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Doping charges formally filed against Lance Armstrong

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday it has filed formal doping charges against Lance Armstrong that, if proven, would strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.

A three-member review panel evaluated evidence gathered by USADA and a reply from Armstrong before unanimously voting to turn the allegations revealed on June 13 into formal charges.

The next step in the process will be a hearing before an arbitration panel that would rule on the case. The matter could be pushed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a final resolution.

“All respondents will have the opportunity to exercise their right to a full public arbitration hearing, should they so choose, where all evidence would be presented, witness testimony would be given under oath, and an independent group of arbitrators would ultimately decide the outcome of the case,” USADA said in a statement.

“USADA will continue to follow the established procedures that are compliant with federal law and were approved by athletes, the US Olympic Committee and all Olympic sports organizations.”

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Armstrong, who won the Tour de France from 1999-2005 and used his fame to fuel his charitable work for anti-cancer causes, has never tested positive and has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

USADA claims Armstrong was part of a major doping conspiracy aided by coaches and others over many years.

Photo via AFP, Joel Saget

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