published Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charges Lance Armstrong

FILE- In this July 15, 2005, file photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, pedals during the 13th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Miramas and Montpellier, southern France. A Trek Bicycle Corp. spokesman says the company is cooperating with federal authorities investigating cyclists including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati, File)
FILE- In this July 15, 2005, file photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, pedals during the 13th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Miramas and Montpellier, southern France. A Trek Bicycle Corp. spokesman says the company is cooperating with federal authorities investigating cyclists including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is bringing doping charges against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, questioning his victories in those storied cycling races.

Armstrong, who retired from cycling last year, could face a lifetime ban from the sport if he is found to have used performance-enhancing drugs.

The story was first reported Wednesday by the Washington Post.

The charges from USADA come just months after federal prosecutors closed a two-year criminal investigation of Armstrong without indicting him.

Armstrong maintained his innocence, saying: "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."

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