Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong on Friday asked a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) review board to dismiss 'spurious' allegations brought last week against the famed US cycling star. In an 18-page letter obtained by the Washington Post, with a link posted by Armstrong on his Twitter account, the cyclist's attorney Robert Luskin replied to USADA's claims that Armstrong was part of a doping conspiracy.
Luskin said 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."
Armstrong's lawyers asked USADA for their evidence but were not provided with details in 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 board is the USADA panel charged with considering evidence submitted by the organization 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 a US Justice Department investigation into doping claims was halted last February with no charges brought against him. While former Armstrong teammates Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis have publicly accused Armstrong of doping, USADA has not revealed its witnesses against the US cyclist, whose comeback from testicular cancer has made him a hero in the eyes of many.
Luskin said Armstrong's camp would "urge the review board to prevent USADA from emasculating its own protocol and the review board process" and notes that there are no positive doping tests against Armstrong, two questionable results having been successfully refuted years ago.
"The two specific and recycled allegations that (USADA) identifies have been thoroughly and publicly discredited," Luskin wrote. "USADA has refused to disclose anything else, such as an expert analysis substantiating its unsupported view of these (doping tests). The review board cannot possibly carry out its obligation to evaluate USADA's case if USADA refuses to disclose its evidence."