COLORADO SPRINGS, June 30: The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday it has filed formal doping charges against Lance Armstrong that, if proven, would strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.

A three-member review panel evaluated evidence gathered by USADA and a reply from Armstrong before unanimously voting to turn the allegations revealed on June 13 into formal charges.

The next step in the process will be a hearing before an arbitration panel. Their verdict could be appealed and the matter could be pushed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a final resolution.

Armstrong, who won the Tour de France from 1999-2005 and used his fame to fuel his charitable work for anti-cancer causes, has never tested positive and the 40-year-old US cycling legend has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. —AFP

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