Lance Armstrong seems to have had enough of the ordeal of fighting against the doping allegations made against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. This means that he will be stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles that he had won a couple of years after fighting and surviving cancer – these titles were the reason he was lauded as an American hero. Armstrong was accused of possessing and using performance-enhancing drugs as well as trafficking and providing others the same.
Armstrong declared that he had had enough. “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said in a written statement. He said that his decision of walking away from the case was not an admission of guilt and still maintains that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs, but his decision rested on the fact that he wanted to spend time with his family and dedicate time instead, to his Livestrong foundation for cancer survivors.
“I know who won those seven Tours,” Armstrong said in a statement, “The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that; especially (USADA CEO) Travis Tygart.”
This also might mean that Armstrong’s legacy in the sport might be stained forever, but that is a choice he has made. The USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) has claimed that it has overwhelming evidence against Armstrong based on lab reports and eye-witnesses. Armstrong backing out from fighting the case would mean that he would not just be stripped of his cycling titles, but also be banned from competing for life.
Armstrong felt that the settlement process was biased, saying, “I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair” and said USADA has “zero physical evidence” to support its “outlandish and heinous claims.”
Claims against Armstrong could end a legacy: an inspiring sporting tale that took the world by storm and has kept so many inspired for so many years. The Texas native captivated the world with his struggle and fight against testicular cancer for so many years, only to come back stronger to win 7 Tour de France titles in consecutive years. He was a source of inspiration to so many cancer casualties and his career inspired millions who survived the lethal malady.
He was previously subjected to a national investigation for committing fraud while on the USPS (United State Postal Service) team and not for doping. That case was closed earlier in the year and no charges were filed. USADA, then, unleashed its non-criminal case against Armstrong, citing the need to protect the integrity of sports at all times.
“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,” USADA’s CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement on hearing of Armstrong’s withdrawal.
As for Armstrong, he terms the entire case and investigation as ‘Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt’. “Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances,” Armstrong said. “I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in undeserved communities.”