Lance Armstrong to be Banned for Life and Stripped of 7 Tour de France Titles

The fight between Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is over:

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough,'" Armstrong, 40, wrote in a statement emailed to The Times and other news agencies.

"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."

Armstrong's attorneys asked a USADA attorney to turn the matter over to UCI, the international cycling union, but USADA maintains it retains jurisdiction to strip the titles.

Armstrong never tested positive for performance-enhancing use during his decade-plus of Tour races.

Now, as he abandons his impassioned fight against anti-doping authorities, the perception of an American hero who rallied from cancer to become champion of perhaps sport's most demanding endurance test has been recast.

Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times reports: Link (Photo: McSmit/Wikipedia)


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One interesting thing I found when reading about doping cases in cycling is that it's not new at all: the very first case reported was in 1896 when Bordeaux-Paris cycle race winner Arthur Linton supposedly died from doping.
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Without passing judgement on guilt or innocence I can sympathize with wanting to step away from an expensive and ongoing battle about something that happened almost a decade ago - at which point I was accused, tested (hundreds of times), and found blameless - only to be challenged again by the hearsay testimony of ex-friends, bested competitors and casual acquaintances. Enough is enough indeed.

And yes, Jay 6 is right, the factual mistake in the headline should be changed as well.
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Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons never failed a drug test either. Professional cyclists Maarten Ducrot, Steven Rooks, Peter Winnen, Francesco Moser, Claudio Chiappucci, Bo Hamburger, Rolf Aldag, Christian Henn, Bjarne Riis, and on and on... have all admitted to doping but were never caught. The rampant drug use in cycling is legendary. So if they all do it, why even test? Professional cyclists Vicente López Carril of Spain, dead at 37;Marc Demeyer, dead at 31; Geert Van de Walle, dead at 22; Johannes Draaijer, dead at 27; Joachim Halupczok, dead at 26; and unfortunately, this list could also go on and on too. 18 cyclists' deaths between 1987-1991 alone were attributed to doping.

If you asked me in my opinion if Lance Armstrong doped, I wouldn't hesitate in responding, "Yes."
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