Lance Armstrong to Lose Tour de France Titles After Giving Up Fight Against Doping Charges.
It appears Lance Armstrong’s spectacular cycling career was all a sham. In one of the most startling developments in U.S. sports history, Armstrong decided Thursday he will no longer contest charges by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs going back as far as the late 1990’s when he won the first of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles. Now, Armstrong stand to lose all those crowns, according to USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, and will be banned from professional cycling for life even though the 40-year-old retired from the sport for the second time in early 2011. As recently as last month, Armstrong filed a lawsuit against the agency to keep it from taking action against him, claiming he was denied due process. Armstrong admitted no guilt in a statement released Thursday evening, saying, “There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now.” He went on to say, “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." Then in a bitter attack on the USADA chief executive, Armstrong charged, “Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims.” Tygart did not respond to Armstrong's diatribe but issued a statement that “It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes. 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.” Back in May 2010, American cyclist Floyd Landis, another Tour de France winner stripped of his title, acknowledged he used banned substances and claimed Armstrong did the same.