Details are still trickling in at this moment, but the Associated Press is reporting that seven-time Tour de France-winning cyclist Lance Armstrong has dropped his fight against doping charges leveled at him by the US Anti-Doping Agency. This means that he likely will be, as the Daily News puts it so succinctly, "stripped of Tour de France titles and banned for life."
From the AP:
The decision sets up a likely lifetime ban from the sport and the possibility that Armstrong will be stripped of his signature achievement - the extraordinary run of Tour titles he won from 1999-2005.
Armstrong, who retired last year, declined to enter arbitration - his last option - because he said he was weary of fighting accusations that have dogged him for years. He has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests that he has passed as proof of his innocence.
"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 in a statement sent to The Associated Press. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."
"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."
USADA will almost certainly treat Armstrong's decision as an admission of guilt, and hang the label of drug cheat on an athlete who was a hero to thousands for overcoming life-threatening testicular cancer and for his foundation's support for cancer research.
So apparently he is STILL assuming the role of victim and expecting his fans and followers to buy it. He will no longer fight for his innocence, yet he maintains that he did nothing wrong. I can't imagine how many people will still buy into this guy, because always thought he was innocent until proven guilty. Now all I can see him as, is a FRAUD.