Lance Armstrong Formally Charged by USADA

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Lance Armstrong will not be competing at the Ironman championship in Kailua-Kona this October. He won’t be competing at Ironman France on June 24 either for that matter. It was reported Wednesday the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has brought doping charges against the seven-time Tour de France winner, threatening to strip his victories and ban him permanently from the sport. The new charges by the USADA immediately ban Armstrong from competing in triathlons.

The allegations, highlighted in excerpts from a 15-page USADA letter sent to Armstrong, printed by The Washington Post Wednesday outlined new allegations against Armstrong. You can read about the charges here, here, and here. (ESPN has a link to the formal letter here)

There’s no doubt the fresh allegations will bring up heated discussions amongst cycling fans and non-cyclists alike. A finale to this ongoing saga doesn’t look like it’ll be arriving anytime soon, but this appears to be a necessary step towards an outcome. If Armstrong decides to contests the charges, he’ll be entitled to a “trial” where the evidence would be presented and witnesses would testify under oath. If these latest allegations don’t stick, we’ll be able to finally move on. If on the other hand Armstrong is found guilty by a three person panel, he’ll most likely be stripped of all his tour wins and banned from the sport for life.

What would such an action do to Armstrongs image to the American public? Not much.

Judging from early reactions to the new allegations, most of the public is done with the Armstrong case. For many Americans, there are just more important issues facing their everyday lives. Whether Armstrong is guilty or not will just be a side note that passes along the bottom ticker on the news. The reality of the times is that sports in general have been tainted by an era of doping. Many of Armstrong’s contemporaries have already been caught, banned, and sanctioned. Whether the USADA has hard evidence and reliable witnesses backing their allegations is still to be seen. The public is tired of presumptions, hearsay, and lengthy fishing expeditions.

Still, at the end of the day, guilty or not, Armstrong’s case will have little impact on everyday cyclists. We’ll still get out there on our road bikes and ride. That local loop, climb, and group ride will still be as enjoyable as before. We ride for ourselves, for the love of the ride. Perhaps that’s what sport really should be about.

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.

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  • Ron Verna says:

    it’s about time Where does Greg Lemond stand in all this didn’t he say all along lance was doping

    • John Proch says:

      I think we need to strip Merckx, Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali of their TDF victories. Coppi’s victory was only 60 years ago in 1952. Bartali was in 1948. C’mon, get real. LeMond won the TDF in ’86, 26 years ago. Let’s just cancel the race and all go home.

  • Roland Forbes says:

    I agree with what Barry said above. This is not the federal government doing this. This is an NGO. Everyone else who rode with Lance has admitted to doping. If Lance really wanted to be a hero, he would simply fess up to his mistake. What he is doing now is cowardly, and frankly I am glad he is not allowed to race. I don’t want Americas young cyclists to think that you can dope for 7 tours and get away with it. This ain’t baseball for gods sake.

  • Bike Four Fun says:

    Yes, indeed, Armstrong had never been caught. However, has it ever occurred to anybody that the tests used for checking his blood and urine were simply inadequate to reveal any wrongdoing? Just a thought…

  • Older has been says:

    Not only inadequate testing but don’t forget the enormous amounts of money that can be paid n behalf of an athlete to brush a positive test under the rug. Sure there were no positive tests…..MADE PUBLIC…….but that doesn’t necessarily mean there weren’t any positives. Just food for thought.

  • Terrence Bennett says:

    I’m on the fence on this one. Did he dope? I think he did. I think all of them do or at least did back then, Isn’t it ironic that the year after he retired, all of his biggest nemesis and a lot of riders (including people from his old team) suddenly got caught? It’s great to live in the romantic idea that he didn’t but I also believe that it’s unrealistic to think that he never did…..And I don’t think that the people speaking out are jealous of his accomplishments. I think a person has lost touch with reality to think that there isn’t even a possibility that he did.

    Roland Forbes has hit the nail on the head. Only thing is that it exists in almost ever sport. If everyone else is doping around you, they are performing better than you. If they are performing better than you, they are getting the sponsorships that you could be getting if you doped. Then, there’s the issue of your poor performance affecting your team in a way that you could risk getting dropped. What do you do? I am a cyclist and I’m not jealous of Lance. I just see it for what it is. There are people, everyday and everywhere, that take drugs and pass drug test. They take stuff to cover up the drug. I used to work with people that passed drug tests that I had seen smoking pot just the day before. I too don’t want my son, who turns 10 in August ( sand will start racing in January) to think that doping is okay as long as you don’t get caught.

  • chuck says:

    Who cares if he or any other athlete in any sport dopes!!!? They are risking their own health not mine. I think that only drug teams should be allowed to sponsor teams.

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