Lance Armstrong Faces Renewed Doping Charges

It's June, and that means the perennial tradition of new doping charges against Lance Armstrong. Every year without fail.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has filed formal charges against the seven-time Tour de France winner, threatening to strip him of his victories in the storied cycling race.

Armstrong, who forcefully denied the accusations, could face a lifetime ban from the sport if he is found to have used performance-enhancing drugs. The move by USADA immediately bans him from competing in triathlons, which he turned to after he retired from cycling last year.

The USADA is accusing him of using not just one PED, but basically all of them. HGH, testosterone, blood transfusions, EPO, etc, etc. And it's not just during his Tour de France streak from 1999-2005, they're also looking into his comeback years: 2009-2010. So he was planning to ride in the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) in preparation for the Ironman Triathlon in October, but none of that will happen now.

It's worth noting, too, that the USADA doesn't need the same burden of proof required in a court of law. This could be the one that gets him. And, again, I don't know how to feel about it. More later in my The Daily Banter column.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Olympic track star Marion Jones also passed all her drug tests and successfully sued BALCO’s Victor Conte for defimation after he claimed she took illegal performance enhancing drugs from him. But she was later found guilty of perjury after she admitted that she did take PEDs, and was sentenced to six months in prison.

    So when people claim Lance Armstrong couldn’t have cheated his way to all those Tour de France titles, it would be best to take those claims with a grain of salt.

  • Peter Bockenthien

    I really don’t understand athletes use of PED when there is raw organic milk. Really. How else have farmers become farmer strong? It’s made me incredibly strong and given me all kinds of endurance. When I dig down for that something extra, I find it.

    As for the Feds: they had to prove a crime was committed, and that could only be perjury. USADA on the other hands has only to come up with the evidence. Nothing more, and nothing less. This won’t be a battle of words.

    • Bob Cesca

      That’s what concerns me about the USADA charges. Regardless of whether he’s guilty, the proceedings need to be fair.

  • Draxiar

    They reviewed this story on NPR yesterday and according to their story Lance has passed every drug test he’s ever taken…if I heard it right.

    • Bob Cesca

      That’s true. But he could also (allegedly) afford the best ways to elude detection — payoffs to officials and various masking drugs.

      • Draxiar

        You mentioned that in your Banter article (which I read after I posted this) and it was something that I hadn’t considered before taking it that perhaps USADA had an unspoken grudge or something. So thanks for the perspective to invoke consideration…it is much appreciated!

        What are the suspicions that the USADA has to ban Lance from competition?

  • chris castle

    I took an OTC decongestant before a local swim race once, and felt guilty about my good result until I realized that the drug was not on the list of prohibited substances. Now I take it every time I compete. Even serious recreational athletes “dope” to gain an edge. It’s ego that drives doping in the most basic sense, and I’m not sure there’s a solution to that.

  • moelarryandjesus

    Jeezus. Who cares?

    • Bob Cesca

      No one forced you to read the post and then comment. So to answer your question: you care. Obviously.

  • gescove

    I hope Armstrong will prevail. It’s hard to imagine that long-term and promiscuous PED use would have escaped the scrutiny Lance is subjected to year after year. It would be nice, once in a while, to live in a world of genuinely larger-than-life figures who aren’t tragically and inevitably flawed. The comeback ride Floyd Landis made on Stage 17 in the 2006 Tour was an unforgettable thing of beauty. So I really wanted Floyd’s doping charges to be proven false… alas. But the “everyone does it” and the “it’s too tough a race not to do it” defenses ring awfully hollow.