• Cycling

Armstrong withdraws from swimming event

ESPN staff
April 4, 2013
Lance Armstrong's entry to the event had been accepted © PA Photos

Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from this weekend's Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships after the sport's international governing body raised objections.

The disgraced cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after being given a life ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency for use of performance-enhancing drugs, was scheduled to take part in three swimming events at the University of Texas.

US Masters Swimming chief executive Rob Butcher revealed the organisation is not covered by the same anti-doping rules used by USADA, therefore enabling Armstrong to compete.

However, US Masters Swimming is supervised by FINA - the international swimming federation - which in turn is covered by USADA rules, and was pushing to block Armstrong from competing. Rule 15.1 of the USADA code says any athlete convicted of doping offences is not allowed to take part in sanctioned competitions.

FINA wrote to USMS, and said in a statement: "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."

Butcher said Armstrong made the decision to pull out himself.

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