24 Aug 2012

Armstrong gives up as about to be stripped of titles

8:31 pm on 24 August 2012

Seven-time Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong is giving up on fighting doping charges by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which says it will strip him of his titles and ban him for life from the sport.

Armstrong made the announcement in a written statement to the Associated Press, saying enough was enough.

The agency says it has witnesses who allege Armstrong and five former cycling team associates engaged in a doping conspiracy between 1998 and 2011. It also says it has blood samples from 2009 and 2010 that are fully consistent with doping.

The BBC reports the USADA says the cyclist was a ring leader of systematic doping over many years.

Armstrong, who never failed a doping test, says he is innocent but weary of the accusations.

He did not concede having used performance enhancing substances but on the contrary, says he would "jump at the chance" to put the allegations to rest.

But he says he refused to participate in the anti-doping agency process, which he called "one-sided and unfair".

Armstrong says the USADA doesn't have the power to strip him of his titles.

Armstrong retired from cycling last year.