Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong has been under fire for years about allegations he doped while winning seven Tour de France titles. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi / October 1, 2012)

Before he competes in a local triathlon this weekend, Lance Armstrong will speak at a panel discussion in Ellicott City.

Armstrong will appear Saturday at a discussion being called Lance Unplugged where, among other things, he promises to address why he decided to compete in Ulman's Half Full Triathlon which happens the following day in and around Centennial Park in Howard County.

Ulman announced two weeks ago that Armstrong would compete in the event's half distance, which includes a .9-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. He'll race with cancer survivors in and around Centennial Park while athletes compete in a different segment of the race.

Because Armstrong has been banned for life from all sports governed by federations, organizers of the three-year-old Half Full had to give up their status as a sanctioned race to welcome him, losing the prestige that comes with that status and opening the door to critics who say Armstrong's tarnished reputation stains the event.

The discussion will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Centennial High School's auditorium. Tickets are $50 apiece, two for $75. Proceeds will benefit the cancer fund.

Armstrong will take questions from the audience and Ulman will be raffling items with his autograph.

For more information: www.ulmanfund.com/lanceunplugged.

jill.rosen@baltsun.com

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