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USADA panel urges formal charges against Lance Armstrong

June 29, 2012|By Austin Knoblauch
  • Lance Armstrong could be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles if an arbitration panel rules against him.
Lance Armstrong could be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles if an… (Bas Czerwinski / Associated…)

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's latest case against Lance Armstrong appears to be heading to an arbitration hearing after the organization's review board made a unanimous recommendation Friday to file formal charges against the seven-time Tour de France winner.

If Armstrong challenges the USADA's charges against him -- and he's indicated that he will -- the case will go to arbitration. USADA board member Clark Griffith told the Associated Press that he "can't wait to hear what the arbitration panel thinks of the evidence."

The USADA claims Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs during his run of Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005. The agency says 10 former Armstrong teammates are prepared to testify that Armstrong took PEDs during his career.

Armstrong's attorney, Robert Luskin, decried the USADA's decision to formally charge Armstrong:

“It is the entirely predictable product of USADA's toxic obsession with Lance Armstrong and a process in which truth is not a priority,” he said. “There is not one shred of credible evidence to support USADA's charges and an unbroken record of more than 500 clean tests over more than a decade and a half to refute it."

Armstrong has claimed his innocence, and took to Twitter on Friday to attack Griffith's credibility. Earlier this month, Griffith entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor indecent exposure charge stemming from an alleged incident on a St. Paul, Minn., street. Through the plea, Griffith did not admit any wrongdoing, but acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.

Armstrong could lose his seven Tour de France titles if the arbitration panel rules against him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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