Lance Armstrong has announced he will not fight drug charges by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), paving the way for him to be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
Armstrong maintains that he is innocent but said in a statement that he is ‘finished with this nonsense’.
USADA alleges he used banned substances from 1996, including the blood-booster EPO, steroid and blood transfusions.
Armstrong sued in federal court to block the charges but lost.
Commenting on his decision to drop his challenge, the 40-year-old said: ‘There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say: “Enough is enough”. For me, that time is now.
‘I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999.’
Travis Tygart’s, USADA’s chief executive, said his agency would ban Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his titles, according to AP.
Armstrong, however, claims the organisation lacks jurisdiction to proceed with this move.
meanwhile, his former sporting director, Johan Bruyneel, has criticised the ‘unjust process’ undertaken by the USADA.
‘Today, I’m disappointed for Lance and for cycling in general that things have reached a stage where Lance feels that he has had enough and is no longer willing to participate in Usada’s campaign against him,’ said Bruyneel.
‘Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been.
‘I hope that it will soon be determined that the case that Usada initiated against me should never have gotten as far as it