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Armstrong faces doping charges

Lance Armstrong’s autobiography was called It’s Not About The Bike. The veracity of that title may be strengthened by the latest revelations when the US Anti-Doping Agency charged him and five others over doping violations. If the charges are proven, Armstrong could be stripped of his record seven Tour De France titles.

Although there have been rumours and accusations surrounding Armstrong for almost the whole length of his impressive career, there have not been any formal charges until now.

The agency said, "Written notice of allegations of anti-doping rule violations was sent yesterday to him and to five additional individuals all formerly associated with the United States Postal Service (USPS) professional cycling team. These individuals include three team doctors and two team officials. This formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations."

Armstrong has always been robust in defending his reputation, and he delivered a strong statement: "I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned."

Armstrong claims that the USADA evidence has already been dismissed: "These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge."

As ever, this year’s Tour will progress to the background noise of legal disputes.

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