More news on Lance Armstrong. 

 

Lance Armstrong faces new doping charges brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Armstrong, who retired from competitive cycling in 2011, confirmed on Twitter on Wednesday that he was informed of the charges in a letter sent by USADA.

His seven Tour de France titles could also be in jeopardy, the Washington Post first reported in a story published Wednesday on its website. The newspaper obtained a copy of a letter sent to Armstrong on Tuesday that says blood samples collected in 2009 and 2010 were "fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions."

The cyclist has strongly denied doping accusations throughout his career. He has never tested positive.

He is now banned from competing in triathlons as a result of the USADA charges, ThePost reported. The letter alleges that Armstrong and five others associated with his cycling team were involved in a doping program that included the use of blood transfusions and performance enhancing drugs, the report said.

Armstrong said in his statement that USADA "intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years."

The statement continued: "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."

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is the body in charge of drug testing for Olympic sports. It does not have the power to file criminal charges.

In a statement, USADA CEO Travis Tygart confirmed the letter of anti-doping rule violations was sent to Armstrong, three team doctors and two team officials. "USADA only initiates matters supported by the evidence," the statement said. "Our duty … is to fairly and thoroughly evaluate all the evidence available and when there is credible evidence of doping, take action under the established rules."

In the letter to Armstrong dated June 12, USADA states that numerous riders, team personnel and others will testify based on observing Armstrong allegedly take performance enhancing drugs or through his admissions of doping to them. USADA alleges that he used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone from before 1998 through 2005 and that he used EPO, testosterone and human growth hormone through 1996.

USADA's letter states that riders who competed with Armstrong on the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channels teams from 1998-2007 have said that team director Johann Bruyneel, team trainer Jose Pepe Marti and Dr. Michele Ferrari, a consultant to the team, developed training plans based on EPO use. In the letter, USADA says it has eyewitness statements of Ferrari, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral and Dr. Pedro Celaya injecting riders with EPO.

Armstrong has been investigated for alleged doping in recent years. In February, federal prosecutors dropped a two-year investigation of Armstrong, looking at whether he and his teammates participated in a doping program while he was riding for the U.S. Postal Service team. He won the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005.

In the federal investigation, a grand jury in Los Angeles heard evidence from Armstrong's former teammates and associates. When prosecutors announced they were closing the case, they did not disclose a reason for the decision.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/cycling/story/2012-06-13/lance-armst...

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