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Lance Armstrong Drops USADA Fight, Faces Lifetime Ban
By Luke Allingham
Date: 8/23/2012
Lance Armstrong Drops USADA Fight, Faces Lifetime Ban

Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times.

7 time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, has announced on the evening of August 23rd, 2012 that he will no longer fight the USADA doping charges that he has been involved with since June. The former professional cyclist, who won the yellow jersey at the Le Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. Armstrong has been fighting doping allegations since his first Tour win in '99 and has now given up the fight against the USA Anti-Doping Agency. By choosing not to take the USADA case to arbitration, Armstrong faces a life-time ban and loss of his seven Tour de France titles.

In June, Armstrong and others, including former team director Johan Bruyneel, were charged by the USADA in a case that accused Armstrong of not only using banned doping porducts including: EPO, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents, but also trafficking, administration, encouraging and covering up banned doping products. Armstrong's former trainer Michele Ferrari and doctor Luis del Moral have already accepted lifetime bans from the USADA doping case and with Armstrong announcing that he will also not fight as well, it only leaves current RadioShack-Nissan team director and team doctor Pedro Celaya to fight the USADA charges in arbitration.

By choosing to drop the fight against USADA, Armstrong faces a possible lifetime ban and being stripped of all his seven Tour de France titles. In the end, if he is stripped of all seven Tour titles, the record for winning the most Tour de France titles will no longer be held at a remarkable seven by one person, but would be a four-way tie between Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil. The Tour organizers would also then be given the tasks of rearranging the overall Tour de France classifications between 1999 and 2005.

On Thursday evening, USADA CEO Travis Tygart released a statement in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The statement appeared on VeloNews on Thursday night.

"It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes," Tygart said. "This is a heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all-costs culture of sport, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe and honest competition, but for clean athletes, it is a reassuring reminder that there is hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without the use of performance-enhancing drugs."

More reports with comments on the Lance Armstrong case will be posted on the site as they become available

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