Lance Armstrong Formally Charged with Doping

From the WSJ:  “The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed formal doping charges against former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, a move that could cost him some or all of his seven Tour de France titles.

The charges, which had been expected, were received today by Mr. Armstrong’s attorney following a unanimous recommendation from an independent review board earlier this week.

In a letter sent June 12, USADA said it planned to pursue allegations that Mr. Armstrong, his former team director, three physicians connected to the team and a staff member had operated an organized conspiracy to cheat by using performance-enhancing drugs and methods that violated the rules of the sport.

Mr. Armstrong has 10 days to respond to USADA’s official charging letter, which was sent Thursday evening, to decide whether to contest the charges. If he does, the case will be argued in front of an independent arbitration panel of three people. To prove its case, USADA would have to convince two arbitrators that the allegations are true…

USADA, a nonprofit organization that operates under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Association, said more than 10 former teammates of Mr. Armstrong’s will testify that he doped during his cycling career. It also said it had obtained blood-testing results from 2009 and 2010 that allegedly show Mr. Armstrong doped during those years.

The agency, which is responsible for enforcing doping rules for Olympic sports, doesn’t have the authority to bring criminal charges. As a result of the case being initiated, Mr. Armstrong, a former rider with the U.S. Postal Service team, has been banned from competition in Ironman triathlons. He took up that sport after retiring from cycling in 2011.”

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