Lance has spoken.
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is in the middle of facing yet another wave of scrutiny, this time from charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). While claims of Armstrong using performance-enhancers are nothing new, these most recent allegations, if substantiated, would strip the cyclist of his Tour titles if he’s found guilty.
In response to the charges, Armstrong’s camp issued a fiery 18-page response (obtained by the Washington Post) in which a request to dismiss the allegations is made to a USADA board that will review the case.
Armstrong's attorney Robert Luskin stomped all over USADA’s accusations, saying that evidence was murky at best and that several rules–of both USADA’s and federally–were broken during the process of the agency’s investigation. Luskin also fired a few extra shots on behalf of the frustrated Armstrong, who is barred from competing in triathlongs as a result of the allegations.
“USADA's overly expansive view of its own authority—not to mention smug self-regard —undoubtedly explains its threadbare charging document, its arrogant and craven refusal to disclose its evidence, and its complacent expectation that the Review Board will not hold it accountable."
Now, with statements from both parties, the USADA review board will determine if the evidence presented is strong enough to trigger a formal charge from the agency. If that happens, the case could be decided at the hands of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which could strip Armstrong of his Tour titles and put a lifetime competition ban on him if found guilty.
Also under fire is Johan Bruyneel, the current Team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek manager who directed Armstrong’s teams. Bruyneel said he wouldn’t attend this year’s Tour as a result of USADA’s doping charges against him, despite proclaiming innocence.