Lance Armstrong could lose his record-breaking total of seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency confirmed they had begun legal proceedings against the cyclist.

The USADA revealed it had sent Armstrong written notification regarding "allegations of anti-doping rule violations" during his time with the US Postal Service (USPS) cycling team.

The confirmation came hours after Armstrong had released a statement of his own to angrily deny the claims, which, if proved, could see him stripped of the Tour titles he won while with USPS.

"I have been notified that USADA, an organisation largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of seven Tour de France victories," Armstrong said.

"These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue. 

"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.