USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement that “we do not choose whether or not we do our job based on outside pressures, intimidation or for any reason other than the evidence.”
Tygart also said: “As in every USADA case, all named individuals are presumed innocent. . . .
If a hearing is ultimately held then it is an independent panel of arbitrators, not USADA that determines whether or not these individuals have committed anti-doping rule violations as alleged.”
Armstrong competed for the U.S. Postal Service team and later the Discovery Channel team from 1998 to 2005. In 2009, he rode for the Astana Cycling Team and on RadioShack’s team in 2010-11.
The USADA letter further claims that Martial Saugy, the director of an anti-doping lab in Switzerland, stated that Armstrong’s urine sample results from the 2001 Tour of Switzerland indicated EPO use.
Saugy told The Post last year, however, that Armstrong’s sample was merely “suspicious,” a designation that meant it could not be called positive. Further analysis with modern methods might bring clarity, Saugy said, but the sample no longer exists.
“We did not do the additional analysis. It will never be sufficient to say, in fact, it was positive,” Saugy said in an interview. “I will never go in front of a court with that type of thing.”
Luskin said USADA sent Armstrong a letter last week asking him to meet with anti-doping officials. Armstrong declined, believing USADA was not interested in his testimony but rather a confession, Luskin said. In its letter, USADA said “with the exception of Mr. Armstrong, every other U.S. rider contacted by USADA regarding doping in cycling agreed to meet with USADA.”
Though the World Anti-Doping Agency places an eight-year statute of limitations on doping allegations, USADA argues in its letter that evidence of banned acts outside of the eight-year limit can be used to corroborate evidence within the limit, and the statute of limitations can be waived when the alleged violations were fraudulently concealed.
Armstrong, who won his last Tour de France title in 2005, has taken up competition in Ironman triathlons, and was scheduled to compete in the Ironman France in Nice on June 24.