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AP Exclusive: Lance Armstrong Won't Fight USADA Charges - could lose all TDF titles

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Funny thing is that the organization that was put into place to stop 'dopers' from ruining the sport will now rally behind LA to protect their own authority. WADA doesn't want USADA telling them what to do and this will eventually end up in some international court, but for the wrong reason - a fight over organizational 'pissing territory', not for the integrity of the sport (whch is a joke by the way anyhow).

I've had my doubts about LA for a long, long time and to some degree I usually go by the old saying, "Where there's smoke there's usually fire." At the same time I always have in the back of my mind, "Innocent until proven guilty." So in this case I'm not 100% sure. I just hope this doesn't end up like the Marion Jones fiasco - otherwise Armstrong will have let a lot of people down, a LOT OF PEOPLE.

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There is no proof, there has been no proof and yet they keep hounding him year after year and decade after decade.

I'd get tired of that abuse too, add in a cancer fight and who has the energy to fight a multi million dollar battle against a bunch of holier than thou government A holes.

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If I was not guilty I'd go to my grave denying charges. This guy is guilty all the way. A lot of evidence aginst him, too much. He's done. I've never believed this guy.

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The UCI notes Lance Armstrong’s decision not to proceed to arbitration in the case that USADA has brought against him.

The UCI recognises that USADA is reported as saying that it will strip Mr. Armstrong of all results from 1998 onwards in addition to imposing a lifetime ban from participating in any sport which recognises the World Anti-Doping Code.

Article 8.3 of the WADC states that where no hearing occurs the Anti-Doping Organisation with results management responsibility shall submit to the parties concerned (Mr Armstrong, WADA and UCI) a reasoned decision explaining the action taken.

As USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case the UCI expects that it will issue a reasoned decision in accordance with Article 8.3 of the Code.

Until such time as USADA delivers this decision the UCI has no further comment to make.

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Yah yah no proof. The writing is on the wall. When a guy is not only beating, but annihilating, a field full of dopers for that long....cmon people. It's pretty obvious, IMO. Not that I really hold it against him, they were all doing it.

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Its seems a lot of people here are Lance Armstrong fanboys.

Why the hell would so many of his teammates testify against him and not a single one come out to defend him? If it wasn't so obvious, his team members would be the first to come out and defend him.

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I'm neither, I think it's very likely Armstrong doped at some point, but I think it's wrong to hold him to a different standard. BUT:

Wouldn't his teammates be putting their names on the line for something they, too, couldn't prove? If you're my teammate, and someone asks me if you use steroids, the best I can reply is 'I've never seen him do steroids.' It's far from a real defense, because the turnaround would simply be 'well, you didn't see evidence condemning him, but you have no evidence exonerating him' because no such evidence can or ever will exist.

The people who speak out against him have more to gain than the people who could defend them using logic that wouldn't hold up anyways. I'm not saying that all of the allegations are incorrect - again, I'd probably bet that he's doped, at minimum, at some point, to heal an injury quicker - but there's really no way of defending an accusation like this.

Plus, if 20 riders said they saw him dope, and 21 fellow riders came out and said they never saw him dope, would the tide turn towards 'obviously innocent' - probably not.

I refuse to accept 'I'm tired of fighting a battle that I will never be allowed to win, regardless of lack of evidence' as an admission of guilt. But yeah, he probably did at some point.

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US doping agency erases Lance Armstrong's titles

His seven Tour de France titles stripped away and his legacy in tatters, Lance Armstrong is heading back outdoors and into the public eye.

A day after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency punished Armstrong with a lifetime ban from professional cycling and erased 14 years of his career after concluding he used performance-enhancing druugs, Armstrong is scheduled to ride in a mountain bike race in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday and follow it up by running a marathon there Sunday.

And he has no plans to slow down any time soon, despite the whirlwind of controversy swirling around him.

Armstrong spokesman Mark Higgins said Armstrong also still plans to attend the World Cancer Congress in Montreal where's he scheduled to deliver a keynote address to thousands in attendance.

''He's getting out there,'' Higgins said.

Anti-doping and cycling officials will continue to address his career.

USADA said Friday it expects cycling's governing body to take similar action, but the International Cycling Union was measured in its response, saying it first wanted a full explanation of why Armstrong should relinquish Tour titles he won from 1999 through 2005.

The Amaury Sport Organization, which runs the world's most prestigious cycling race, said it would not comment until hearing from the UCI and USADA. The U.S. agency contends the cycling body is bound by the World Anti-Doping Code to strip Armstrong of one of the most incredible achievements in sports.

Armstrong, who retired a year ago and turns 41 next month, said Thursday he would no longer challenge USADA and declined to exercise his last option by entering arbitration. He denied again that he ever took banned substances in his career, calling USADA's investigation a ''witch hunt'' without any physical evidence.

USADA chief executive Travis Tygart described the investigation as a battle against a ''win-at-all-cost culture,'' adding that the UCI was ''bound to recognize our decision and impose it.''

''They have no choice but to strip the titles under the code,'' he said.

That would leave Greg LeMond as the only American to win the Tour de France, having done so in 1986, 1989 and 1990.

LeMond did not immediately respond to messages requesting comment left through his attorneys and friends.

Armstrong on Friday sent a tweet about his plans to race in Aspen, but did not comment directly on the sanctions.

The UCI and USADA have engaged in a turf war over who should prosecute allegations against Armstrong. The UCI even backed Armstrong's failed legal challenge to USADA's authority, and it cited the same World Anti-Doping Code in saying that it wanted to hear more from the U.S. agency.

''As USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case, the UCI expects that it will issue a reasoned decision'' explaining the action taken, the Switzerland-based organization said in a statement. It said legal procedures obliged USADA to fulfill this demand in cases ''where no hearing occurs.''

If Tour de France officials follow USADA's lead and announce that Armstrong has been stripped of his titles, Jan Ullrich could be promoted to champion in three of those years. Ullrich was stripped of his third-place finish in the 2005 Tour and retired from racing two years later after being implicated in another doping scandal.

The retired German racer expressed no desire to rewrite the record book of cycling's greatest event, even though he would be the biggest beneficiary.

''I know how the order was on the finishing line at the time,'' Ullrich said. ''I've finished with my professional career and have always said that I was proud of my second-place finishes.''

The International Olympic Committee said Friday it will await decisions by USADA and UCI before taking any steps against Armstrong, who won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Games. Besides the disqualifications, Armstrong will forfeit any medals, winnings, points and prizes, USADA said, but it is the lost titles that now dominate his legacy.

Every one of Armstrong's competitive races from Aug. 1, 1998, has been vacated by USADA, established in 2000 as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States. Since Armstrong raced in UCI-sanctioned events, he was subject to international drug rules enforced in the U.S. by USADA. Its staff joined a federal criminal investigation of Armstrong that ended earlier this year with no charges being filed.

USADA said its evidence came from more than a dozen witnesses ''who agreed to testify and provide evidence about their firsthand experience and/or knowledge of the doping activity of those involved in the USPS conspiracy,'' a reference to Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service cycling team.

The unidentified witnesses said they knew or had been told by Armstrong himself that he had ''used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone'' from before 1998 through 2005, and that he had previously used EPO, testosterone and Human Growth Hormone through 1996, USADA said. Armstrong also allegedly handed out doping products and encouraged banned methods - and even used ''blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions'' during his 2009 comeback race on the Tour.

In all, USADA said up to 10 former Armstrong teammates were set to testify against him. Had Armstrong chosen to pursue arbitration, USADA said, all the evidence would have been available for him to challenge.

''He chose not to do this knowing these sanctions would immediately be put into place,'' the statement said.

Armstrong said he has grown tired of defending himself in a seemingly endless fight against charges that he doped while piling up more Tour victories than anyone. He has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests that he passed as proof of his innocence during his extraordinary run of Tour titles.

''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 Thursday night, before the deadline to enter arbitration.

His success helped sell millions of the ''Livestrong'' plastic bracelets and enabled him to promote cancer awareness and research, raising nearly $500 million since his Lance Armstrong Foundation was started in 1997.

Foundation officials said they remained ''proud'' of Armstrong and had received hundreds of messages of support from donors, partners and supporters since his announcement. Among them was Nike Inc., which said it planned to continue supporting Armstrong and the foundation.

''Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position,'' the company said.

Anheuser-Busch said its partnership with Armstrong was unchanged. American Century Investments, another partner, issued a statement supporting him.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/us-doping-agency-erases-lance-081044433--spt.html

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Not knowing the truth about whether or not Armonstrong actually did dope, I'm really loving the UCI's response of 'Your job is to provide us with positive test results. Our job is to strip people of titles." USADA doesn't have right to be judge, jury and executioner, especially when they're willing to bet it all on zero scientific evidence to get their guy.

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Wouldn't the masking agents show up, then?

Speaking as a unitiated member of the public, it seems ridiculous that with no corporeal evidence that Lance had taken drugs (indeed, with hundreds of tests arguing towards the contrary) they can call him guilty.

Innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply?

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Shouldn't eye witness testimony be reserved for situations where it's the best-case scenario though? It's not considered to be an iron-clad form of evidence because humans are easily tampered with, and let's be honest, sometimes very weak morally. If we lived in a world where there was no way to measure whether or not Lance doped, like where the only true way of settling it was eye-witness testimony, than it would have more value. By having rigidly enforced rules relating to blood/urine sampling at various intervals, you've set your expectation for acquiring proof. Since burden of proof is on the accuser, USADA should be using the same units to measure innocence across the board.

He probably did it, at some point. All that being said, the guys who stands to inherit, on paper, the Tour De France titles each of those 7 years he'll vacate it, will not be going through a witch hunt to determine whether or not they placed 2nd only as a result of PEDs and masking agents. Because it's infinitely more important to the USADA to make sure that everyone knows that, no matter how hard you work, you could never be that good without drugs. It's more important to make Armstrong look human than anything.

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Today the US anti-doping agency released its report. It is more than 1000 page long and has 26 witnesses saying Armstrong was doping and in fact he pressured others to dope.

http://www.news.com.au/news/lance-armstrong-case-involves-26-witnesses-and-1000-pages-of-supporting-evidence/story-fnejlub9-1226493812677

So ALL 26 witnesses are lying and everything in the report is false?

Is it time he comes clean?

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What a d bag I looked up to that guy as a kid. I got to meet him in a cancer fundraiser because my dad died of cancer. Frack you Lance.

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