post, the U.S. Anti Doping Agency served Lance with a 15 page letter outlining allegations which date back to 1998 through 2005 and during his comeback in 2009-2010. In the meanwhile he has been banned from triathlon competition until these newest claims are resolved.

This morning, Miroir du Cyclisme tried to contact Armstrong's agent Bill Stapleton to confirm the contents of the letter but our calls were not returned.

The 15 page letter was later posted HERE

Lance Armstrong later released the following statement:

AUSTIN, TX -- June 13, 2012 -- 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. 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.

Statement by the USADA:

“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 to him and to five (5) additional individuals all formerly associated with the United States Postal Service (USPS) professional cycling team. These individuals include three (3) team doctors and two (2) team officials. This formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations.

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.

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.

At this time USADA will not comment on the evidence or have further comment unless or until it is appropriate.”

The Washington Post

More to come on this breaking story …


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