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Cities & Towns > The Friday Report from Dallas

The Friday Report from Dallas

The spraying for West Nile Virus is in full force this week after it was delayed last week due to heavy rains and a temporary restraining order. We were all so thankful for the rain; but it, of course, exacerbates the mosquito population, which carries the virus.

Shocking news from Texan Lance Armstrong, who has thrown in the towel in his battle with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) over repeated allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs in his seven wins of the Tour de France, the premier event in the cycling world.

Armstrong was down to his last appeal, arbitration, between his attorneys and those of the USADA.  He chose not to exercise that option, which means that he will be stripped of all wins in his career, his named erased from the record books and banned from competitive cycling for the remainder of his life.

The USADA took this as a victory and the same as an admission of guilt from Armstrong.  He, on the other hand, stated that he was just tired of fighting them and pointed to the fact that he had passed every drug test of the Tour de France and other events.

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, `Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said Thursday night, hours before the deadline to enter arbitration. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."

"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999," he said. "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.

He also disputed claims that the USADA had the right to strip him of his Tour de France titles.

While Tygart said the agency can strip the Tour titles, Armstrong disputed that, insisting his decision is not an admission of guilt but a refusal to enter an arbitration process he believes is unfair.

"USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles," he said. "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."

Armstrong walked away from the sport for good in 2011 without being charged following a two-year federal criminal investigation into many of the same accusations he faces from USADA.

The federal probe was closed in February, but USADA announced in June it had evidence Armstrong used banned substances and methods - and encouraged their use by teammates. The agency also said it had blood tests from 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent" with blood doping.

Included in USADA's evidence were emails written by Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after a positive drug test. Landis' emails to a USA Cycling official detailed allegations of a complex doping program on the team.

USADA also said it had 10 former Armstrong teammates ready to testify against him. Other than suggesting they include Landis and Tyler Hamilton, both of whom have admitted to doping offenses, the agency has refused to say who they are or specifically what they would say.

USADA maintains that Armstrong used banned substances as far back as 1996, including the blood-booster EPO and steroids, as well as blood transfusions.

"There is zero physical evidence to support (the) outlandish and heinous claims," Armstrong said. "The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of (doping) controls I have passed with flying colors." 

posted on Aug 24, 2012 7:58 AM ()


Exacerbates, eh? Always a great word. Hope you're doing well.
comment by solitaire on Aug 25, 2012 4:59 AM ()
He will always be a champion to me.
comment by elderjane on Aug 25, 2012 3:56 AM ()
Just for the record all athletes are on an even playing field--don't they all take some kind of drug???? IF (and I don't know) he is innocent why doesn't he, why hasn't he sued them for slander/libel/defamation??? Like Pete Rose they can take away his accomplishments but it won't be forgotten!
comment by greatmartin on Aug 24, 2012 1:32 PM ()
This is a case of people having a personal ax to grind and they planned to keep on and on and on. I think you are correct on both counts...he will be remembered and he probably wasn't doing anything that the rest were not also doing.
reply by redimpala on Aug 24, 2012 4:58 PM ()
Very sad indeed.Not sure what this drug the he alleged took and surely I would love to have it my self.I need all the energy.Though he is stripped but to me he is still the champion.
I hope that he will come to his grip and go on with life.I loved the guy and he deserved it more.
Good luck Lance and enjoy the rest of your life there.
comment by fredo on Aug 24, 2012 1:16 PM ()
I'm with you, Fredo. I hope he can get on with his life and put all this in the past. I also love the guy and think he did more to popularize cycling than any other racer.
reply by redimpala on Aug 24, 2012 4:59 PM ()
Very very sad. I don't understand why this even got started.
comment by kristilyn3 on Aug 24, 2012 10:40 AM ()
In my opinion, jealousy. He never failed a single drug test. If he passed his drug tests set up by his sport, that should be enough.
reply by redimpala on Aug 24, 2012 5:00 PM ()
This is too bad. We all know he deserved to win, and I'm sure if the witch hunt was extended to those who competed against him, they would also fail the tests.

I never understood how he could go through cancer treatment and not have something in him that was banned, not to enhance his performance, to save his life. I also think rules change over the years, and wonder if they applied the current requirements to situations in past years when things were more lax.
comment by kitchentales on Aug 24, 2012 9:59 AM ()
I think you are right. He passed the drug tests of the Tour de France every time. That should be sufficient. However, I think envy and jealousy of other athletes played a role.
reply by redimpala on Aug 24, 2012 5:02 PM ()

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