Lance Armstrong drops fight against Anti-Doping Agency
Lance Armstrong has given up on his attempts to fight the drugs charges levelled by the US Anti-Doping Agency. The surprising decision has been interpreted by some as tantamount to an admission that his seven Tour De France wins were achieved using stimulants.
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'enough is enough’," Armstrong said in a statement. "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," 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."
The Anti-Doping Agency is likely to regard this as an admission of guilt and impose a lifetime ban on Armstrong. It is also likely that they will press for Armstrong to be stripped of his titles.
The agency has tests from 2009 and 2010 that it claims are consistent with doping. They allege that Armstrong used banned substances like the blood-boster EPO as far back as 1996.
Armstrong said his decision was not an admission but rather a refusal to acknowledge the fairness of the arbitration process. "I know who won those seven Tours," he said. "My teammates know who won those seven Tours and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours."
That may be the case, but if the Agency has their way, the Tour record books may soon be altered.