USADA files charges against Lance
Written by: Timothy Carlson
Date: Fri Jun 29 2012
The charges were delivered to Armstrong’s attorney Thursday night after an independent review board unanimously recommended that USADA proceed with its case.
In a letter sent June 12, USADA said it planned to pursue allegations that Armstrong, his former team director Johann Bruyneel, three physicians connected to the team and a staff member operated a conspiracy to cheat by using banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong’s lawyer Robert Luskin provided a statement to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper: “USADA’s decision to charge Lance Armstrong with doping violations is wrong and it is baseless. But it is utterly predictable, given that the CEO of USADA, Travis Tygart, has been obsessed for six years with pursuing Mr. Armstrong. The so-called independent review board that permitted USADA to go forward was hand-picked by Mr. Tygart. It is hardly surprising that the Review Board members did precisely what Tygart picked them to do.”
USADA recommended to its review board earlier this month that Armstrong and five others be charged with a doping conspiracy which started in 1998 and continued to 2010.
USADA is demanding that Armstrong be banned for life from competitive sport.
Armstrong has 10 days to decide whether or not to fight the charges. If he does, the case will be argued in front of an independent panel of three people. To prove its case, USADA has to convince two of the three arbitrators that the allegations are true.
USADA stated that more than 10 former teammates of Armstrong will testify that he doped during his cycling career and encouraged them to do the same. USADA also contends that blood testing results from 2009 and 2010 indicate that Armstrong doped during those years of his cycling comeback.
While USADA has refused to identify the cyclists who will testify against Armstrong, earlier this week USADA sent Armstrong’s attorneys a transcript of Tyler Hamilton’s interview a year ago with CBS’ 60 Minutes and emails that were sent by Floyd Landis.
Both Hamilton and Landis tested positive for doping and eventually admitted drug use while saying Armstrong did the same.
Earlier this month, the American-Statesman reported, Armstrong went after the credibility of the review board with a twitter feed to his 3.5 million followers linked to a news story about legal problems of USADA review board member Clark Griffith. Griffith, a law professor at William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure earlier this month. Griffith, the son of a former Minnesota Twins owner, entered an Alford plea, meaning he can still say he was innocent while acknowledging there was sufficient evidence to be found guilty. In the plea deal, Griffith was given no jail time.
The American-Statesman also reported that on the same day that Griffith entered his plea, the USADA charges were leaked to several national media organizations.
At an extraordinary Friday meeting of World Triathlon Corporation's board of directors, the decision was made to leave in place the anti-doping policy as written. 6.16.12
A lot of triathletes are confused and conflicted by today's action, by USADA, banning Lance Armstrong from racing triathlons. How ought the triathlon enthusiast feel about this? We'll take a shot at answering that. 6.13.12