7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong faces being stripped of his titles and banned from cycling for life after announcing he will not contest charges levelled by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Lance Armstrong said in a statement that he is “finished with this nonsense” and insisted he is innocent but did not want to spend any further effort clearing his name.
He said: “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.”
However Armstrong’s achievements are set to be wiped from the record books.
Armstrong, 40, has always denied claims he ever used performance-enhancing drugs during his career and has never failed a test.
But USADA chief executive Travis T. Tygart has said the Texan should face the same proceedings as any other athlete charged with doping offences.
Armstrong, charged by USADA in June, sought a temporary restraining order against the agency’s legal action but that was dismissed in a federal court in Austin, Texas.
His former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton have both accused Armstrong of doping. Both Landis and Hamilton have also been punished for doping.
Armstrong, who in 2011 retired from cycling for a second time, is the most successful rider in the history of the Tour de France, winning each year from 1999 to 2005.
His story was made all the more remarkable by the fact his triumphs came after beating cancer.
Armstrong claims the USADA investigation “has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs”.
“Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt,” he said.
Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong’s sporting director during his unprecedented run of Tour de France victories, released a short statement through his website.
His statement read: “Today, I’m disappointed for Lance and for cycling in general that things have reached a stage where Lance feels that he has had enough and is no longer willing to participate in USADA’s campaign against him.
“Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been.
“I hope that it will soon be determined that the case that USADA initiated against me should never have gotten as far as it has.
“Due to the sensitive nature of legal proceedings, I have been advised that it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.”
Lance Armstrong 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 recognised the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.
“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 team-mates 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 US dollars. 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.”
After I read & seen all news, I’ve sorted something on this matter of issues.. To all the cynics. I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event & hard work to wins it…! If Lance was guilty, before the cycling competition he will be banned. But Lance keep it up with all dope tests & passed. Now after retiring, Lance was found guilty & been stripped all 7-time medals. Crap news & crap responded..!! USADA totally precious twat..
KEEP GOING LANCE ARMSTRONG..!! #Livestrong..!!
Copyright 2012 by Daily Telegraph