Seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will be stripped of all his titles and banned from cycling for life. This in the wake of his decision to stop fighting doping charges brought against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
“He will be banned for life and loss of results since Aug. 1, 1998,” USADA spokeswoman Annie Skinner told Bloomberg in an email. For his part Armstrong released a statement saying that to continue fighting the allegations in the “unconstitutional” setting presented by the USADA would be pointless:
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?
The news has sent shockwaves around the web, with “Lance Armstrong”, “US Anti-Doping Agency” and “Tour de France” all trending globally on Twitter at one stage.
The social network seemed divided on the ruling, with people falling into a variety of camps.
Some felt that Armstrong’s decision to quit fighting was an admission of guilt:
Lance Armstrong’s reaction to being stripped of his titles & banned shows he’s guilty as all hell. If he were innocent, he’d keep fighting.
— Danielle Blake (@DCPlod) August 24, 2012
So it looks like justice is being served to
@lancearmstrong but at what cost to cycling?
— Matt osborn (@MattpOsborn) August 24, 2012
@ryan said it best: “I find it very hard to imagine any innocent man just giving up on his innocence.”
— Hilton Tarrant (@hiltontarrant) August 24, 2012
Others stood behind the statement made by their cycling hero:
As a cyclist and a man,
@lancearmstrong stands as an example few can match. My support goes to the man, and the cyclist.
— BC Superweek (@BCSuperweek) August 24, 2012
Lance Armstrong tough day! Know you are a CHAMPION.Proud to be a partner with you and will stand proud with you any day of my life.
— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) August 24, 2012
I don’t care what
@lancearmstrong may or may not have taken. That dude captivated the world for years. Nobody can take that away
— Kyle Powers (@TheSneakerGuru) August 24, 2012
— David Lee (@Dlee042) August 24, 2012
Lance Armstrong with 500+ clean tests but banned on hearsay. If baseball adopted this policy, they’d have six players left.
— Mick Shaffer (@mickshaffer) August 24, 2012
Convicted drugs cheats win Olympic medals & USAnti doping erase career of
@lancearmstrong who had hundreds of clear tests. Disgraceful
— Midweek Motorsport (@specutainment) August 24, 2012
Some even suggested that the cyclist would keep fighting in other avenues:
“Enough is enough”. Those are fighting words, not not-fighting words. Lance Armstrong’s battle isn’t over yet.
— Gus Silber (@gussilber) August 24, 2012
Although the USADA’s official position is that Armstrong will be banned, it’s unclear at this stage whether or not cycling’s international body UCL will accept the ruling.