Lance Armstrong enters Austin swim meet, then drops out


Lance Armstrong’s swimming career drowned before it ever got started.

After initially entering a master level swimming event slated for this weekend in his hometown of Austin, Texas, the disgraced former seven-time Tour de France winner withdrew after the sport’s international governing body raised objections.

The 41-year-old Armstrong had signed up for the meet’s three longest events: the 500, 1000 and 1650-yard freestyle races. But the sport’s Swiss-based governing body sent a letter to U.S. masters swimming officials Thursday saying the event is under the umbrella of the World Anti-Doping Code and subject to the lifetime ban given to Armstrong by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

With outside pressure mounting, Armstrong withdrew on his own Thursday morning.

Prior to his withdrawal, Armstrong was slated to compete against middle-aged swimmers at the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the Jamail Texas Swim Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

You may remember that the former pro cyclist began his competitive sports career in the pool at his childhood home near Dallas. That led to a stint as a pro triathlete, which he eventually abandoned to pursue cycling full time.

After retiring from cycling, Armstrong returned to triathlon and was gunning for a run at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii before his troubles with the doping police began and he was subsequently barred from competing in the run-bike-swim events.

In January, Armstrong sat down with talk-show host Oprah Winfrey and confessed to years of doping – and lying about doping. He was summarily stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from the sport – and any other sport under the USADA umbrella.

When Armstrong first signed up to swim at the local event, the race director said it was okay, because masters level swimming in the U.S. does not fall under the drug-testing jurisdiction of the U.S. Anti Doping Agency. But that stance quickly changed – and Armstrong is once again a man without a sport.

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  • siclmn says:

    He should just go find a big lake to swim across by himself. A really big lake.
    Lance, your done.
    Please go away now.

  • steve b says:

    lance is still king

  • steve a says:

    steve b, what a horrible attempt at trolling. Good for a laugh though.

  • Harvey Miller says:

    Doping will reach a point where it will be part of an athlete’s (and non-athlete’s) DNA, via genetic manipulation, and we’re not to far from that reality now. At what point will what Lance did, and what has been done among athletes for decades before, in most (if not all) endurance and anaerobic sports, be considered quaint and old fashioned? At what point will doping rules be impossible to enforce due to technological and practical limitations?

    Lance Armstrong’s biggest mistake was in the way he arrogantly handled fellow competitors, not to mention those on his own team (occasionally). As such, there is this opposite and equal reaction. I’d say, as far as his determination, athletic prowess, ability to train under most any conditions and more that, apples to apples, he was the best at his game, with a team that was able to do their job better than most anyone else’s team. Tomorrow, winning will be near impossible without the enhancements that will eventually be almost impossible to detect. What will we say about Lance when that fact becomes a reality, or when (and if) doping will become more legitimate?

    • It’s not about doping, it’s about criminal activity and corruption. It’s about embezzlement, fraud, wire fraud, perjury, suborning perjury, money laundering, witness tampering, and conspiracy to commit all the above. It’s about drug smuggling, possession and transportation of controlled substances without a license, distributing pharmaceuticals without a prescription, and practicing medicine without a license. It’s about bribing UCI officials to overlook his numerous positive drug tests and offering bribes to USADA to do the same. It’s about strong-arming teammates to join him in on the doping and driving those who refused at least off of the team, some out of the sport, and some out of the country. It’s about suing former teammates, employees and even the free press for daring to publicly speak the truth about him.

      And it’s about one of most amoral, unscrupulous and remorseless individuals in the history of modern sport trying to sanctify all his thuggery, lawlessness and self-promotion by concealing it the stolen mantle of a righteous cause (and becoming a multimillionaire along the way).

      You be sure to let me know when they figure out how to make you do all that with gene therapy.

  • Tubasti says:

    Whenever I read a post that defends Lance or tries to condone cheating or trivialize the fight against doping, I see a writer who has never competed or never competed clean.

  • krl10 says:

    Are they going to strip every winner of every major race who enhanced their performance? Who was the last person to win the Tour clean? How would you know? Probably the agency charged with overseeing the performance of the athletes should be the disgraced party.

  • Lenard says:

    Lance is a disgrace, and the ppl who keep equivocating for him just don’t get it.

    It isn’t just that he lied and cheated (which is bad enough all by itself), it’s that he actively tried to destroy anyone who tried to tell the truth about him and what he’d done. Until finally, the lies came out anyway.

    Then he does an Oprah interview where he lies some more. At this point, I have to wonder if Lance is a sociopath of some sort. He honestly just can’t help himself, it seems.

  • Rich says:

    Nothing short of an oath of poverty and donation of all his pro cycling career dough to a worthy cause (domestique fund?) would persuade me to cut this some slack and let him compete again. And he ain’t likely to do that.

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