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Lance Armstrong pulls out of swimming event after FINA objects

April 04, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Lance Armstrong won't be participating in a swimming competition in Texas this weekend after the sports' international federation body objected.
Lance Armstrong won't be participating in a swimming competition… (Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty…)

Lance Armstrong won't be returning to competition this weekend after all.

The disgraced former cyclist, who has been banned for life from all events sanctioned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, decided not to take part in three distance events in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas after objections were raised by FINA, the sport's international federation body.

“He doesn't want to cause any more harm to any more organizations,” U.S. Masters Swimming executive director Rob Butcher told Associated Press. “His interest was around fitness and training. In light of FINA and the other political stuff, he will not be swimming.”

PHOTOS: Lance Armstrong through the years

In the 40-44 age group, Armstrong had the second-best qualifying time in the 1,000-yard freestyle and third-best in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle events.

Butcher said Wednesday that Armstrong could compete because the masters' event did not fall under USADA drug-testing rules. But in a letter to U.S. Masters Swimming, FINA stated that it must recognize the World Anti-Doping Code and not allow Armstrong to compete.

Armstrong admitted in a January interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used steroids and other banned performance-enhancing substances and methods during his career, including his seven Tour de France championships.

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