Lance Armstrong doping-fight dropout and disappearance from USA Pro Challenge

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Armstrong and Ritter.
Amid news that Lance Armstrong will quit fighting doping allegations (a move that will likely result in him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles), it's tough to remember that just two years ago, he was the face of what's now known as the USA Pro Challenge, a bicycle race currently thrilling fans statewide.

Then, he was a glamorous get for organizers of the event, with then-Governor Bill Ritter happily posing alongside him. Now, he's a sports pariah. How'd it happen?

Armstrong's fall has been a long time coming. Well over a decade ago, when he was still winning Tour de France accolades, a friend of mine who works at ESPN The Magazine told me he had sources who felt certain the Live Strong hero had been improperly enhancing his pedaling performances, and those whispers grew steadily louder as time went on. But in the months that followed the August 2010 team-up of Armstrong and Ritter at the State Capitol to announce what was originally dubbed the Quiznos Pro Challenge, they became impossible to ignore.

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Bill Ritter speaking at the August 2010 Quiznos Pro Challenge announcement, with Armstrong in the background.
In April 2011, Bicycling editor and Tour de Lance author Bill Strickland joined the Armstrong-is-doping chorus. Then, in May, Boulder-based cyclist and accused doper Tyler Hamilton pointed his finger at Armstrong on 60 Minutes. Armstrong and Hamilton later got into a pissy altercation at an Aspen bar.

With all this going on, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (name number two) announced in the spring of last year that Armstrong would have little or no involvement in the race, allegedly because he'd announced his retirement and organizers wanted to give him some space -- although it wasn't tough to read between those lines, especially when he played zero role in the inaugural contest.

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Armstrong was the center of attention.
Now, Armstrong has announced that he's decided to stop fighting charges brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He also maintains his innocence in a statement on view below in its entirety, but that will be a mighty tough sell.

Meanwhile, the USA Pro Challenge appears to be a booming success in its second year, as evidenced by the recap of yesterday's events that follow Armstrong's words. From all indications, the race will live on over the long haul despite the ignominy that's been visited upon the man who officially co-founded it.

Continuing reading for Lance Armstrong's statement and a USA Pro Challenge update.


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19 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

It'd sure be ironic if all of his chemically enhanced cheating caused his testicular cancer in the first place ...

Andy Martin
Andy Martin

Half a Billion raised for cancer research is the legacy I care about

Andy Martin
Andy Martin

Half a Billion raised for cancer research is the legacy I care about

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

Mailing address United States Anti-Doping Agency 5555 Tech Center Drive, Suite 200 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80919-2372 USA I'm beginning to think our state's logo should include handcuffs. It seems we're always prosecuting (persecuting) someone these days.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

Mailing address United States Anti-Doping Agency 5555 Tech Center Drive, Suite 200 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80919-2372 USA I'm beginning to think our state's logo should include handcuffs. It seems we're always prosecuting (persecuting) someone these days.

Kim Daub
Kim Daub

BS witch hunt. Taking a vitamin is considered doping by today's standards. One of the US competitors at the Olympics was accused of doping for taking midol for cramps. Thanks to 'roid ragers all athletes are under a microscope.

Kenon Lamont Thompson
Kenon Lamont Thompson

Absolutely ridiculous that he has to go through this. I do not think he is guilty.

Ryk McDorman
Ryk McDorman

If he was guilty, they should/would have found evidence long ago. As Lance says, he's the most tested athlete in history. And they still have no concrete physical evidence?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

A very close & trustworthy friend w/ some inside knowledge, spoke of this happening last week.

I laughed thinking back on ALL the championships and ALLĀ  outside commissioned tests only to learn of this now.

With respect to WW and Mr. Armstrong, not to mention my friend and his lab job, I will say nothing further, beyond it was proven the Patriots have cheated during this extended SB dynasty and no rings, trophy's, or titles have been stripped and they continue to compete.

Lance's non-profit has raised OVER 1/2 a billion $$$. I can only hope it is not negatively effected.

EVERYONE cheats !

It's a part of the game in MLB and has been since it's creation. Part of the fun is in catching your opponent.

Lying equals cheating !

I am NOT religious by any means but I do like the quote, " He w/o sin cast the 1st stone...."

Lance, you will ALWAYS be a champion and a hero !

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