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Lance Armstrong Banned From Cycling, Stripped of Titles

Lance Armstrong Banned From Cycling, Stripped of Titles

Lance Armstrong has been banned from cycling by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after deciding not to fight charges brought upon him by the organization.

The 40-year-old cyclist will also be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles that made him an American hero.

“I know who won those seven Tours,” Lance said in a statement (via the Associated Press). “The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially [USADA CEO] Travis Tygart.”

Click inside to read Lance Armstrong‘s entire statement…

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. 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 had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.

The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.

USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.

Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I 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. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.”

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Credit: Jamie Squire; Photos: FameFlynet Pictures, Getty
Posted to: Lance Armstrong

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49 Comments

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# 1

wow!! thats sad

# 2

” I 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.”

Such BS.

# 3
SaadGKhan @ 08/24/2012 at 2:10 am

An Innocent Man will fight till death and sue back for Defamation, a guilty one Runs off.
He can Never be Called Champion… What a Prick!

# 4

This is so sad! Either way, if he used enhancements or not, he still one 7 tours. Not all of that is from the work of drugs..

# 5

@Mika: why is it sad? marion jones went through the same thing. if you use it’s your fault, you know what you’re doing. he’s an adult, take responsibility and move on, but don’t expect the other people who COULD have won to be sympathetic.

# 6
mrs_fuzzybee @ 08/24/2012 at 2:15 am

NO where in Lance’s statement does he say he’s admitting to doping. He says he’s tired of fighting a fight against a group that won’t even accept their own test results. 500+ blood or urine tests administered by the USADA both scheduled and surprise test and Lance Armstrong never failed a single test. Again he never failed a single test administered by the very agency that is now going to ban him for life. Imagine if you took 500 drug tests at work, every single one of them indicated that you were drug free and clean and your boss comes up to and says, “The tests says you’re clean but without any proof at all I think you’re a drug addict.” That wouldn’t fly which is why Lance was never charged criminally – there is zero evidence except for the word of people who actually tested positive on those same drug tests , that he ever doped. Also how do you ban someone for life who RETIRED FROM COMPETITION OVER 5 YEARS AGO? That ‘s like telling me I have to go serve detention even though I graduated high school 800 years ago.

Do not forget that this man had testicular, BRAIN and lung cancer at the same time. The USADA tested him while he was having chemo and wasn’t actively competing and tried to say that he was dirty because of the chemo and other drugs cancer patients are given to try to fight the disease. They had to back down when doctors and scientists called them out on their stupidity. Aside from those anomalies in blood work when he was having chemo and fighting to survive Armstrong never had a questionable blood test again. Lance Armstrong is a good man. He never cheated. The USADA has found him guilty of something their own evidence says didn’t happen. He didn’t dope up to win races. They have been prosecuting an innocent man for 17 years…heck I’d be tired too if I were Lance.

# 7
Fair is fair @ 08/24/2012 at 2:16 am

Think of the other athletes who raced fairly that lost the title they could have won. He can never repay them. So sad, because he was iconic in his sport and now it’s as if everything we know him for was undeserved. I’m sure he is superior and could have been at the top of the pack anyway, but the drugs gave him an edge to win… an unfair edge.

# 8

@mrs_fuzzybee: nice excuse, you his P.R team leader? it scares me how gullible people are these days.

# 9

@Fair is fair: I totally agree!

No smoke without fire.... @ 08/24/2012 at 3:12 am

He knows that his team mates he rode with him have evidence that proves he was taking drugs, that’s why he’s not willing to go to trial.

So instead he has decided to “give up” and say he can’t fight anymore.

If he was innocent he wouldn’t be worried about the other riders testimonies, but if all five of them all say he was taking drugs it would be very hard to still claim that he’s innocent.

What I hate the most is that the downfall of these athletes like Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones and Barry Bonds and many more… is that it cast a cloud of suspicion over other top athletes and sports in general. I know there are a many athletes who would never try such a thing, but you can’t help but wonder whose legit and whose not.

Most of these athletes test negative while they are competing because there are a few scientist out there being paid millions to create new performance enhancement drugs that are unknown by the USDA. The USDA wised up years ago and began storing the athletes samples and test them every year. Many athletes are caught years later once the drug is known. But by that time they have made millions in the sport and endorsements.

Sorry I meant the USADA.

mrs_fuzzybee @ 08/24/2012 at 4:25 am

@jay: Ah yes I’m so gullible because I believe WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) and USADA’s own tests which show definitively that Armstrong NEVER TESTED POSITIVE. If their own tests say he didn’t dope and they don’t believe them, how can you believe anything they say? The other bicyclists who were going to testify against all tested positive for doping agents but mysteriously on those very same tests Armstrong comes up negative. It’s cause he’s magic. Pure 100% magic. I’d love to be his PR person cause I would have made bank over the last 17 years. Alas I’m not. —–Marion Jones, who happened to go to the high school in the same city I did at the same time I did tested POSITIVE on her doping tests. Her case is not anything like Armstrongs. Same for Bonds. In this case there is no smoke and no fire just out and out jealousy and attempts by cyclists who tested positive on WADA and USADA doping tests to implicate Armstrong and other cyclists who tested negative.

They cant strip him of the titles, they can only recommend it to UCI, the international governing body that oversees international events like the Tour de France.
USADA don’t have the authority to actually null them.
For example, it is the Olympic authorities who void Jones’ Olympic wins, not USADA.

I’m perplexed. Did he dope? yes or no?

@mrs_fuzzybee: gullible because you believe his ‘public persona’ rather then the person he probably is. I like him, but i lose a lot of respect for athletes that think they can get away with it because they’re beloved by the public —- He’s magic? your comment started out strong then scared me — He knows what he did, and thats why hes doing this instead of going to trial — give it time before he does admit to it. right now he can’t afford to say he did use — I’d imagine he’d lose a sh*t load of money!

He probably did do drugs but there’s no evidence so they should leave him alone. I don’t understand how they don. Have evidence but can still convict him?

@jay: Yeah lose money for his organization that FIGHTS TO CURE CANCER.

I dunno if he did dope or not but for those who do dope I don’t understand the point. How can they feel that their wins are meaningful?
Don’t they feel bad that they are doing wrong to their competitors when they use performance enhancing drugs?
You have to be very selfish and self-centered, lacking self-esteem and have other mental and emotional issues to do drugs like that.

But I wonder myself how he still stands up on his two feet !
Cancer medicines + dope ! What a terrible crappy mixture in his blood !
Superman ?

Haters Suck! @ 08/24/2012 at 5:45 am

This is bullshit. What was the point of him passing over 500 drug tests that say he’s clean if yore just gonna convict him anyway? He never tested positive not once, not one damn time. Yet the usada when ahead and made him their scapegoat anyway and take him down by any means necessary. Do what u want I’m still calling lance Armstrong a seven time tour de France champion. This was nothing but a witchhunt plain and simple.

WICKED WENCH @ 08/24/2012 at 6:09 am

@mrs_fuzzybe@jay: In a court of law he would be judged innocent. There is a noticable lack of hard evidence, and testimony by another person or persons is not as credible as hard evidence.
I think the man is just tired of it all, and I get that. At some point you just give up.

@Cam: yes THE CURE TO FIGHT CANCER, that’s exactly what i meant <– note sarcasm (leave your childish comments out of it, if you cant be an adult about it then dont leave a comment) — i meant the sponsors (not sure if he has any advertising deal with nike or adidas etc?!) but just like with tiger woods they'd have to drop him.. and he'd lose money.. the money that pays for his cars/bikes/houses etc..

U.S Anti doping Agency sucks. Seriously, what’s the point ?
Other cyclists were just jealous of him.
I love Lance, he’s a champion, a hero forever.

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