On Friday, Lance Armstrong released an 18-page letter in response to the decision of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to open a case against him. The letter, published by the Washington Post, characterizes the USADA case as "long on stale allegations dismissed long ago and short on evidence." Issued on the letterhead of Armstrong's lawyers Patton Boggs L.L.P., the document also describes the allegations of doping on the part of Armstrong as "baseless." According to the Armstrong team, the USADA case is abusing its powers in pursuing the case.
The letter is the latest round in the escalating public war of words between the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Armstrong team. This is the second document to be published publicly by the Armstrong legal team. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has also denied releasing the notification letter that detailed the charges against Armstrong. That denial raises an interesting question about the public relations and legal strategy of the Armstrong side. Has Armstrong decided to release the documents in the hope of swaying public opinion to his side?
Available estimates put the first hearing for this case somewhere in the November timeframe. That could make for a long summer, especially now that the lawyers have joined the fray. Good thing there's plenty of bike racing to distract us.