Lance Armstrong will be stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will receive a lifetime ban from Olympic sports early Friday and be stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles after deciding to abandon his long fight against charges he led a sophisticated doping conspiracy throughout his career
That leaves the seven-time Tour de France champion open to a range of sanctions, including the stripping of all his yellow jerseys and a lifetime ban – both of which are likely given the USADA’s belief it has “overwhelming evidence” of his guilt.
Armstrong continues to deny doping and says the latest development does not mean he would accept USADA’s sanctions.
However with Businessweek describing Armstrong’s choice as “an impossible and unlawful choice: either accept a lifetime ban and the loss of his competitive achievements or endure a rigged process where he would be certain to lose,” it may be the greatest cyclist of all time’s legacy will be permanently stained.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said in a statement.
“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.
“I know who won those seven Tours. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially Travis Tygart.”
Armstrong will “commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities.”
The American has never failed a doping test, but evidence of former team-mates and rivals has raised question marks on Armstrong’s performances over the years, particularly in the Tour de France.
But the decision today to reject the opportunity for arbitration means Armstrong clearly no longer wants to take part in a fight which he doesn’t consider fair.
Tags: champion, doping, france, lance amstrong