Armstrong denies fresh doping charges
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has reacted angrily after fresh charges by the US Anti-Doping Agency.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the USADA claims to have collected blood samples taken from him in 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions".
The 40-year-old, who retired from professional cycling last year, has been suspended from competing in triathlons. He claims the charges are "baseless" and "motivated by spite".
"I have been notified that USADA, an organisation largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned," Armstrong said in a statement on his official website.
"These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation.
"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."
In February, the federal prosecutors in California dropped a two-year investigation into allegations of doping at a team partly owned by Armstrong, who has repeatedly denied taking drugs.
A statement from the International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed it had been notified of cases opened by USADA.
It said: "The UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved in the proceedings opened by USADA.
"The UCI will follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them. The UCI will not comment further at this stage."