- (Photo: Reuters/Eric Gaillard/Files)
Lance Armstrong has been faced with another round of accusations from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), preventing him from competing in the Ironman competition this year.
The 7-time Tour de France winner faced accusations of using drugs to enhance his performance last year and thought they were behind him.
Armstrong said Wednesday that the USADA, which fights the use of drugs in Olympic sports, plans to "dredge up discredited" doping allegations against him in an attempt to strip him of his seven Tour de France victories.
"I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one," Armstrong pointed out in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "Any fair consideration of these allegations has and will continue to vindicate me."
Furthermore, Armstrong deemed the latest allegations "baseless" and "motivated by spite."
Since his career took off in 1999, Armstrong has had to combat claims of drug use. The cyclist has admitted the allegations had taken a toll on him emotionally and he was relieved when the investigation ended, but the USADA insisted they would continue their investigation.
Tuesday, the USADA notified Armstrong of a 15-page letter declaring its investigation of him and his former teams and doctors.
The 40-year-old champion cyclist started doing triathlons after retiring from cycling, and just two weeks ago earned a half-Ironman in Hawaii. He was the fastest cyclist and runner in the 70.3-mile course, and the third-fastest swimmer.
The Ironman France competition is scheduled for June 24 in Nice, southern France.
Armstrong has until June 22 to file a written reply to the charges, and the case could ultimately to before an arbitration panel to consider evidence. The USADA letter said in that case, a hearing should be expected by November.
Meanwhile, U.S.A. Triathlon said he can still compete in its events despite the USADA's claims.
"Lance Armstrong is currently still eligible to compete in all U.S.A.-sanctioned races, with the exception of Ironman events as stated by the World Triathlon Corporation," said the organization's communications director Chuck Menke.