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Armstrong Realizes Cancer is Easier to Evade than Doping Probes
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On Monday, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, in Austin, Texas, dismissed seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s petition to block allegations of doping raised by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Though Armstrong is currently retired, the cycling champion, who won seven straight Tour de France championships between 1999 and 2005 after overcoming cancer, is doggedly pursued by the USADA.

Attorneys representing Armstrong say that he has “passed every drug test ever administered to him in his career – a total of 500 to 600 tests… more drug tests than any athlete in history.” They also say that only the International Cycling Union has proper jurisdiction in the case.

However, the USADA is after Armstrong’s blood, and in fact claims it already has Armstrong’s blood samples from 2009 and 2010, and the samples are “fully consistent” with doping. USADA claims to have “protected the rights of athletes for over a decade.” And in this case, it claims, five other cyclists of the championship team had conspired with Armstrong to cover his doping for a length of 14 years.

  
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The allegation of “14 years” of doping is significant in that the USADA chief executive Travis Tygart may be looking to take away the credit of Armstrong’s Tour de France wins up to 2005, upon blood samples drawn in 2009 and 2010.

In a letter, which has been published in the Washington Post, the agency has reported that at least 10 former teammates of Armstrong will testify that he used doping drugs during the races from 1999 to 2005. The USADA formally charged Armstrong with doping in June and also alleged that he had  conspired with members of his championship teams.

Lawyers for Armstrong have contended that USADA has gathered evidence by threatening to ruin the careers of Armstrong’s fellow cyclists, and that USADA does not have jurisdiction to charge Armstrong.

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In any event, the judge dismissed Armstrong’s petition to block the probe without prejudice, and it is open for Armstrong to argue his case again if he wishes to.





 

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