Armstrong asks review board to dismiss USADA allegations

Embattled Tour king responds to USADA with 18-page letter asking review board to drop doping allegations

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong has asked a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency review board to dismiss allegations brought last week against the seven-time Tour de France champion.

In an 18-page letter obtained by the Washington Post and published on Friday, Armstrong attorney Robert Luskin replied to USADA’s claims that Armstrong was part of a doping conspiracy by saying USADA had not submitted proper evidence to support its claims of wrongdoing by Armstrong:

“While offensive to any notions of due process and fair play, USADA’s insistence on keeping its evidence a secret from Mr. Armstrong and the Board makes sense in only one respect: The two specific and recycled allegations that it identifies have been thoroughly and publicly discredited.”

In the letter, Luskin wrote that USADA had not submitted proper evidence to support its claims that Armstrong was a dope cheat.

“USADA has submitted no evidence to support its spurious allegations,” Luskin wrote. “USADA must either submit the evidence it relies upon in its June 12 letter (accusing Armstrong) or the review board should summarily recommend that this matter be dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence.”

Luskin claims that Armstrong’s lawyers asked USADA for its evidence but were not provided with details of the case assembled against Armstrong.

“To permit USADA to proceed without sharing its evidence would violate not only the clear language of the protocol but also our shared concepts of justice and fair play,” Luskin wrote.

The review board is the panel charged with considering evidence submitted by USADA, and those it targets, and judging if there is enough of a case to push forward with formal charges and a hearing on the matter.

Such a case could end up at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and could result in the stripping of Armstrong’s Tour de France titles and a life ban from competition if he is found guilty.

Armstrong has steadfastly denied doping allegations for many years and U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. closed a U.S. Justice Department investigation into doping claims without filing charges in February.