Road Cycling

Lance Armstrong is Now Officially Allowed to Compete Again After Ban Partially Lifted

...just not in cycling

Photograph: Wikipedia

Lance Armstrong is now officially allowed to compete again after his ban from the 2012 US Anti-Doping Agency was partially lifted – but he still can’t return to cycling competition.

Armstrong had all seven of his Tour de France titles taken away when he was initially handed the ban, and while he still remains suspended from cycling competitively for life, the part of his ban which barred him from competing in other sporting disciplines expired at the end of August.

Previously, Armstrong has looked at running marathons, which he was unable to do due to the fact that the Chicago marathon was sanctioned by USA Track and Field, and he had to drop out of the U.S Masters swimming event in Austin, Texas due to the involvement of governing bodies also.

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USADA spokesman Ryan Madden told USA Today Sports: “He can compete in a sanctioned event at a national or regional level in a sport other than cycling that does not qualify him… to compete in a national championship or international event.”

Armstrong turns 45 years old on September 18 though, and has stated in the past that his competing days are behind him, though with someone as controversial and fiercely competitive as Lance, it’d surprise nobody to see him lining up in some format in the near future.

“I am now 45 years old and just exercise these days for general fitness and for my sanity,” he told USA Today.

Armstrong also signalled his intent to launch a new endurance-based ventured called WEDU though, which would offer events in which he would compete. He was also active in triathlons before being banned for excessive drug use on August 24 2012.

Lance famously admitted to doping after over 10 years of fighting allegations, confessing in January 2013 and causing an absolute uproar in the world of cycling and far, far beyond. Armstrong is still fighting a federal civil case that could reportedly cost up to $100 million if it doesn’t go his way.

Armstrong understandably retains a keen interest in the cycling world and has even still been taking to Twitter to stir the pot in recent months – tweeting a reminder of Fabian Cancellara’s drug accusations after the Swiss man won the Olympic gold last month.

We imagine the expiration of this part of Lance’s ban will open up a lot of less prevalent, non-elite level competitions in which he may be tempted to compete, but don’t expect to see him lining up against Chris Froome or Nairo Quintana anytime soon.

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