Tour de France star-cyclist Lance Armstrong, 40, is fighting charges of taking dope during his 25 years of races and may lose his title completely.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) performed drug tests on Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 and discovered “blood manipulation including EPO [erythropoietin] use and/or blood transfusions,” but the findings then were not exposed to the public.
According to Forbes, in 1999 Armstrong was once caught using steroids to enhance his performance in the race, and that same year he was caught again taking EPO, an energy-enhancing drug that makes its mark through the blood cells. Athletes commonly take EPO to increase their performance.
After receiving a letter from the USADA offering to discuss his test results in June, Lance Armstrong failed to appear at the scheduled meeting June 8. The letter was 15 pages long and accused Armstrong of using EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, human-growth hormone and anti-inflammatory steroids, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The charges immediately in effect would remove Lance Armstrong from triathlons, and the eminent racer said the accusations came just shortly after prosecutions for the two-year investigation on Armstrong’s alleged drug-use closed without any real conclusion.
Between 1996 and 2006, all Tour competitors had been caught for use of performance enhancers, but nobody had yet been charged. Lance Armstrong argued that he is the only racer to face charges.
Lance Armstrong won every Tour de France competition from 1996 to 2005 after he survived testicular cancer that spread to the brain and lungs. Upon retiring in 2005, Lance Armstrong said he was fed up from fighting doping accusations and spent a large sum of money on defense in the case.
Armstrong said in a statement, “These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge.”