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Lance Armstrong's Doping Case Dropped

USMagazine, Saturday, February 4, 2012, 9:55am (PST)

What a victory for Lance Armstrong.

Two years after federal prosecutors launched an investigation into whether or not the seven-time Tour de France champion and other cyclists used performance enhancing drugs, the probe has been closed.

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"I am gratified to learn that the U.S. Attorney's Office is closing its investigation," Armstrong, 40, said in a statement Friday, after the feds dropped the case without bringing criminal charges. "It is the right decision and I commend them for reaching it."

The doping probe began in Los Angeles with an investigation into the Rock Racing cycling team. Once Armstrong's name was brought up, a grand jury was presented evidence and heard testimony from Armstrong's former teammates.

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In May 2011, Armstrong's former teammate Tyler Hamilton told 60 Minutes he saw the athlete use the drug EPO while prepping for the Tour de France in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Armstrong won the race each year from 1999-2005.

"I saw it in his refrigerator and I saw him inject it more than one time, like we all did many, many times," said Hamilton of the substance which helps boost endurance.

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After the interview aired, Armstrong took to Twitter to refute the charges. "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case," he wrote.

Though Armstrong's case has been dropped, the United States Anti-Doping Agency plans to continue to investigate doping allegations in the sport.

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