13 June 2012 Last updated at 21:55 GMT
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Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has described charges against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency as "baseless [and] motivated by spite".
The Washington Post* newspaper said the charges include previously unpublicised allegations of doping in 2009 and 2010.
The 40-year-old has been immediately banned from competing in triathlons, a sport he took up after his retirement from cycling in 2011.
"I have never doped," Armstrong said in a statement on his website.
"These charges are baseless [and] motivated by spite."
According to the Post, the USADA letter charging Armstrong says it collected blood samples from him in 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent with blood ma*nipu*la*tion including EPO use and/or blood transfusions".
Armstrong said on his website: "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.
LANCE ARMSTRONG FACTFILE
- Born: Piano, Texas
- Teams: Motorola, Cofidis, US Postal, Discovery Channel, Livestrong, Astana, Team RadioShack
- Tour de France: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 (22 individual stage wins)
- World championships road race: 1993
"These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation."
He added: "Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge.
"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.
"That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."
The Agency was not immediately available for comment.
Armstrong, who has battled against testicular, brain and lung cancer, has always denied taking drugs.
In February, federal prosecutors in the United States dropped an investigation into allegations of doping at a team partly owned by Armstrong.
A statement from the International Cycling Union (UCI), which did not name Armstrong, 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."
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- Lance Armstrong team probe closed 04 Feb 2012 US & Canada
- Armstrong confirms cycling exit 16 Feb 2011 Cycling
- No Armstrong cover-up, states UCI 23 May 2011 Cycling
- Armstrong set for overseas finale 15 Jan 2011 Cycling
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Article Source : BBC News
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