Lance Armstrong dismisses US Anti-Doping Agency charges as `spiteful`

London: Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has dismissed the charges against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency, describing them as "baseless [and] motivated by spite".

The allegations against him include previously unpublicised claims of doping in 2009 and 2010, due to which the 40-year-old has been immediately banned from competing in triathlons, a sport, which 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," the BBC quoted Armstrong, as saying.

In its 15-page letter, the USADA said its investigation included evidence dating back to 1996 and accused Armstrong of a "pervasive pattern of doping" over many years.

It claims to have 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".

"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. These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the
Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation," Armstrong said on his website.

"Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge," he added.

Armstrong, who has battled against testicular, brain and lung cancer, has always denied taking drugs.