Lance Armstrong has given up his fight against the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which has accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs. As early as Friday, he could lose his seven Tour de France titles.
“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 via the Huffington Post.
“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.”
As George Vecsey said in his New York Times article, Armstrong now joins the pantheon of athletes who have forever been disgraced but their sins but will also be remembered for their stunning accomplishments. While Armstrong is technically not admitting guilt, he will be, for all practical purposes, treated as if he did.
“Did he do ‘it’?” Vecsey asks. “Let’s put it this way (and I say this as somebody who covered some of his Tours de France, and knows and likes some of Armstrong): he was the best cyclist of his time, in maybe the dirtiest sport in existence.”
In 2007 at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Armstrong was asked about his views of doping in sports. “Every sport has doping. Hard sports like the Tour de France has doping,” he said.