7-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong has been issued a letter from the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) indicating he is to be charged with numerous doping offences. The Washington Post first brought the story to light early on Thursday morning (AEST). Along with Armstrong, his former director, Johan Bruyneel and doctor, Michelle Ferrari will face similar charges relating to the use and distribution of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, growth hormone and corticosteroids.
Although the charges relate to his career as a cyclist from 1996 to 2010, Armstrong’s return to triathlon has been suspended by the World Triathlon Corporation until the matter is resolved. Despite appearing on a US talk show in mid-May stating he was “done” defending himself against doping allegations, this latest development means he has to react, with a comment on his website label the charges an effort to “dredge up discredited” theories.
The letter from the USADA includes the alleged cover up of a positive doping test in 2001. Floyd Landis first made the accusation in 2010 that Armstrong bribed officials to quash a positive test at the Tour de Suisse with Tyler Hamilton supporting the story in 2011. If these allegations were proven, the implications of would be catastrophic for the sports governing body. The UCI and the director of the lab that undertook the testing have previously denied the allegations.
Armstrong has 10 days to respond to the allegations before an independent panel will decide whether to proceed to a formal hearing.
Photo © Eugene