Lance Armstrong hit with new doping charges

Just when we thought that the allegations against Lance Armstrong were ancient history, we get word that the USDA has hit Armstrong with brand new charges.

Armstrong has been able to withstand the questioning of his seven Tour de France titles while being implicated by both Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton. But from the looks of these news charges, it may be tough for Armstrong to hold onto those Tour de France titles.

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.

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.”

USADA’s letter, dated June 12, alleges that Armstrong and five former cycling team associates — three doctors including Italian physician Michele Ferrari, one trainer and team manager Johan Bruyneel— engaged in a massive doping conspiracy from 1998-2011, and that “the witnesses to the conduct described in this letter include more than ten (10) cyclists.”

Of course, the Armstrong camp vehemently disputes the validity of the charges.

“These charges are a product of malice and spite and not evidence,” Armstrong’s Washington-based attorney Robert D. Luskin said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “Nothing else explains the fact . . . they allege an overarching doping conspiracy among four teams over 14 years and Lance is the only rider that gets charged.”

Armstrong is the big fish that the USDA has been trying to catch for years. Of course he will be the only rider charged. For now at least.

And assuming that Landis and Hamilton are two of ten cyclists involved, there really isn’t anyone of statue left to charge other than Armstrong.

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