Lance Armstrong forced into U-turn on competition return

TEXAS – Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has decided against making a return to competitive sport as a swimmer this weekend.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour titles after coming clean about doping. Net photo. Net photo.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour titles after coming clean about doping. Net photo. Net photo.

TEXAS – Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has decided against making a return to competitive sport as a swimmer this weekend.

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after being part of a doping scandal, had been entered for the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships which takes place at the University of Texas.

The event is hosted by the university’s Longhorn Aquatics club, whose director Ann Nellis told Press Association Sport: ‘Longhorn Aquatics and the Jamail Texas Swimming Center are hosting the US Masters South Central Zone Championships.

‘Lance Armstrong, a member of the West Hills Athletic Club, registered to participate in that event and was accepted in accordance with US Masters Swimming policy.

‘Today we were notified that Mr Armstrong will not be competing, following a request from the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to the US Masters Swimming organisation that his entry not be accepted.’

Although he is banned for life from all competitions that adhere to either the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) or World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) codes, it was thought the low-profile US Masters Swimming event fell outside those restrictions.

However, world governing body FINA today released a statement making clear that the event remains under its jurisdiction and is therefore subject to the ban in place.

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