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Lance Armstrong: I'm Still Not Guilty

The world's most famous cyclist is giving up his fight against USADA and will be stripped of his Tour de France titles. But his lawyers still say he did not dope.

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Lance Armstrong's attorney sent a two-page letter to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Thursday before the agency announced it will strip the cyclist of his seven Tour de France titles. The letter addressed the organization's "dogged" pursuit of Armstrong, a scolding a federal judge gave the USADA despite throwing out a court case Armstrong's attorneys filed, and the organization's violation of its own statue of limitations (USADA claims that it restarted an investigation that was halted while Armstrong was investigated by federal prosecutors).

Any organization that is serious about fair play, integrity, and respect for rules, would take Judge Sparks’ criticisms to heart, rather than waste taxpayer money in the vindictive pursuit of Mr. Armstrong. Sadly, based upon our experience with USADA over the recent months, we have little confidence that USADA has the institutional character for that task. Indeed, the Court further observed that

“USADA’s apparent single-minded determination to force Armstrong to arbitrate’ indicated that USADA was “acting according to less noble motives” than to combat doping."

To be clear: Mr. Armstrong is not requesting a AAA arbitration because -- unlike USADA – he respects the rules applicable to him and not because of any belief that USADA’s charges have merit or any fear of what a fair proceeding would establish.

Finally, you are on notice that if USADA makes any public statement claiming, without jurisdiction, to sanction Mr. Armstrong, or to falsely characterize Mr. Armstrong’s reasons for not requesting an arbitration as anything other than a recognition of UCI jurisdiction and authority, USADA and anyone involved in the making of the statement will be liable.

Armstrong, for his part, added a statement saying he wanted to move on with his life.

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. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. 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.

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