Lance Armstrong Statement on Declining Arbitration With the US Anti-Doping Agency

He said "enough is enough," and will not fight the charges.

ByABC News
August 23, 2012, 10:37 PM

Aug. 23, 2012— -- Cyclist Lance Armstrong released a statement on this evening announcing he would not enter arbitration to fight doping charges brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and its CEO, Travis Tygart. Here is Armstrong's statement:

There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." Forme, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfairadvantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I havebeen subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart'sunconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for ourfoundation and on me leads me to where I am today - finished with this nonsense.I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA's charade. Although the court wassympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies inUSADA's motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it couldnot intervene.

If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA's process, I could confrontthese allegations in a fair setting and - once and for all - put these charges to rest, Iwould jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sidedand unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence tosupport his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is thehundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available aroundthe clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine.Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end,USADA will not stand by it?

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth orcleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yetUSADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. Asrespected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacksjurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cyclinghave ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate inUSADA's improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements byUSADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments aremade without authority. And as many others, including USADA's own arbitrators, havefound, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken thelaw, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuadeUSADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully,threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questionsits motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers' expense. For the last two months,USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules,applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On topof all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their ownrules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.