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Johan Bruyneel and Dr Michele Ferrari among five others to face charges - 15 page USADA letter detailing charges attached as download

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has formally charged Lance Armstrong and five other individuals, among them current RadioShack-Nissan team manager Johan Bruyneel and sports doctor Michele Ferrari, in connection with doping charges related to the period 1998 and 2011.

Armstrong has been suspended from competition with immediate effect, including from triathlon, a sport in which he has been enjoying some success recently. The 40-year-old, if found guilty, could ultimately lose all seven of the Tour de France titles he amassed between 1998 and 2005 after overcoming cancer. It is not yet clear whether the other individuals charged, such as Bruyneel are immediately suspended from involvment with the sport. The tone of the UCI's statement on the matter (see below) suggests not, but all face lengthy bans if found guilty of the charges and there has to be a chance that Johan Bruyneel will find himself persona non grata at the Tour de France this year if ASO's previous reaction to those mired in doping controversy is anything to go by.

According to the Washington Post, USADA sent a 15-page letter (you can download the full version at the bottom of this article) dated yesterday detailing the charges that Armstrong and the others face to those individuals, alleging that they "engaged in a massive doping conspiracy from 1998-2011."

In February this year, a Federal Grand Jury investigation into Armstrong and other former riders and staff of the US Postal Team was officially shelved, although more recent reports suggest that some enquiries are continuing, with reports that Bruyneel was served with a subpoena in connection with that investigation earlier this week on a trip to the US.

While the Grand Jury investigation dealt only with matters relating to the period when Armstrong was racing with US Postal and not his return to the sport with Astana in 2009 – he and Bruyneel would launch the RadioShack team at the end of that year – that period following his comeback has evidently been very much part of the focus of the USADA enquiry.

Indeed, the agency claims that blood samples collected from Armstrong during 2009 and 2010 were “fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.”

In a strongly worded statement published on his website, Armstrong said: “I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned.

"These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation," he continued. "These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity.

"Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA’s malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.

Armstrong added: "I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."

In a statement, world cycling's governing body, the UCI, confirmed "that it has been informed by USADA of its decision to open anti-doping cases against a number of rider support personnel and a rider," without naming the individuals concerned, and said "this is the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject."

The UCI went on to say that it was "not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved  in the proceedings opened by USADA," and added that it would "follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them."

While it's clear that the process has a long way to run, and certainly the language coming from the Armstrong camp suggests that he intends to fight the allegations every inch of the way, the charges from USADA do open up some intriguing 'what ifs?'

Should he be stripped of all his results from 1998 to 2011, for instance, Jan Ullrich would become winner of the 2000, 2001 and 2003 Tour de France, although he himself was stripped earlier this year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport of all results obtained from 1 May 2005, including third place in the 2005 Tour, Armstrong's seventh and final victory.

Also potentially becoming recipients of the maillot jaune would be Alex Zulle for 1998, Joseba Beloki (2002), Andreas Kioden (2004) and Ivan Basso (2005).

Britain's Bradley Wiggins would also be in line to step up to the 2009 podium, when he finished fourth behind Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Armstrong.

Statement From USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart Regarding Us Postal Service Cycling Team Notice Of Doping Allegations

June 13, 2012

“In response to numerous inquiries regarding the public statements made by Mr. Lance Armstrong, we can confirm that written notice of allegations of anti-doping rule violations was sent yesterday to him and to five (5) additional individuals all formerly associated with the United States Postal Service (USPS) professional cycling team. These individuals include three (3) team doctors and two (2) team officials. This formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations.  

USADA only initiates matters supported by the evidence. We do not choose whether or not we do our job based on outside pressures, intimidation or for any reason other than the evidence. Our duty on behalf of clean athletes and those that value the integrity of sport is to fairly and thoroughly evaluate all the evidence available and when there is credible evidence of doping, take action under the established rules.

As in every USADA case, all named individuals are presumed innocent of the allegations unless and until proven otherwise through the established legal process. If a hearing is ultimately held then it is an independent panel of arbitrators, not USADA that determines whether or not these individuals have committed anti-doping rule violations as alleged.

At this time USADA will not comment on the evidence or have further comment unless or until it is appropriate.”

A downloadable copy of the 15 page letter detailing the USADA charges against Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and the others is attached below

The UCI responded to the news of USADA's decision to charge Armstrong, Bruyneel and their alleged assoicates with a short statement of its own that amounted to 'no comment' in 112 words.

UCI Press Statement

The UCI confirms that it has been informed by USADA of its decision to open anti-doping cases against a number of rider support personnel and a rider .

This is the first time USADA has communicated to UCI on this subject.

The UCI is not aware of the information that is available to USADA on the persons concerned and has not been involved  in the proceedings opened by USADA.  

The UCI will follow the case to the extent it will be informed and has noted that the persons concerned have been invited to send submittals on the allegations that are made against them.

The UCI will not comment futher at this stage.

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

63 comments

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Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago
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In other breaking news "Titanic Sinks"

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_SiD_ [162 posts] 4 years ago
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I wish he'd just disappear.

We've got a great Tour lined up in a few weeks time. The main protagonists by most accounts are riding on talent.

I just don't care any more about 'Lance'.

S.

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onlyonediane [157 posts] 4 years ago
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Step how far away, sad sad times for cycling.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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PDF of USADA accusations posted on WSJ website.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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Lance says USADA is pursuing a "vendetta". What is their motive?

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scottytaz [12 posts] 4 years ago
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whats the point in dragging up old dopers lets stop the one that are doing it now and in the future the pasts been and gone

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paulfg42 [392 posts] 4 years ago
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I have no idea of whether he may be guilty or not but Armstrong does have a point about being the only rider targeted in an investigation into a wide-ranging conspiracy.

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Simon_MacMichael [2457 posts] 4 years ago
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paulfg42 wrote:

I have no idea of whether he may be guilty or not but Armstrong does have a point about being the only rider targeted in an investigation into a wide-ranging conspiracy.

That's possibly valid if you view him as purely a rider, which is what his PR people appear to be trying to get across.

View him as part-owner and a de facto member of team management and it's a rather different picture. He's not just a rider.

That's one of the two really interesting things about this, it's management they've gone for, rather than an individual rider (who of course never seems to be acting with his team's knowledge.)

That, and the fact that 2009-11 now comes into the picture. Very interesting.

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rbx [226 posts] 4 years ago
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USADA CEO says:

As in every USADA case, all named individuals are presumed innocent of the allegations unless and until proven otherwise through the established legal process.

Yet, Lance is immediately suspended from all triathlon competitions. Weird.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm actually starting to feel some sympathy for Armstrong, who I have mainly disliked.

What is the point of creating another circus, after the tent fell down on the last one.

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scrapper [71 posts] 4 years ago
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I dont see anybody gaining from this.
Our sport will now be damaged again just by the press headlines surrounding the latest allegations, true or not.

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veseunr [257 posts] 4 years ago
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If they go back far enough we are not going to have a tour winner between 1920 and ... whenever. Tommy Simpson will lose his WC, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain etc all struck from the record.

Ridiculous.

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Raleigh [1667 posts] 4 years ago
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It's obviously Landis, funding it from his millios that he was given by the US media for, and after doping, trying to get one over on the guy who became Americas most popular cyclist in front of him.

Controversh

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monty dog [459 posts] 4 years ago
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For all those doping apologist who believe that this should be forgotten, perhaps you'd like to explain to the likes of Betsy Andreu, Greg Lemond and anyone who didn't swallow the propaganda why they should have suffered from years of abuse and litigation from Lance's cronies? The careers of countless riders who tried to ride clean were destroyed by the Armstrong machine and I'm pleased to see the whole edifice of false idolatry come crashing down.

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WolfieSmith [1326 posts] 4 years ago
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monty dog wrote:

I'm pleased to see the whole edifice of false idolatry come crashing down.

I agree with The Dog. Bring it on. I just wish this cathartic honesty ranged across all sport. Cycling is just the tip of the iceberg. Can you imagine what is going on in tennis, football and athletics where the 'big' money is.

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Ciaran Patrick [116 posts] 4 years ago
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I do find this distasteful. If they had found irregularities in his blood it would have come up by now. This is a witch hunt by some high up people in the USADA trying to make a name for themselfs. Lance Armstrong has never been pulled up for doping and these so called 'what if' allegations just brings the sport down and should have no merit inc court. If I went to court claiming my lord this guy nearly cut me up, what if he had ...... and it was many many years later. My feet would not touch the ground leaving the court. Well i don't think I would finish the opening sentence.

You may like or dislike Lance Armstrong him personality, it strong and assertive which can be grating but you can't deny what he has achieved not just on the bike but off it as well. What is it with many many of us that seem to want to denigrate those that are successful and do good.

This will be twisted to look like he has done something wrong. I am coming to the conclusion that is some respects the world doping agencies are getting as bad as the legitimate dopers who cheat. It seems we have to catch someone regardless of the conditions of the allegeded offences. Take Contador, miniscule amounts that wouldn't have affected a snail.

Its a vendetta and until someone takes control of how these agencies act and have to become much more legally responsible so that the real cheats are systematically caught and punished and not trawling and catching others then our sport and many others will suffer from this continued zeal.

Well that's enough of my rant.

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djcritchley [181 posts] 4 years ago
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Great timing  14

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sean1 [175 posts] 4 years ago
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Many good clean cyclists suffered during the DopeStrong era.

It is important to still pursue this as at least two of the accused are still actively involved in pro-cycling Buyneel, and Pepe Marti (Contador's coach/doctor).

In order for the sport to be clean in the future the UCI needs to clear out the serial cheaters. There are still too many 'doctors' in the sport.

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notfastenough [3708 posts] 4 years ago
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Either:
Accept that the past was unfortunately a golden era for dopers, not just one individual, and let it go.

Or:
Build a case and charge him, while also doing the same in other sports. Why is it that agencies claiming to be sports-agnostic (USADA, WADA etc) seem to be leaning on cycling more than others? Why did the whole of top-flight tennis suddenly develop a taste for muscles on their muscles?

If you can't devise a test for it, and you can't catch someone with it, all you're left with a anecdotal he-said/she-said nonsense, and Lance was quite adept at acquiring enemies.

For what it's worth I think LA may well have doped, but he was protected by the same military-levels of team discipline and focus that ensured, for example, that he never crashed or suffered a mechanical during his 7 Tour wins. That many of his team-mates were caught once they moved on to other teams without the same culture seems to bear this out.

I'm sad for the wider sport, and sadder that this might mar a summer of what promises to be some awesome racing.

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livestrongnick [2118 posts] 4 years ago
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Raleigh wrote:

It's obviously Landis, funding it from his millios that he was given by the US media for, and after doping, trying to get one over on the guy who became Americas most popular cyclist in front of him.

Controversh

I wouldn't be surprised if Tyler Hamilton is lurking in the wings waiting to do another exclusive tell all! Bloody parasites!!

Maybe he has doped maybe he hasn't doped. He's never tested positive!

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georgee [167 posts] 4 years ago
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Is there a vendetta against Lance, yes, but remember he has personally built himself into the biggest fraud in professional sport.

I find the 'let's all brush it under the carpet' attitude of many far more damaging than the 'let's tackle the issue' attidute taken by others.

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Manx Rider [18 posts] 4 years ago
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There are zero positives coming out of this. Lance is one of the few people that transcends our sport, trashing him trashes cycling, and this has been going on for years. Focus should be on catching dopers now. If he doped I'm pretty sure he was not the only doper in a clean peloton so its essentially pointless.

I can easily believe it’s a vendetta, just read the anti-Lance comments on this message board to see the strong feelings against him.

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 4 years ago
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For what it's worth, my view is that USADA must have secured some new evidence, in addition to the 2009-11 samples they quote. The allegations go back to 1998.

Is there any correlation between this and the announcement from George Hincapie that he's to retire after the Tour? He was previously subpoenaed by the Feds and it could be that his evidence is what nails Lance this time. Intriguing...

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 4 years ago
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L'Equipe made the same allegations about Armstrong and EPO in 2005 but where ignored what's changed since?

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Lacticlegs [124 posts] 4 years ago
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Ciaran Patrick wrote:

I do find this distasteful. If they had found irregularities in his blood it would have come up by now. This is a witch hunt by some high up people in the USADA trying to make a name for themselfs. Lance Armstrong has never been pulled up for doping and these so called 'what if' allegations just brings the sport down and should have no merit inc court. If I went to court claiming my lord this guy nearly cut me up, what if he had ...... and it was many many years later. My feet would not touch the ground leaving the court. Well i don't think I would finish the opening sentence.

You may like or dislike Lance Armstrong him personality, it strong and assertive which can be grating but you can't deny what he has achieved not just on the bike but off it as well. What is it with many many of us that seem to want to denigrate those that are successful and do good.

This will be twisted to look like he has done something wrong. I am coming to the conclusion that is some respects the world doping agencies are getting as bad as the legitimate dopers who cheat. It seems we have to catch someone regardless of the conditions of the allegeded offences. Take Contador, miniscule amounts that wouldn't have affected a snail.

Its a vendetta and until someone takes control of how these agencies act and have to become much more legally responsible so that the real cheats are systematically caught and punished and not trawling and catching others then our sport and many others will suffer from this continued zeal.

Well that's enough of my rant.

I don't get how you can say that? Vendetta? Why? For what reason? The Grand Jury investigation turned up plenty of dirt, and the span was far larger than the US postal years so it's great that the actual charge now coming from USADA reflects that.

Several people here have said we should let sleeping dogs lie and focus on the future. Utter rubbish! Cycling's history is its life and soul and this episode is a rotten great hole in it. If we are ever to eradicate or really minimise doping (and I believe we have never been closer) then the only way to do that is to show the dopers that they WILL be pursued, there is no statute of limitations, their rewards will be recouped and they will pay the penalty. Otherwise where's the disincentive for today's doper? Or tomorrow's?

'Twisted to look like he's done something wrong'? The very real possibility is that he HAS done something wrong - and ruined the careers of a few people along the way. I always liked Armstrong and there is no doubt that he's an incredible athlete. But if he did what he's accused of (and the liklihood of that seems to be gaining ground) then he should damn well be prosecuted for it.

Miniscule amounts that wouldn't do anything to a snail in Contador's blood? Why does every pedal-post-happy subscriber on this site insist on coming across as a sports scientist? Would you know - really - how much affect that level of clenbuterol would have? Or what it was being used for in the first place? The amounts may have been small becuase it was the trace elements of another bit of cheating (as contended by WADA) through transfusions. The point is - it shouldn't be there. In ANY quantity.

The damage to our sport will not come from the inevitable groans and commentary if Armstrong is found guilty, the worst damage will come if he's suspected (and accused) of wrongdoing and the sport does nothing to address it.

By the way - another often quoted 'fact' is that Armstrong has never been pulled up for doping/failed a test. Not true - he has been suspected and accused of doping widely, and he has in fact fallen foul of a drug test in his early tour years - his team produced a Dr certificate to say that the banned substance was in a cream he was using for saddle sores. A note that should have been given in advance when they filled out the exemptions and lists of treatments riders were using - but was only produced in answer to the positive test. Incriminating? Maybe, maybe not. Personally I'll be glad to see the end of this saga - but only if they actually pursue it to its end rather than burying their heads in the sand.

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lushmiester [189 posts] 4 years ago
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Whilst all the headlines focus for obvious reasons on Armstrong, the really interesting thing about this case is how it is going for team management.

To assume that a rider as a member of team functions (performance wise) in a private and hermetically sealed world has always been a fairy story too far. If not complicate in some way with doping then Team management is morally guilty of at least failing to attend to the overall welfare of their athletes and of the sport they espouse to love.

Bruyneal's focus and meticulous attention to: preparation, condition, team discipline,detail and organisation. All gave USpostal(plus his subsequent teams) and its athletes years of success. It also implies that if doping occurred then he would have at least known and at least not acted. Bruyneal is so closely associated with Armstrong's successes that if one falls the other is bound to follow.

We will have to wait and see what if any new evidence has become apparent in the 2012 season and how this contributes to the USADA case. However, the cases expansion to include 2009 to 2011 suggests new evidence. It also suggests that Wiggins may already be the first Brit to have got on the tour podium.

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thereandbackagain [172 posts] 4 years ago
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This is one of the most illuminating pieces I've read about the whole affair, and is a wider insight into the efforts that the anti-dopers go to.

There are accusations and counter-accusations, but this lays out some parts of the argument very well.

http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2009/michael-ashenden

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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arrieredupeleton wrote:

Is there any correlation between this and the announcement from George Hincapie that he's to retire after the Tour? He was previously subpoenaed by the Feds and it could be that his evidence is what nails Lance this time. Intriguing...

Could be. Nobody could say that George is not a credible witness.

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alotronic [477 posts] 4 years ago
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Worth reading the charge sheet as linked above. Serious stuff! This might be a USADA action but the rules that are broken are all UCI rules, which makes their radio silence a little uncomfortable (don't like being shown up by USADA??!).

Armstrong is cited as a conspirator and as a rider, this is probably why they are going after 'just' him. It's pretty obvious he was the boss of the team with JB.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 4 years ago
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Armstrong's "Star Chamber" accusation seems appropriate, but not in the way he meant it. The Star Chamber was brought into existence in order to prosecute individuals who were too powerful to be convicted by lower courts, and conspiracy is one of the offences it developed.

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