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Lance Armstrong To Be Stripped Of His 7 Tour De France Titles For Doping
So did Lance Armstrong have to cheat to win all those Tour de France titles?
Though he’s been the subject of speculation and accusation for years, most of those claims seemed to come from angry Frenchman and jealous teammates. However, recently Armstrong has been the subject of a major investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, who said they had evidence that Armstrong used steroids, blood-boosting EPO, and blood transfusions in order to win. And on Thursday, Armstrong announced that he would not be appealing the USADA’s findings.
Of course, Lance is trying to spin this decision his way. This was the official statement he gave to the Associated Press:
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” 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.”
But is anyone going to believe that Lance is just giving up on clearing his good name—that he’s totally innocent, but after fighting and beating cancer, he’s giving up his seven Tour de France titles?
Only the most naive of his fans are going to believe that. The rest of us are going to assume that Lance knew he wasn’t going to beat the charges because they are true, so he played the “witch hunt” card in a last-ditch effort to win the battle for public opinion.
In any case, with the USADA investigation now officially concluded, chief executive Travis Tygart says they will strip Armstrong of his Tour de France titles. However, doing that isn’t as simple as it sounds.
After all, the United States Anti-Doping Agency doesn’t oversee the Tour de France. The International Cycling Union (UCI) does. And they had backed Lance’s appeal of the USADA’s decision, and have said they will wait for a detailed written explanation of the USADA’s decision before making any decisions of their own.
So while Tygart insists that the USADA has authority to strip Lance’s titles through the UCI’s participation in the World Anti-Doping Agency pact, it’s not clear just yet if he is correct.
One thing’s for sure, though—the USADA does not have the authority to strip Armstrong of his ESPY.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]