Lance baby, say it ain't so!
In a late breaking press conference today, 7-time Tour de France winner and cycling icon Lance Armstrong reportedly ceased his fight to clear his name against charges of doping and fraud from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Armstrong had a deadline of midnight tonight to accept or counter the USADA charges against him. In a short press release explaining his decision Armstrong said, “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now…Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances.” (Full Statement) The USADA has since stated that this cessation of the legal contest is paramount to an admission of guilt from the Armstrong camp. The USADA also said it will ban him for life from competition beginning Friday, August 24. The move brings to a close one of the most celebrated and controversial legacies in modern sports history.
“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. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair,” wrote Armstrong. Despite his vow not to participate in arbitration, it’s not clear whether Armstrong truly is done with his fight. His letter to USADA seemed pretty clear, but earlier on Thursday his lawyers released a pugnacious notice to the agency suggesting there might be more battles ahead.
Ojai, Calif. April 9, 2005.