Lance Armstrong is done with fighting his investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which, unfortunately, means he will be banned for life from ever competing again. Late Thursday, the USADA confirmed it will also strip Lance of all results since Aug. 1, 1998, reports USA Today.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Lance said in a statement.
Back in June, the USADA (recognized as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sports in the U.S.) accused Lance of using, possessing, trafficking and giving to others performance-enhancing drugs, as well as covering up doping violations. Lance profusely denied the charges.
“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,” he said on his website, where he also accused the USADA of wanting to “dredge up discredited allegations,” which he called “baseless” and “motivated by spite.”
This accusation is not the first though, as Lance had been accused of doping before by other U.S. riders, including Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton. The criminal investigation against him was eventually closed.
Following Lance’s decision, USADA chief executive officer Travis T. Tygart released the following statement
It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes. This is a heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all costs culture of sport, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe and honest competition, but for clean athletes, it is a reassuring reminder that there is hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.”
Regarding losing his titles, Lance said: “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.”
I personally couldn’t go down with a fight, but it’s Lance’s decision. With the media and public scrutiny and the ongoing probing, it can get to be too much, so it’s understandable. I don’t look at like he’s guilty, just a man tired of being beaten up over this. And like he said, at the end of the day, he knows who won those seven Tours. We all do.
Image via SIPA