Sports icon and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, who has been banned for life from cycling and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles due to his participation in a doping scandal, thanked his fans for supporting him during his difficult time and further thanked them for a surge in contributions to his cancer charity.
Armstrong, on Friday, announced that he would not be disputing doping charges that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) brought against him. The USADA’s CEO Travis Tygart understood Armstrong’s decision not to dispute the charges as an admission of guilt and shortly afterwards announced the sanctions, which some say are “very severe.”
According to USADA investigations, Armstrong was a willing participant in a conspiracy of team banned performance-enhancing substance use which occurred from 1998 right up until the present time. The sanctions, along with the lifetime ban, order that Armstrong be retroactively disqualified from all competitions since August 1, 1998. The agency’s explanation of Armstrong’s lifetime ban is “his numerous anti-doping rule violations, including his involvement in trafficking and administering doping products to others.”
Tygart, in a press release, stated: “Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf, to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition. Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion as was done in this case.”
However, Armstrong, while not disputing the charges, is still proud of his cycling accomplishments and wished to continue his work serving people affected by cancer, saying he 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 underserved communities.”
Armstrong continued: “”The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place … when I raced.”
“Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year-old on the planet.”