Seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong says he will not go to arbitration with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which says Armstrong has been using performance-enhancing drugs since 1996 and should be banned from cycling for life and stripped of his titles
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For me, that time is now," Armstrong said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."
"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999," he said. "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."
USADA reacted quickly and treated Armstrong's decision as an admission of guilt, hanging the label of drug cheat on an athlete who was a hero to thousands for overcoming life-threatening testicular cancer and for his foundation's support for cancer research.
"It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and athletes," Tygart said. "It's a heartbreaking example of win at all costs overtaking the fair and safe option. There's no success in cheating to win."
Tygart said the agency can strip the Tour titles, though Armstrong disputed that as he insisted his decision is not an admission of drug use, but a refusal to enter an arbitration process he believes is unfair.