Cyclist insists on innocence, but likely to lose medals
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France cycling race, announced Thursday 23 August that he will not go to arbitration with the US Anti-doping Agency (USADA). The agency last night said it will indeed strip the 42-year-old of his medals and ban from the sport for life. Armstrong has never tested positive during his career, but others have insisted that he used performance-enhancing drugs. The 1999-2005 winner is accused by the USADA of using EPO and steroids since 1996, the year he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Armstrong asked a federal court for a permanent injunction against the charges, reports the Los Angeles Times, but the request was denied this week.
Armstrong argues that the USADA does not have the jurisdiction, for an international sport, to strip him of the medals and, in his statement Thursday, he says he has had enough of USADA chief executive “Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt”.
Armstrong retired in 2005, but in 2012 announced a comeback as a triathlon, returning to his roots as a very young triathlete; his recent involvement in sport has been closely linked to fundraising and the development of his Livestrong foundation to fight cancer.