“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,” Armstrong said in a statement released on his website Thursday.
“Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s (USADA’s chief executive) 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.”
Shortly after Armstrong made his announcement, the USADA announced its plans to strip the cyclist of his seven titles.
“This is a heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all-costs culture of sport, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe and honest competition, but for clean athletes, it is a reassuring reminder that there is hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without the use of performance-enhancing drugs,” Tygart said in a statement released to Reuters.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has asked the USADA to explain why Lance Armstrong should lose his seven Tour de France, The Associated Press reports.
“The UCI recognizes that USADA is reported as saying that it will strip Mr. Armstrong of all results from 1998 onwards in addition to imposing a lifetime ban from participating in any sport which recognizes the World Anti-Doping Code,” the UCI said in a statement.
The Switzerland-based organization — which has been battling with the USADA about the which of the two agencies have the authority to prosecute the doping charges against Armstrong — said that it will not comment further on the situation until “a reasoned decision explaining the action taken” is submitted to Armstrong, the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Association.
Armstrong said that he will no longer address the issue.
“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.”