Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is firing back against new charges of blood doping during his championship run.
The allegations from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency could strip the legendary athlete of his Tour De France victories and even ban him from cycling. Armstrong blasted the group, denying the charges and blaming the agency for an ‘unconstitutional witch hunt.’
“These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity,” Armstrong said. “I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one.
“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.
“These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation.”
Armstrong believes the USADA is motivated by its belief that a ‘wide-ranging conspiracy’ has been protecting him for nearly two decades. He feels the witnesses cited were identical to the ones who gave sworn statements to federal investigators in California, from which no criminal charges were filed.
While allegations of blood doping and the use of performance enhancing drugs have dogged Armstrong, 40, for nearly two decades, this is the first time he will face charges and has led to the athlete being banned from competing in triathlons, which he took up in last year. Among them is the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii this fall.