Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong will not be riding his bike for a while, at least not in any Ironman Triathlon competition.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency has filed blood doping charges against Armstrong and five others; just a few months after the feds closed their two-year investigation without bring criminal charges.
Armstrong has repeatedly said he`s never done anything illegal to enhance his performances, but USADA says the results of blood samples from 2009 and 2010 have clear indications of doping.
'I think it`s kind of unfortunately for the sport as a whole,' said Sean Olfield of Houston. 'They’ve been trying to clear up controversies for years and years now with doping and all sorts of fixing and stuff like that. For Lance, himself, innocent until proven guilty.'
Although the USADA charges don’t carry jail time, they could end up stripping Armstrong of his Tour de France titles. In any event, USADA`S actions will keep Armstrong out of all events sanctioned by the World Triathlon Corporation until the matter is settled, like the Ironman World Championships this fall in Hawaii.
So, it could be that the folks who saw him compete in the Memorial Hermann Half-Ironman in Galveston back in March, may have seen one of the final appearances of the greatest cycler in history. Let’s hope that’s not the case.