Lance Armstrong No Longer Fighting Doping Charges


Though he still calls the US Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation into his career an “unconstitutional witch hunt,” cyclist Lance Armstrong said he will no longer challenge charges that he took performance-enhancing drugs to become the world’s most famous biker.

From the New York Times:

[Armstrong] continued to deny ever doping, calling the antidoping agency’s case against him “an unconstitutional witch hunt” and saying the process it followed to deal with his matter was “one-sided and unfair.”

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” Armstrong said in a statement. “For me, that time is now.”

Armstrong, who turns 41 next month, said he would not contest the charges because it had taken too much of a toll on his family and his work for his cancer foundation, saying he was “finished with this nonsense.”

Armstrong’s decision, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, means he will be stripped of his seven Tour titles, the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympics and all other titles, awards and money he won from August 1998 forward.

Nor can he compete professionally, coach new bikers or have anything to do with Olympics, other than to attend as a spectator.


  1. UFFDA says

    Lance is a great guy moving on with his life rather than continuing to fight phony drug charges. The USADA is way out of line and the assumption that he’s guilty because he won’t fight anymore couldn’t be more wrongheaded.

  2. endo says

    Butch, it’s “unconstitutional” because the alleged witnesses are all anonymous, which makes it impossible for Armstrong to address the accusations.

  3. Pete N SFO says

    As much as I’m bored of it…

    Doesn’t someone have to substantiate something in order for a charge to filed in the first place?

    Or is it like some kind of bitter divorce custody case??

  4. Jack says

    I’m sorry – I think anyone who follows sport knew that something was amiss when he won three in a row, then four, then five, etc. He is a product of his own greed and pride.

    I mean, he got famous, dumped his wife and kids for Sheryl Crow, then dumped her when she had breast cancer. Basically, things that no “normal” person would get away with, yet somehow St. Lance skated through as easily through that as he did through his drug tests.

    You cannot knock that he has raised $500 million for cancer research and has been at the bedside of countless cancer victims, and yet I still think he’s scum of the earth.

    Literally my least favorite american athlete that didn’t kill someone.

  5. Michael W. says

    Why don’t we hear of the US Anti-Doping Agency aggressively pursuing major league baseball players or football players? And honestly, there’s a US Anti-Doping Agency?

  6. datlaw says

    yes, there are witnesses, and there is other circumstantial evidence, which is good evidence. people get convicted all the time on circumstantial evidence. is there a positive test? no. whether it is enough evidence to take such drastic measures against him is the question. but quit saying there’s no evidence because that’s plain wrong.

  7. Butch says

    Endo, I was questioning the use because people toss the term around so casually; I don’t think Lance being barred from the sport really rises to a “constitutional” issue.

  8. says

    To those that say, “He never tested positive” – Marion Jones never tested positive either, and she had her Medals stripped for doping.

    There’s a lot of ways to hide doping. The ones that get caught just weren’t good at hiding it.

    Seems funny that EVERYBODY ELSE he was racing was doping except him, and yet he managed to beat them all…seven times in a row.

  9. zekeaz says

    I suspect Lance Armstrong was unable to out-run the advances in drug testing technology. Just as the tests for the HIV virus have become increasingly sensitive, so have the tests for various performance enhancing drugs. What he didn’t allow for is that there are large number of urine and blood samples stored in freezers around France that would come back to haunt him. Remember Lance always said he never tested positive for drugs… not that he never used them. A fine legal distinction.

    Armstrong knew that if he continued the defense of his titles he would be confronted with an avalanche of conclusive scientific data showing he did indeed use the banned drugs. As result, he could not allow himself to give sworn testimony about his drug use for fear of perjury.

    I’m sure the French are celebrating the fall of the great Lance Armstrong. They have been after him for years. Now, let’s see them deliver his seven titles to cyclists they can prove were free of doing exactly what Armstrong did. Good luck.

  10. D.B. says

    If you read Armstrong’s entire public statement on this matter, it’s kind of amazing that he never directly says he didn’t engage in doping. That’s almost certainly intentional.

    Right now, the most damning evidence against him are the statements by his former cycling teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, both of whom have admitted to doping themselves. If Armstrong were to continue legal action against the USADA, the rest of his U.S. Postal teammates would have almost certainly been compelled to publicly testify. (I believe at least a few of these people already testified as part of a closed grand jury proceeding. It has been reported by CBS News that they backed Landis’ and Hamilton’s doping claims.)

    Clearly, it’s one thing to face accusations from two “disgraced” cyclists — it would be another thing to have one’s whole team publicly back up those allegations. That’s why Armstrong has decided to throw in the towel.

  11. Buster says

    Whether or not you believe Armstrong (and I tend not to) — nothing here is “unconstitutional” because the Constitution applies to actions of the US Federal and State governments and NOT to the private activities of a sports organization like the USADA.

    This is the same sort of ignorant argument you hear people making when they accuse a business or organization of interfering with their right to “free speech” or “freedom of religion” which, again, are rights you hold as to action by the government, but NOT against anybody in the world who just tells you to STFU.

    Armstrong claims that he hasn’t been given due process of law in the way that the USADA has proceeded against him. Now, the USADA’s actions may indeed not meet the standards that would apply in a court of law (I haven’t followed the matter closely enough to know) and “due process” always SOUNDS like a good thing that should be happening. But the reality is that since the USADA is NOT a branch of the government, the constitutional requirement for due process simply doesn’t apply. Basically, if you don’t like the rules that your sports club has put together about how it makes decisions and judges your conduct, then you should pull up your Spandex big-boy pants, pack up your syringes and go find yourself another sport.

  12. Matt says

    Buster, the USADA is fully tax-payer funded and thus, in my opinion, a government run organization. My issue with all of this is due process, why is there not an opportunity to appeal and take on this institution when most of the damning information is based on the hearsay of those convicted of doping?

  13. anon says

    I have no doubt that LA is a grade-A jerk, but doping is so common in cycling that I fail to see the importance of this admission. No one really cares because no one ever cared because no one was ever fooled. It’s like saying the Giants didn’t win the Superbowl. They will not have anyone to give the medals to now. Also, who wins Le Tour now? Genetic freaks? Should people with genetic advantages also be banned. I suppose that will be next.

  14. Bill says

    Are there any honest professional athletes?

    If Lance did drugs then guys who had similar times as him also did drugs or are superhuman. I think it was 2008 that about 30 were caught for drug use during the Tour de France. I think sports organizations are complicit in keeping drug use private and ongoing because they want to have the public in awe of what these athletes do and keep coming back to view more. I’m really disgusted by how pervasive drug use is among athletes. Kids who watch sports naively think these remarkable feats are naturally possible then when they grow up they find out they are not. I was like that and it’s left a bad taste in my mouth and made me suspicious of all top athletes.

  15. aron says

    If you think Armstrong wasn’t doping you are beyond naive or don’t know enough about this case. (this article isn’t a bad place to start: He stopped fighting the charges because they had announced they had blood samples from 2009/10 that showed he was doping, and had ten of his former teammates that were prepared to testify against him.
    Doping was rife in cycling – he wasn’t alone – but he is guilty of the charges and everyone in cycling knows it. That doesn’t negate all the other good things he may be, or may have achieved in his life, but when it comes to this, he is guilty as charged.

  16. zekeaz says

    You have been diagnosed with cancer. Undergone surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and lost half your body weight. Then you are fired from your job while still in the hospital. You are angry and want to make a comeback in the sport that just pissed all over you. Steroids will help rebuild you body mass in half the time. Nobody is watching. What would you do?

  17. Buster says

    Matt- yes, the USADA is MOSTLY (though not entirely) funded by the Federal government. But funding is not the determining criterion.

    Because the USADA makes its decisions and policies independently of the government that gives it funding, it is not a “government” organization when considering the application of the Bill of Rights to its operations.

    It’s really the same situation as the cancer research department at your local university that receives grants from the Dept. of Health and Human Services, or the museum that gets funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities or, for that matter, like Ethiopia, when the State Dept. gives them millions in famine relief aid. The mere fact that the US gave money doesn’t make the recipient a branch of government subject to constitutional restrictions.

  18. Randy says

    The whole thing is ridiculous. If you award a medal, and then later we learn the competitor doped, that is AS MUCH the fault of the contest itself as the competitor. ALL medals should be revoked, not just his.

    Even more ridiculous is the idea that we can rewrite history. Lance won those races. Perhaps he was helped by drugs. But think if it another way. WHOEVER won those races had an unfair genetic advantage over most of the rest of the world. I don’t find it interesting that the advantage is genetic vs drugged.

    If you can play, you can play.

    How about

    If you win, you win.

  19. says

    If there is one thing that I’ve learned while following Olympic-level and other international-level sports over the years, it’s that whenever an American athlete runs the table, one should be concerned. Remember Marion Jones’ ill-fated Olympic “drive for five” in 2000? She was the first American Olympic athlete in some years to publicly mount a campaign as ambitious as that. Now it seems that every two years, an American comes along with hopes of running the table in his or her sport. I’m not saying that every American who has a publicized campaign to win as many as 8 Olympic gold medals in one sitting (or win consecutive Tours de France) is automatically a drug whore, but you can’t rule it out either. After the fall of Marion and Lance, you can’t help but wonder.

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