Lifestyle & Belief

Lance Armstrong hits back at ASADA over doping claims


An almost two-year long doping inquiry against cycling champion Lance Armstrong and his teammates closed Friday. Armstrong has not had any charges brought against him.


Gail Oskin

Lance Armstrong sent a "scathing" 18-page letter to the US Anti-Doping Agency today, saying it overstepped its authority and may have broken federal law in alleging that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his seven Tour de France wins.

According to the Associated Press, Armstrong's letter also said the USADA's case is "long on stale allegations disproved long ago and short on evidence" and "offensive to any notions of due process."

Armstrong's legal team have also complained they were not allowed to see the evidence against him, including witness names and any expert analysis, the BBC reported.

The seven-time Tour de France champion had till today to respond to the agency's allegations made June 12 that he used performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions to win the Tour from 1999-2005.

If USADA files formal charges, the case could go to a three-person arbitration panel by November. From there, the case could progress to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has the authority to strip Armstrong of his Tour de France titles and impose a life ban from competition were he found guilty.

However, according to Bloomberg, the response sent by Armstrong’s attorney, Robert Luskin, to the USADA offered little new information, referring instead to news articles and past court cases.

Armstrong had taken to Twitter during the week and today to suggest that he would fight the agency’s claims — possibly with a lawsuit.

One of Armstrong's tweets provided a link to his letter to the USADA.

The 40-year-old, who denies doping and notes he has never failed a drug test, urged the review board to dismiss the allegations, saying the USADA had not submitted proper evidence to support its claims that Armstrong was a dope cheat.

"USADA has submitted no evidence to support its spurious allegations," Luskin wrote.

"USADA must either submit the evidence it relies upon in its June 12 letter (accusing Armstrong) or the review board should summarily recommend that this matter be dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence."

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