Lance Armstrong denied chance to return to competitive sport
Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from the swimming event in Texas that was to mark his return to competitive sport.
Last Updated: 05/04/13 6:29am
Armstrong was due to compete in the Masters South Central Zone swimming championships but his entry to the competition was opposed by the sport's governing body FINA and he eventually decided to pull out.
The disgraced cyclist, who admitted doping throughout his career, was planning to race in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 yard freestyle events.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories last year and eventually made a tearful admission that he had cheated to American talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
The FINA statement read: "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's spokesman Mark Higgins said: "As of (Wednesday) evening, we were told he was welcome. That position changed and we were told he could not compete, so Lance will not be swimming."