Lance Armstrong drops fight against USADA doping charges

lance-armstrong-getty.jpg Lance Armstrong announced Thursday (Aug. 23) that he will no longer fight the doping charges levied against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), reports the AP. The USADA quickly responded by stripping Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and will announce Friday he has incurred a lifetime ban from the sport of cycling.

Armstrong says in a statement, "There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say enough is enough. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. 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."

Armstrong insists the decision is not an admission of guilt, but that he believes the process to be unfair and will not enter into it.

"USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles," says Armstrong. "I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours."

Armstrong has previously been the subject of a federal criminal investigation that ended with his not being charged, but the USADA claims it has evidence that Armstrong used banned substances and was blood doping, including emails written by Armstrong's former teammate Floyd Landis that offer detailed accounts of a complex doping program on the team. The USADA also says it has 10 former teammates willing to testify against Armstrong.

Armstrong concludes his statement with, "Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will 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."
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