Lance Armstrong's lawyer criticized the United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) scathing report on Wednesday, calling its investigation a one-sided “hatchet job” and a “witch hunt”.
“What USADA have done has, they have characterized the evidence and testimony that they think they have, and they’ve characterized and spun it in a way that they want to do it, without any testing of it, without any due-process guarantees for confrontation of witnesses, testing witnesses’ memories and so-forth,” said Armstrong’s attorney Tim Herman, euronews reports.
USADA chief Travis T. Tygart, who tightened security at his organization after receiving several death threats during Armstrong's investigation, said that from day one in this case, "the USADA Board of Directors and professional staff did the job we are mandated to do for clean athletes and the integrity of sport,"
"We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand.”
He also said the evidence, based chiefly on testimony from 11 ex-team-mates, proved Armstrong’s US Postal Service team "ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices. A program organized by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.
USADA in June accused Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, of using banned substances and blood transfusions during his career and covering up the evidence, the Washington Post said. Armstrong’s efforts to battle the charges in a Texas court failed, with the judge ruling that the dispute was properly settled through arbitration.
In August, Armstrong dropped any further challenges to USADA's allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France from 1999-2005.
In August, Armstrong, who has always denied doping, stunned the cycling community and his fans in the sporting world when he announced that he chose to not fight the charges, saying he was "finished with this nonsense."
In response, USADA banned Armstrong for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France titles, explaining that in refusing to defend himself the cyclist had forfeited any claim to the achievements.
The USADA report has been sent to the International Cycling Union, [UCI], World Anti-Doping Agency [Wada] and the World Triathlon Corporation [WTC]. It explains the organization's decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour titles.
If UCI approves of USADA’s methods and finds its evidence persuasive, it’s expected to endorse the conclusions. If not, the matter is expected to be referred to the international Council for Arbitration in Sport.
Armstrong survived testicular cancer early in his career and went on to win seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 while competing for the US Postal Service team and the Discovery Channel team.
He retired after the 2005 Tour de France, but returned in 2009, riding for Astana Cycling and RadioShack before retiring for a second time in February 2011, taking up triathlon earlier this year.
Though Armstrong, 41, has retired from competitive cycling and is banned from sanctioned cycling events and triathlons, he continues to compete in unsanctioned triathlons, such as Sunday’s 70-mile Half Full in Elliott City, which he won in 4 hours 16 minutes.