Formal doping charges will be filed against Lance Armstrong after a unanimous decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency review board.
That will move the case to an arbitration hearing if Armstrong chooses to challenge, as he has indicated he would.
The matter could be pushed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a final resolution.
"All respondents will have the opportunity to exercise their right to a full public arbitration hearing, should they so choose, where all evidence would be presented, witness testimony would be given under oath, and an independent group of arbitrators would ultimately decide the outcome of the case," USADA said in a statement.The USADA confirmed the board's recommendation after one of its members, Clark Griffith, told The Associated Press he "can't wait" to see what the arbitration panel thinks of the evidence.
The USADA says it has evidence Armstrong was taking performance-enhancing drugs while winning the Tour de France from 1999-2005. Armstrong says he is innocent.
Earlier in the day, Armstrong had gone on the attack against Griffith, using his Twitter account to note that the Minneapolis attorney had this year been charged in a misdemeanor case of indecent exposure.
At a hearing on June 13 Griffith did not admit doing anything wrong but acknowledged prosecutors have enough evidence for a jury to convict him. A 24-year-old student reported Griffith unzipped his pants in front of her on a St. Paul street.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 26. Griffith told the AP he's innocent and entered the plea to avoid a trial that would embarrass his family.
USADA has not publicly released evidence against Armstrong. Griffith would not discuss Armstrong's case in detail but said, "He's really scrambling .... I can't wait to hear what the arbitration panel thinks of the evidence."
A spokesman for Armstrong declined immediate comment.
Prior to the USDA decision Armstrong again questioned the credibility of its case against him by stating former team mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton are self-confessed dope cheats.
Armstrong questioned the credibility of Landis and Hamilton, his former in a letter to USADA from his lawyer dated Wednesday and obtained by The Washington Post.
USADA is hoping the pair can help prove Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during his career. Both have previously accused Armstrong of doping.
The letter from Armstrong's lawyer Robert Luskin says the agency's alleged evidence against Armstrong includes previously disclosed Landis emails and a 2011 television interview with Hamilton.
"USADA has no regard for its own protocol, fairness or common notions of decency," said the letter.
Armstrong's lawyers are trying to discredit any evidence USADA tries to use from Landis and Hamilton, arguing that Landis is an admitted liar.
USADA has said previously that at least 10 former Armstrong teammates and associates would testify against him, but vowed to keep the names confidential.
Armstrong has always insisted he is innocent, saying he has passed more than 500 drugs tests.