Lance Armstrong Drops Fight Against USADA – Seven Tour Titles in Doubt and Lifetime Ban to Follow?
Lance Armstrong has issued a statement confirming that he will no longer contest the charges being bought by USADA, in his statement released to day 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.” The pursuit of Lance Armstrong is an issue that has polarised commentators on the sport of cycling as well as competitors and fans for many years. Some will welcome todays news as vindication of the stance they have taken over the issue, for many it will be a very sad day for the sport, and a day when a man who has proved such a source of inspiration and admiration for so long has been knocked off the pedestal. Twitter has been running hot since the news broke, with some high profile Triathletes venting their thoughts.
In his statement Lance says “If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and â€“ once and for all â€“ 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?”
While it looks certain that the next stage in the process will be to strip Lance of his Tour titles and impose a lifetime ban, he writes ” 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.”