This is not a good day for seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong or the sport of cycling. Calling it an "unconstitutional witch hunt," Armstrong said Thursday he has decided to stop battling the drug case the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has lined up against him. The International Cycling Union may strip the Tour titles he won from 1999 to 2005, and ban him for life from the sport.
The news really sucks for Lance and the sport. Since he hasn't failed a single doping test it's unclear what the USADA has on him but it's understandable not wanting to fight with them any longer. Unfortunately, if he doesn't fight then he is considered guilty by most.
Armstrong, who's retired, made it clear in his statement he was exasperated battling with a process he believes to be unfair. "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," the 40-year-old cycling icon said. "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."
Lance Armstrong Credit Image: © Gero Breloer/DPA/ZUMAPRESS.com
The cancer survivor, who started a trend years back with the yellow Livestrong bracelets, said he's ready to move on and devote his energy to charitable causes. "Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances," he said. "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."
While Armstrong is no longer challenging the USADA's charges, it appears he is not done challenging their authority over his Tour titles. The agency can make a recommendation but they don't have jurisdiction over the competitions and according to Business Insider they may not have the final say. So until the ICU and Tour de France officials take away the titles, Armstrong is still a 7-time champion.
For years, Sony has been developing an Armstrong biopic with cycling enthusiast Jake Gyllenhaal set to star. Will be interesting to see if it goes forward with this new twist in the story.
Bottom Line: Hope he didn't dope and Floyd Landis sucks for tainting the sport in the first place.
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