Lance Armstrong faces new doping charges

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency brought formal doping charges against former cyclist Lance Armstrong in an action that could cost him his seven Tour de France titles, according to a letter sent to Armstrong and several others Tuesday.

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Lance Armstrong of the U.S. runs during the Ironman Panama 70.3 triathlon in February; he is banned from triathlon competition until USADA's newest allegations are resolved

As a result of the formal charges, Armstrong has been immediately banned from competition in triathlons, a sport he took up after his retirement from cycling in 2011.

In the 15-page charging letter obtained by The Post, USADA made previously unpublicized allegations against Armstrong, alleging it collected blood samples from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent with blood ma-nipu-la-tion including EPO use and/or blood transfusions." Armstrong has never tested positive.

In February, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles ended a nearly two-year investigation into doping allegations involving Armstrong without bringing criminal charges. Armstrong's former teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton cooperated with federal agents in that investigation and publicly accused Armstrong of doping.

USADA is the quasi-government agency that oversees anti-doping in Olympic sports in the United States. It is empowered to bring charges that could lead to suspension from competition and the rescinding of awards. It does not have authority to bring criminal charges.

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