After choosing not to pursue arbitration in the anti-doping case, Lance Armstrong will lose all his Tour de France titles and records by Friday. The professional road racing cyclist could also receive a lifetime ban even though he is retired and will soon turn 41 years old, the Associated Press reports.
Lance Armstrong chose to continue his cycling career in spite of his health problems and now the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency will prevent him from taking part in other competitions again. The American cyclist won seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, but they will all be withdrawn by Friday, according to the Agency’s announcement.
The battle between Armstrong and the anti-doping authority has been going on for a long period of time; every time the cyclist won a Tour de France title, his performance was immediately contested by authorities claiming that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Claiming that he is tired of proving his innocence, the 40-year-old professional chose not to pursue arbitration in the said case. As a result, the name of the record-breaking cyclist will be eliminated from all record books and he will not be allowed to take part in other sports competitions for the rest of his life.
There is, however, hope that the decision of the U.S. Anti-Doping agency will not be enacted by Friday. The sport’s governing body, the International Cycling Union is expected to have a say on the final decision of the Agency. Travis Tygart, USADA’s chief executive, thinks the Union should not interfere with the Agency’s opinion. They should apply the anti-doping code and strip Armstrong of all his titles and career accomplishments.
Lance Armstrong released a statement saying that he is indifferent to the agency’s opinion. The professional cyclist has done everything in his power to bring evidence proving his innocence, but he grew tired of the entire situation. He described the case as an “unconstitutional witch hunt” and expressed his regret that his career ended with this “nonsense”.