Cycling: Deadline for Armstrong to fight claims

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The Independent Online

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has had to decide whether to challenge doping allegations from the US Anti-Doping Agency or accept sanctions that could include a lifetime ban and the removal of his titles.

Armstrong has strongly denied doping during his career. The question is whether he will keep fighting USADA or give up and move on, risking a permanent stain on his legacy. The deadline passed at 6am today GMT.

Anti-doping officials have accused Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs and participating in a complex doping scheme while winning the Tour de France every year from 1999 to 2005. USADA says up to 10 former team-mates are ready to testify against him and they have drug test results that are "consistent" with doping.