The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has brought formal doping charges against US cyclist Lance Armstrong and he has been immediately banned from competition in triathlons as a result, the Washington Post reported today.
Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, denied the charges in a statement: "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."
The Post cited a 15-page charging letter by the USADA.
It said the agency, which oversees anti-doping in Olympic sports
in the United States, was empowered to bring charges that could
lead to suspension from competition and the rescinding of awards
but did not have authority to bring criminal charges.
Armstrong said in his statement that USADA "intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years."
The statement continued: "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."
The US Anti-Doping Agency is the body in charge of drug testing for Olympic sports. It does not have the power to file criminal charges.
In February, federal prosecutors dropped a two-year investigation of Armstrong, looking at whether he and his teammates participated in a doping program while he was riding for the US Postal team. He won the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005.
In the federal investigation, a grand jury in heard evidence from Armstrong's former teammates and associates. When prosecutors announced they were closing the case, they did not disclose a reason for the decision.