Armstrong Charges Had Substance, Says Fahey

The WADA chief said he was certain that the United States Anti-Doping Agency acted in a proper way in their investigations while evaluating the accusations made by the former teammates of the seven-time Tour de France champion and allegations made by others.

Fahey said he and WADA are confident that the USADA acted within the World Anti-Doping Agency Code and that a Texas court also decided not to interfere. While Armstrong has always maintained his innocence, his decision not to contest the charges levied by USADA surprised many who till then believed in the honesty of the cyclist.

The 41-year-old cyclist said while deciding not to contest the charges that he was weary of the prolonged legal dispute. Armstrong said USADA’s investigation was an “unconstitutional witch hunt” and he has enough of dealing with claims that he cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. The anti-doping agency then announced it would impose a lifetime ban on Armstrong, and planned to strip him of the seven Tour titles he won from 1999-2005. The cyclist sued the agency in an attempt to block the case but the lawsuit was rejected by a judge, siding with USADA despite questioning the agency’s pursuit of American cyclist in his retirement.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency wiped out 14 years of Armstrong’s career — including his record seven Tour de France titles — and barred him for life from cycling after concluding he used banned substances and the cyclist is now officially a drug cheat in the eyes of his nation’s doping agency.

Fahey added that Armstrong had a right to contest the charges but he selected not to and now must live with the consequences of his decision not to continue fighting allegations against him. He further added that the refusal by the cyclist to evaluate the evidence means the charges had substance in them and penalties can be imposed under the rules.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) that initially backed Armstrong’s legal challenge to USADA’s authority later succumbed to mounting pressure and decided to ratify the sanctions imposed by USADA on the cyclist.

Fahey replied Olympic medals and titles are for other agencies to decide, not WADA when asked whether the United States Anti-Doping Agency had the authority to strip Armstrong of his Tour de France titles. Travis Tygart, USADA’s chief executive, said the cyclist could have saved some his titles had if cooperated with the anti-doping agency but he choose not to and now will be losing his seven Tour de France titles and other awards, event titles, and cash earnings while the International Olympic Committee is looking at the bronze medal he won in the 2000 Games. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said the IOC would have to consider decisions made by USADA and the UCI “before deciding its next steps.”

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