U.S. Anti Doping Agency files official charges against Lance Armstrong
By Suzanne Halliburton
The U.S. Anti Doping Agency has filed official charges against Lance Armstrong, putting his seven Tour de France titles in jeopardy and at least temporarily ending his reemergence in triathlons.
The Washington Post reported on the existence of the 15-page letter, which was provided to them by a source the paper didn’t identify.
Earlier Wednesday, the American-Statesman reached out to Armstrong about the existence of the letter, but he didn’t offer comment. Calls to Armstrong’s agent Bill Stapleton have not been returned.
Armstrong has been in France for the past week training for a triathlon scheduled for later in June. He has been competing in these events since spring.
The USADA letter sent to Armstrong also made new allegations, saying that blood samples he provided in 2009-10 showed signs of manipulation and use of EPO, a banned booster. That’s the time period when Armstrong came out of retirement to ride the Tour. He won cycling’s biggest race from 1999-2005.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles investigated Armstrong for nearly two years, but opted not to file charges. The USADA’s charges aren’t a surprise. The group said it would continue its investigation after the federal authorities declined to do so.
Doug Ulman, chief executive officer of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, issued the following statement:
“The Lance Armstrong Foundation’s mission is to serve people living with cancer. As founder and chairman, Lance has worked tirelessly for 15 years to further the fight against the world’s leading cause of death and empower its survivors.
“Our hearts go out to Lance and his family as they face what can only be a very frustrating and difficult time as a result of USADA’s actions.
“Lance’s courage in speaking out about cancer - when many athletes would have kept silent - helped spark a global change in how the disease and its survivors are perceived. Lance created a foundation to serve the financial, practical and emotional needs of cancer survivors before winning a single Tour de France. Through his dedication and persistence on behalf of the foundation and its mission, nearly $500 million has been raised to serve cancer survivors and their families.
“We are incredibly proud of his record as a highly effective global cancer advocate and enormously grateful for his generosity as our biggest contributor. Nothing will change that. We remain steadfastly supportive of Lance, a champion for cancer survivors everywhere.”