Cycling champion Lance Armstrong announced Thursday that he is giving up his fight against charges leveled against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in order to focus on his family and his work with and for fellow cancer survivors, USA Today reports.
“Enough is enough,” Mr. Armstrong said in a statement declaring the end of his battle with the officially recognized nonprofit regulatory body, which quickly responded that it will strip the cyclist of all titles he won in the last 14 years, including his seven Tour de France championships.
Mr. Armstrong’s Austin, Texas-based foundation, Livestrong, popularized the iconic yellow bracelets widely worn to support cancer survivors and appears to have continued popular support despite the battering to its founder’s reputation over more than a decade of allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Mr. Armstrong reiterated his denial of the accusations Thursday, noting that he has never had a positive drug test in his years of competitive cycling, and he decried the anti-doping agency’s probe as “one-sided and unfair.” He said he will “commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities.”
Livestrong board member Jeffery C. Garvey said the charity supported Mr. Armstrong’s decision and will continue to work with him, adding, “Lance’s legacy in the cancer community is unparalleled.”
Anti-doping officials have said they have “overwhelming” evidence of doping, including testimony from several other riders. On Monday a judge upheld the organization’s jurisdiction in the case, which has been challenged by Mr. Armstrong and the International Cycling Union.