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. ronnieadartez

    I spport Lance 100%!!!!

    August 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miscarriage

      Concur. There is zero evidence other than the exculpatory evidence of the bazillion tests he passed. He's the most tested man in sports. Ten years later the persecutionists haul him in, again, then again, then again in an endless witch hunt, always speculating but still with no evidence. "Nobody's that good, so it must have been drugs..." The USADA should be ashamed. They broke Armstrong with the grinding cogs of their witchhunt, not any bonafide infraction.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Javavamp

      Well despite TT and his yet another corrupt disgusting ideas, your country believes in you and supports you and your family. So sorry you have had to endure so much for NOTHING. But as always you have shown dignity and fought like an american trooper.

      August 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • linda gaudet

      I think my daughter said it best . The man had cancer , lost a testicle but still got on that bicycle and trained and competed and WON! SEVEN TIMES! I don't care if he used KYPTONITE he deserves those medals. Never a positive test. Thats enough for me. I just pity the person TT goes after next.

      August 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    As I said, the man is *tired*, and I don't blame him.
    If *I* had years and years of this kind of garbage being leveled at me, at some point I would do the same thing; stop paying lip service to an organization that refuses to let rumor and innuendo go: they have no authority to strip LA's wins that took place in another country, anyway.

    Let it go, USADA.
    Now you're just being ridiculous.

    Classy statement, Lance Armstrong.

    August 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Jester

    The USADA can end their witch hunt at last. They got what they wanted with no real evidence, not that evidence is required in a Kangaroo court... The destruction of an American sports icon was all they wanted. Lance Armstrong will remain for me an incredible human being. And Jahn Ulrich? he doesn't need to worry about it there is no German version of USADA? Who funds USADA? If the funding is through sponsorshps we should boycott those companies tha tgive USADA money.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Javavamp

    Lance you are an America Hero. TT is a sad jelious with the mind of a boy with to much authority that will never have such accomplishments and love from his country. Thank you for showing once again what dignity looks like. My prayers are with you and your family.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    One or two people saying someone did preformance enhancing drugs is one thing, but Armstrong was facing 12 people willing to testify that he did just so. This included former team mates... to boot. Pretty hard to get that many people to lie.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • trisue

      Mary,

      Not really ... especially when the majority of the guys are still racing. For their 'testimony' they have a 'free and clear hall pass' ... I'm suprised it's not more than 12.

      Lance, dope or no dope winning 7 TDF - 2,100+ miles, mountains, weather etc.. you're still a winner. LIVE STRONG!

      August 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Misscarriage:
    I agree 100%.
    This absolutely ridiculous persecution is stopped by Lance's own hand; it will NEVER take away what this amazing man has endured and accomplished.
    Now, let's focus on those athletes who have been caught and admitted to using, shall we?

    August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    VERY well stated, Kal Crawford; very well said!

    August 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lkcarver

    Reblogged this on L.K.Carver and commented:
    At least the LIVE STRONG charity will keep on battling for the millions of people with cancer.

    I wear my LIVE STRONG band everyday.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat (in a hat)©

    What Lance's statement should of been.

    Due to the fact that you have been hounding me since day one, and proven wrong every time by the way, I hereby give up. No matter what I do or say, no matter what tests you've thrown at me, no matter how many times you have been shown to be wrong, you just won't let up. The only reason I can come up with for this treatment, is pure azz jealousy. You just can't stand the thought that an american could be continuously better than your european brethren.
    Well, all I've got to say is take your jerseys and medals and do what you want. I have the memories of what I was able to accomplish and the whole world saw me do it. And regardless of what you have released in the press about me, this is not an admission of guilt. Just and admission of being tired of all your BS.
    Now, that you no longer have me to kick around, good luck on finding your next flunky.

    August 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GregH

    We, the people of the United States, hereby strip the dopes of the USADA from any imagined authority they thought they possessed, and hereby hold them personally liable for all taxpayer money they have wasted pursuing a national hero who passed every drug test while he competed. They are hereby forever banned from significance, and are forever associated with the list of pathetic organizations such as PETA and MSNBC.

    August 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mshoward99

    I support Lance 100% – The freaking USADA needs to go away and leave this alone. It is a true disservice to both the United States and to Lance Armstrong. I just can't believe it ! What in the hell are we doing to our athletes ? If these organizations can't prove of doping at the time of the win, then let it be !

    August 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Harro

    @Lance. We already know they froze your high tech dope 1998 samples they couldn't detect back then. You and I both know they've detected them now...thawed-out and all. 🙂
    Ne a dude, dude. Fess-up and we'll gladly forgive you and invite you to be pacesetter for the next Tour de France.

    August 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Harro

    @Armstrong. My real grandfather on my mothers side was named Armstrong, and so we are related. I too have hidden many things in my life and paid dearly. Just admit what you did and almost everyone will forgive you. (don't do the Clinton way)
    Do the way of a little boy named David who slew Goliath. He openly confessed to all that he, as a man, lusted for Bath-Sheba so much so as to have her husband sent to die so he could get his noodle wet. (candor of bible writers like David)
    C'mon dude! Fess-up and start an Senior Cycling league. You still got US BY THE BALLS MAN. I loved to watch you ride even knowing. Love ya man.

    August 24, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Baloney.
    Just stop trying to smear LA's name with fabricated "evidence" that no one else is privy to; it's just as bad as the USADA's attempt to "catch" him at something he has been cleared of again and again.
    If what you assert were even remotely true, the USADA would have proven their case long ago.
    They didn't, for they *can't*.
    Frozen samples, my left eye.
    All lying in wait for the technology to catch up?
    Give me a break.
    He's been cleared; deal with it and move on.

    August 25, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Are you related to Louie Armstrong too?
    That guy could rock the horn, man!

    August 25, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
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