UPDATE: Armstrong Won't Fight USADA Charges

UPDATED Friday, August 24, 2012 --- 12:20 p.m.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency erased 14 years of Lance Armstrong's career Friday -- including his record seven Tour de France titles -- and banned him for life from the sport that made him a hero to millions of cancer survivors after concluding he used banned substances.

USADA said it expected 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 on why Armstrong should relinquish titles he won from 1999 through 2005.

The Amaury Sport Organization that runs the world's most prestigious cycling race said it would not comment until hearing from USADA and the UCI.

Armstrong, who retired a year ago, said Thursday that he would no longer challenge USADA. He denied again that he ever took banned substances in his career.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, August 24, 2012 --- 8:15 a.m.

LONDON (AP) -- Lance Armstrong's longtime coach says the seven-time Tour de France winner is the victim of an "unjust" legal case that could cost him his victories in cycling's greatest race.

Johan Bruyneel says he's "disappointed" for Armstrong, who denies doping but chose to not pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA wants Armstrong banned from all sports and stripped of his seven Tour wins.

Bruyneel says "Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been."

The Belgian has his own legal battle with USADA. He opted for arbitration to fight charges he led doping programs for Armstrong's teams.

Bruyneel says that case "should never have gotten as far as it has

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED: Thursday, August 23, 2012 --- 10:00p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart says the agency will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles for doping.

Armstrong on Thursday night dropped any further challenges to USADA's allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs to win cycling's premier event from 1999-2005.

Armstrong says USADA doesn't have the authority to vacate his Tour titles. However, Tygart told The Associated Press that USADA can do it.

Tygart called the Armstrong case a "heartbreaking" example of a win-at-all costs approach to sports.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 --- 9:40p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Lance Armstrong says he will no longer fight charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career, a decision that could put his string of seven Tour de France titles at risk.

Armstrong says he is innocent, but announced Thursday night that he has decided against fighting USADA because he is weary of the doping accusations that have dogged him for years. His decision could lead to a lifetime ban from cycling and perhaps the loss of the Tour titles he won from 1999-2005.

USADA says Armstrong used banned substances dating to 1996, including the blood-booster EPO and steroids, as well as blood transfusions. Armstrong sued in federal court to block the charges but lost.

The 40-year-old Armstrong retired from cycling in 2011.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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