opinion

Why Lance Armstrong is throwing in the towel

Lance Armstrong is throwing in the towel. The seven-time Tour de France champion announced on Thursday that he will no longer fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation of him.

This means the world's most famous cyclist will be banned for life from ever competing again, reports CNN. The USADA confirmed it will also strip Armstrong of all results since 1 August, 1998, including his record seven Tour titles.

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong, 40, said in a statement.

Armstrong has been dealing with the accusations since June, when the quasi-government agency first accused him of using, possessing, trafficking performance-enhancing drugs. The cycling champ vehemently denied the charges from the beginning.

And though he's giving up the fight, Armstrong's decision does not equal an admission of guilt. However, the USADA, which is expected to make a formal announcement today, is still planning to take away Armstrong's titles.

"… [H]is choosing not to contest the charges means that there will be a lifetime ban and a loss of all results beginning from August 1, 1998," agency spokeswoman Annie Skinner told CNN in an emailed statement.

There's a question, however, about whether the USADA has the right to ban Armstrong, and the The International Cycling Federation may claim only it has the authority to ban a cyclist and/or take away his finishes.

Calling himself the "most tested athlete in the world," Armstrong has never been convicted of doping charges. But he has been accused of doping by other admitted dopers, including U.S. riders Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton.

"I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one," the retired cyclist said on his website.

Armstrong also accused the USADA of wanting to "dredge up discredited allegations," which he called "baseless" and "motivated by spite."

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