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Lance Armstrong to lose Tour de France titles, be banned for life after ending defense - Sporting News

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"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."

"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999," he 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."

USADA treated Armstrong's decision as an admission of guilt, and hung the label of drug cheat on an athlete who was a hero to thousands for overcoming life-threatening testicular cancer and for his foundation's support for cancer research.


"USADA's conduct raises serious questions about whether its real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting according to less noble motives," such as politics or publicity, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks wrote.


Travesty. Armstrong is and will forever be an inspiration to me and millions more.

So he didn't dope, he just wanted the investigation over with?

Basically. ESPN had a great video segment; it sounds like he might not even be able to afford further arbitration and lawsuit as he's no longer earning what he used to.

Winners: USADA; lawyers.

Losers: The American People

how is the USADA funded with taxpayer money?

They exist to preserve the integrity of competition.

Whether he was witch hunted or not, Armstrong giving up does make most people believe he cheated.

How can he do anything but give up?

They are accusing him with CIRCUMSTANCIAL evidence and witness from teammates already accused and found guilty of doping; I.e.not credible.

Sometimes, the system is so broken, a person cannot win.

Remember when Ali, in the prime of his career, was unable to compete for 3 years because he refused service.

It's like that.

People die during the tour de France; the idea that you can win 7 in a row solely by cheating is dubious at best, and misguided at best.

If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – 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?

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.

The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.

Q. What happens next?

A. The United States Anti-Doping Agency officially will sanction Armstrong on Friday, barring him for life from Olympic sports and stripping him of his Tour titles. But it’s far from over for him.

Both the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency have the right to appeal Usada’s ruling. And the cycling union will likely do just that, considering it fought Usada for jurisdiction over the case. If it appeals, the case will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is sport’s highest court, based in Switzerland. The case will then be presented to arbitrators there, but that hearing is likely not going to take place this year, considering that C.A.S. is usually backed up with cases.

The court could overturn Usada’s ruling. Or, possibly, it could give the cycling union jurisdiction over the case.

Giving up seems odd to me.

If it's an issue of money, why doesn't he ask for donations to assist in his defense? Kickstarter? It's a no brainer. He'd raise a gazillion dollars overnight and have tons of great attorneys killing themselves to work pro bono.

I understand being exhausted by the accusations but he has so much to lose it seems crazy to just give up.

If anything, he should consider launching a campaign to fight this unfair system.

Frankly, it seems very un-Armstrong to quit.

Lance is playing chess, not checkers.

This is actually brilliant, I just realized.

He's turned himself into a martyr; something more,something incorruptible -- because of his fight with cancer.

Lance is now a symbol for the struggle, loss, and victory of millions of cancer patient and survivors around the country -- and around the globe.

If he fights it, he'd be dragged through the mud by former teammates' testimony either "leaked" to the press through the arbitration process, or directly reported. It would be a sad and ugly affair.

By giving up his fight, he has won the SYMPATHY of millions of folks like me, who believe the matter is grossly unfair, misguided, and wasteful. He's 40. Retired from the sport. Won the most difficult competition in sport -- one in which people die and get severely injured. Cancer fighter and survivor.

I now think this is a masterful move; he's right, he was going to lose in court because the process would be unfair. He didn't start this battle, but he's won the war.

In your opinion, why are they going after Lance?

Because he's visible?

"I'm going to do what jim gordon never could do; bring down the batman" Foley, dark knight rises

Politics, publicity, and ego.

The USADA CEO is a no-name nobody, from a no-name law school whose seemingly only significant contribution to humanity (besides maybe a family? Which would actually be much more significant than any of his other professional work) is "taking down Lance Armstrong."

The big fish.

I'm not sure how this serves any purpose whatsoever to fairness or doping in sports.

Looks like USADA is going to release the evidence they have:

Ironic that Armstrong's titles will be given to other people who were likely doping, too.

Honestly. This story will blow over in a week; USADA CEO is an embarrassment to this country.

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