Despite preparing for a contentious battle, with former teammates poised to testify against him and facing dwindling support, Lance Armstrong has announced that he won’t be fighting the USADA’s doping charges against him.
After more than a decade of defending his titles from various doping allegations, Lance Armstrong is done fighting for his legendary cycling career. Though he is one of the most widely-known and accomplished athletes in recent memory, Armstrong has laid down his arms Thursday, ending his fight against charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” Armstrong said in a statement. “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.”
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) alleges that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career and that he was one of the ringleaders of systematic doping on his Tour-winning teams. Armstrong has won the Tour de France an unprecedented seven straight times, titles that will almost certainly be stripped from him now that he has surrendered to the USADA.
Armstrong will likely also be forced to surrender his bronze medal, won at the 2000 Olympics, and all other titles that he has been awarded over the years including various awards and money won from August 1998 onward. It also means that he will be barred from coaching or having any official role with any Olympic sport (or any sport following the World Anti-Doping Code). Most importantly, he will be banned from competing for the rest of his life.
“I know who won those seven Tours,” Armstrong said in his statement. “The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially (USADA CEO) Travis Tygart.”
Armstrong also hinted at what might come next. He intends to “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.”