Lance Armstrong faces more doping charges

Lance Armstrong is under the microscope once again, with more doping charges

6/14/12 in Cycling   |   Pat   |   5235 respect

Blog Photo - Lance Armstrong faces more doping chargesLance Armstrong was once an American hero. He dominated a sport that few Americans had ever succeeded in, and was one of the best of all time.

Armstrong's 7 Tour de France victories are the most in the history of the sport, shattering the previous record of 5, which was shared by Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, and Jacques Anquetil.

The only other American to win the Tour de France is Greg LeMond, who had 3 wins.

Now, it might not matter at all, since Armstrong's victories may be stripped if he's found guilty of the latest doping charges levied against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Via SI:
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has filed formal charges against the seven-time Tour de France winner, threatening to strip him of his victories in the storied cycling race.

Blog Photo - Lance Armstrong faces more doping chargesArmstrong ... could face a lifetime ban from the sport if he is found to have used performance-enhancing drugs. ...
Armstrong has been dogged by doping allegations since his first Tour victory in 1999, but had hoped his fight to be viewed as a clean champion was finally won after U.S. federal prosecutors closed a two-year criminal probe in February without bringing any charges. Armstrong has said the investigation took a heavy emotional toll and he was relieved when it ended.

But USADA officials insisted they would continue to pursue their own probe into Armstrong and his former teams and doctors, and notified him of the charges in a 15-page letter on Tuesday. Unlike federal prosecutors, USADA isn't burdened by proving a crime occurred, just that there was use of performance-enhancing drugs.

In its letter, USADA said its investigation included evidence dating back to 1996. It also included the new charge that Armstrong blood samples taken in 2009 and 2010 are "fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions." Armstrong came out of his first retirement to race in the Tour de France those two years.

The USADA letter accuses Armstrong of using and promoting the use of the blood booster EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, human growth hormone and anti-inflammatory steroids. The letter doesn't cite specific examples, but says the charges are based on evidence gathered in an investigation of Armstrong's teams, including interviews with witnesses who aren't named.
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According to USADA's letter, more than 10 cyclists as well as team employees will testify they either saw Armstrong dope or heard him tell them he used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone from 1996 to 2005. Armstrong won the Tour de France every year from 1999-2005.

Blog Photo - Lance Armstrong faces more doping chargesArmstrong has managed to elude everything that has come his way so far, coming out relatively clean in every investigation.

European cycling fans have always resented him and his success, and accusations of Armstrong doping are nothing new over there, where he was often ridiculed and heckled during races.

At this point, though, it might be too late to completely tarnish Armstrong's image.

He's a cancer survivor, and continues to fight cancer and raise millions towards cancer research through his Livestrong foundation. He's already done with the sport, and will forever be the most well-known member of the sport.

Even if Armstrong is guilty, it could just end up morphing into a case of "us vs. them" between the USA and the rest of the world.

Do these new allegations change your view of Lance Armstrong? Or was his reputation already tainted in your eyes?
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