Armstrong to be stripped of titles
(CNN)–The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said early Friday it will strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and impose a lifetime ban, a move that came just hours after the cyclist announced he would no longer fight charges of illegal doping.
The USADA’s action followed news late Thursday that Armstrong was calling it quits in his battle to end an investigation by the USADA.
“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 in a written statement.
The USADA has accused Armstrong of using, possessing, trafficking and giving to others performance-enhancing drugs, as well as covering up doping violations.
Armstrong, who has long denied allegations of illegal doping, made his announcement after losing a legal bid Monday to halt the anti-doping agency’s legal case against him, which came more than a year after his retirement from cycling and subsequent move to triathlon competitions.
The 40-year-old, who fought back from testicular cancer to win cycling’s biggest race from 1999 to 2005, has described himself as the “most tested athlete in the world.” He retired twice from cycling — first in 2005, for four years, and again in 2011.
Armstrong has never been convicted of any doping charges.
In his statement, Armstrong said his decision is not an admission of guilt.
CNN’s Scott Thompson and Rich Porter contributed to this report.