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U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Formally Charges Armstrong

Lance Armstrong.
Thao Nguyen
Lance Armstrong.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said that one of its panels reviewed the evidence against Lance Armstrong and decided to formally charge the seven-time Tour de France winner with doping.

The AP reports if Armstrong fights the charges, the case goes to an arbitration panel, which will decide the merits.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"Mr. Armstrong has 10 days to respond to USADA's official charging letter, which was sent Thursday evening, to decide whether to contest the charges. If he does, the case will be argued in front of an independent arbitration panel of three people. To prove its case, USADA would have to convince two arbitrators that the allegations are true.

"Robert Luskin, an attorney for Mr. Armstrong, said Friday the decision to charge Mr. Armstrong with doping violations is 'wrong' and 'baseless.' He said the charges are the result of the agency's 'toxic obsession with Lance Armstrong' and that there 'is not one shred of credible evidence" to support them.'"

Armstrong took to Twitter to criticize the anti-doping agency. He wrote:

"Wow. @usantidoping can pick em. Here's (http://tinyurl.com/cgxmzwq) 1 of 3 Review Board members studying my case.‪#protectingcleanathletesandpervs‬"

That link is to a story about a law professor accused of exposing himself to a law student.

Armstrong has maintained that he is innocent. If found guilty, he could lose his Tour de France titles.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.