Armstrong reported to have pulled out of swim event in Texas
Fina asks organisers to bar disgraced cyclist from low-key meet in home city of Austin
Lance Armstrong looks set to abandon his plans to return to competitive sport this week
Lance Armstrong looks set to abandon his plans to return to competitive sport this week after swimming’s world governing body objected to his participation in an event in his home town of Austin.
The disgraced American cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after being part of a doping scandal, had been entered for the US Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships, which takes place at the University of Texas.
US Masters Swimming executive director Rob Butcher was not immediately available for comment, but reports this afternoon claimed Armstrong had now withdrawn from the meeting.
Although he is banned for life from all competitions that adhere to either the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) or World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) codes, it was thought the low-profile US Masters Swimming event fell outside those restrictions. However, world governing body FINA today released a statement making clear that the event remains under its jurisdiction and is therefore subject to the ban in place.
Fina said: “Following reports on the media referring the participation of Mr. Lance Armstrong in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships in Texas (USA), FINA would like to clarify that: 1. This national competition is under the jurisdiction of the US Masters Swimming; 2. FINA Rule DC 15.1 states: ”Subject to the right to appeal provided in DC 13, the Testing, therapeutic use exemptions and hearing results or other final adjudications of any Signatory to the Code which are consistent with the Code and are within the Signatory’s authority, shall be recognised and respected by FINA and its Member Federations.(...)
“Therefore, FINA wrote a letter to the US Masters Swimming (with copy to US Aquatic Sports and USA Swimming) requesting not to accept the entry of Mr Lance Armstrong in the above mentioned competition”.
Armstrong, who came clean on his doping past in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey in January, was due to contest the 1,650-yard freestyle tomorrow night, and was also pencilled in for freestyle races over 500 and 1,000 yards.