So it's come to this: Lance Armstrong has dropped his fight against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency -- he's "finished with this nonsense" -- and he's been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
He also will lose the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympics and all other titles, awards, and money he won from August 1998 forward.
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough,'" Armstrong said. "For me, that time is now."
The 40-year-old maintains his innocence, calling the USADA's case against him "an unconstitutional witch hunt" and saying its handling of his case was "one-sided and unfair."
Just months after the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles ended a years-long investigation into doping allegations by Lance Armstrong without bringing criminal charges, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has brought formal charges against him, alleging that the former cyclist engaged in a massive doping conspiracy from 1998-2011.
In a letter dated June 12 and obtained by The Washington Post, USADA alleges that Armstrong used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, and masking agents, and distributed and administered drugs to others.
USADA is an agency that oversees anti-doping in Olympic sports. It has the authority to bring charges that could lead to suspension from competition and the rescinding of awards, which means these charges could cost Armstrong his seven Tour de France titles. The agency lacks the authority to bring criminal charges.
Armstrong's publicist released his statement today:
I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence. Any fair consideration of these allegations has and will continue to vindicate me.