The US Anti-Doping Agency yesterday filed charges against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, accusing the Texan of using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.

Armstrong, former US Postal team manager Johan Bruyneel and several other team personnel including the controversial doctor Michele Ferrari were informed of the charges on Thursday.

If found guilty, Armstrong faces being stripped of his Tour victories from 1999 through to 2006, while Bruyneel – current RadioShack-Nissan team manager – could be banned from the sport for
life.

The USADA said in a letter obtained by the Associated Press that those
charged had been “part of a doping conspiracy involving team officials, employees, doctors and elite cyclists.”

They also say they have at least 10 former team-mates and associates who will testify against the accused, and say samples taken during his unsuccessful comeback in 2009 and 2010 are ‘fully consistent’ with
blood doping.

In reply, Armstrong’s lawyer Robert D.Luskin went on the offensive, and questing what information USADA have compiled as part of their evidence. He wrote: “The USADA must either submit the evidence it relies upon in the June 12th letter or the Review Board should summarily recommend that this matter be dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence.”

The accused have until July 9 to inform USADA if they wish to challenge the evidence against them.

  • Jon

    Witch hunt… blah blah… never failed a test… drone… sod this I’m off to watch the Tour.

  • Mike

    It is not cyclings governing body that are persuing this, It is the USADA. It is unusual, to say the least, for the Yanks to chase there own heroes, so the evidence must be considerable.

    Lets face it, not testing positive is no defence. Basso, Riis, Ulrich, etc etc never tested positive, but were later proven to be cheats. Riis had to give hs yellow back, so why not Lance?

    Lance stood on the moral high ground throughout his career. Claimed over and over again he was a superman cos he had beaten cancer. That all he needed to be on was his bike.

    If he is a false mesiah he should be brought to justice and shown to be just another guy who cheated.

  • David

    What gets me about this case is this; If they strip him of his TdF titles who on earth are they going to give them to? Check out this link…
    http://www.brettluelling.com/post/3435612945/armstrongs-tdf-victories
    It seems that of the top 5 places in the 7 years that Armstrong won only 2 of the riders HAVEN’T been involved in some sort of drugs scandal!
    – Are they really going to give Jan Ulrich 3 TdF wins after his involvement in Operation Puerto? I’d much prefer it if Armstrong kept his 7 wins!

  • Richard Nuttall

    What a mess this sport is in. Irrespective of the outcome this action puts into question the whole integrity of professional cycling. Armstrong never failed a test officially despite being one of the most tested athletes in recent years yet these charges allege doping, performance enhancing drugs and other underhand methods were rife throughout his career. This indicates current and past testing methods don’t work, that if they did people employed to enforce them aren’t or that they and the sport can easily be bribed.
    Pre Armstrong as far back as you wish to look cheating has been rife with alcohol, amphetamines and other prohibited substances being used to gain an advantage what ever the cost may be!!
    Ullrich, Riis, Pantani and other more recent winners have also be found guilty of cheating or admitted to doing so, some on more than one occasion and some of whom I assume, bad thing to do, are giving evidence in this episode.
    If found guilty the public perception of the sport will be tarred for a very long time, tv coverage will drop off and sponsors will be even harder to find. Armstrong through his charity work and cancer recovery is in most households around the world bigger than the sport itself. It will mean that the tour has no results as many of the lower placed riders have offended and the history be tarnished for ever. Millions of pounds for cancer research will also be lost if found guilty. We must ask what consideration has been given to the public interest test prior to these charges being brought.
    Perhaps instead of investigating the past and prosecuting those who have retired having never broke the rules officially monies and time should be spent creating systems that dealing with current riders making the playing fields level for all as I still doubt they are. Penalties should also be so great that people dare not cheat as the current system is so weak it does little to worry riders. Several of the top riders in the field today have served bans for one thing or another and the handling of the Contador case was farsical.
    This may give our riders a chance. Just imagine how people like Boardman would of done had his competition been drug free.