Lance Armstrong said he would no longer fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s allegations against him, removing the last obstacle to the organization's efforts to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life from participating in Olympic sports.
“There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” Armstong said in a statement posted on his website Thursday. “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. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. 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.
While it was unclear from Armstrong's statement, several news outlets reported that the legendary cyclist was essentially accepting USADA's penalties, which include a life-time ban on participation in professional cycling and the loss of his Tour de France titles. Under USADA procedures, Armstrong could have fought USADA's allegations before a panel of independent arbitrators.
“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,” Armstrong wrote. “But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what (USADA CEO) 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?”
Armstrong said he would no longer address the issue and turn his attention toward celebrating the 15 year anniversary of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which he said has raised nearly $500 million for the fight against cancer.