August 24th, 2012
01:16 PM ET

Statement from Lance Armstrong

The following is Thursday's statement from Lance Armstrong, announcing he as stopping his fight against charges of illegal doping:

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 (USADA CEO) 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.

I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

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. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own eight-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.

The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.

USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.

Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. 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 under-served communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. 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.

Filed under: Cycling • Lance Armstrong • Sports
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Welago Chicfare

    Nobody believes that Monica Lewinski smeared Bill Clinton, Banasy. And only a handful like you believe anyone would want to smear Lance Armstrong.
    He's tried to worm his way out on a technicality...that he passed each test and so results from retesting should be ignored. The moment that it was made clear to him that his frozen samples would be held against him, it was over. He threw in the towel and rolled over.
    You couldn't take-away ANY sports medal I ever won without prying them from my cold dead hand. For you to take them would be stealing, and I have a right to defend what is mine.
    Lance gave-up his rights as a citizen of the United States of America and nobody even held a gun to his head! He freaking surrendered to the enemy!

    August 25, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Gave up his rights as a citizen of the United States?
      Lol. Yeah. Ok.
      Whatever you say.

      August 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pleasure

      What the heck does Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton have to do with this? You arrgument is remarkably devoid of any substance, and your theories as to why Lance Armstrong decided to quit is fraught with strange arm-chair quarterbacking at its worst. What is it you are trying to achieve here? Will your life in any way change even if your ridiculous allegations were true? No. Please stop embarassing yourself, cut your losses because you're wrong, and go away quietly.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Welago Chicfare

    He decided to settle out of court as it were. Just like all innocent people do. Right?
    Innocent people do NOT stop until they have had their day in court. (example: The few 9/11 victims families STILL waiting for their day in court and refusing to do *The Lance Armstrong Laydown* performed by all the other thousands of victims families who accepted Bush's cash bribe...part of Bush's 'cash for justice' mindset)
    Elvis and Elton "rocked". Louis Armstrong played. No relation.

    August 25, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Lol. Yeah, ok.

      August 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pleasure

      He didn't settle out of court, and your examples are comparing apples to oranges. *The Lance Armstrong Laydown*? He didn't lay down, he stopped pursuing an untenable situation because it was taking away what was REALLY important. You also took the term "rocked" too literally to even comment on, therefore I won't. Whoever you are, you overestimate your intelligence a thousandfold, and your ignorance is stunning.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    What does happen is technology improves in bioanalytical chemistry, the branch of science that encompasses anti-doping. Suffice to say that samples, well preserved, may be retested years after being taken when improved testing techniques come along. Recombinant EPO is a prime example of this – the Western Blot technique for its confirmation has really only been perfected during the 2000s, and only became routine in almost every WADA lab recently. Its a tricky enough job, and you'll only know its been messed up after a week.

    August 25, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Had I known...had I known.
    Have a nice weekend.

    August 25, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Christ is looking down upon your total lack of respect for others, also, Mary.
      For all of your pontificating, you are a mere mortal yourself, and therefore lack the authority to judge others.
      Save your false piety for those who will fall for your insipid act, for you fool no one with any intelligence at all.

      What a silly post.

      August 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    You lack total respect for Jesus' name...
    Yes we all fall short, I do on a daily basis, but to do it DIRECTLY? by the callous way you toss around his name is disgusting.
    Same to you dingbat

    August 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Darth Vader

    Mary, as if YOU have EVER been the epitomy of virtuous behavior? Please! Remember drunken jazzzz? We sure do! You and your little toto dog philip. Youre both a freaking JOKE!

    August 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Darth Vader

    Mary, mary! Please read Mathew 7:2l-23

    August 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. One of GODs messengers

    Thank you Darth. Mathew 7:l2 and 7:l3 would be good also.

    August 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. One of GODs messengers

    Also Mary, GOD wants to know, WHY you tied your anchor to the wackiest ship in the Army? I assume you know who hes speaking of!

    August 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tina Hayes

    I can totally understand where Lance is comming from. You can sit there and defend yourself over and over again, but there comes a time when enough is enough. I agree that he is the victim of a "witch hunt." No matter what he says, no matter how many tests he has passed, it will never be good enough for those who want to destroy him. You do get tired of the same fight over and over again – it wears you down. Lance knows the truth and God knows the truth. We, the public only know what has been reported – which may or may not be the truth or a distortion of the truth. Unless you were with Lance every single day, 24 hours a day – you do not know the truth either. All the doping tests he took said he's clean. I believe him. Period. If Lance or if Travis Tygart are lying – Karma will have her day – and she always shows up on time.

    August 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Contracting Info

    It's actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    September 8, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Daniel

    They were on a Recon mission gathering intelligence for the USDA. The USDA wanted to know if the cattle they want our vetenarians to inspect were wearing suicide bomber vests. They were mistaken for cattle rustlers and Chicano security guards shot them.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
1 2