Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who branded himself as the never-give-up comeback king and champion of yellow bracelets is, well... giving up and giving in. Armstrong is forfeiting his 7 Tour de France titles to avoid criminal investigation on doping charges by the USADA: His era, which he dominated from 1999 to 2005 could be wiped clean from the record books, and gone as soon as Friday.
The fall of Armstrong's legacy begins now; Choosing not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, he is basically admitting guilt. His decision will cause him to be stripped of his titles and his name will be wiped from the record books of the sport he once dominated.
Travis Tygart, Chief of the USADA said Lance Armstrong will be charged with a lifetime ban, and will lose his titles as soon as Friday.
The International Cycling Union previously backed Armstrong's legal challenge, opposing the USADA, but Tygart said the UCI was "bound to recognize our decision and impose it" as a signer of the World Anti-Doping Code.
"They have no choice but to strip the titles under the code," he said.
Lance knew the repercussions of not contesting the charges, but he just doesn't want to deal with it.
"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 had a right to contest the charges," WADA President John Fahey said after Armstrong's announcement. "He chose not to. The simple fact is that his refusal to examine the evidence means the charges had substance in them."
Credit - JIM VERTUNO, Eddie Pells, Dennis Passa