610SPOR2 35h_CBSSportsRad_Houston

News

Armstrong Takes Part In Bike Race Amid Controversy

View Comments
Cycling's most famous face - Lance Armstrong. (credit: Gail Oskin/Getty Images)

Cycling’s most famous face – Lance Armstrong. (credit: Gail Oskin/Getty Images)

Featured Items

77820352_810 Reasons The LLWS Needs To Go Away

Small-WttJJ Watt Talks Contract & Quips "Commercials Only Pay So Much"

77820352_8Meet The 6-10s

136535896 Armstrong Takes Part In Bike Race Amid Controversy WATCH: Texans Cheerleaders Take Ice Bucket Challenge

From Our CBS Music Sites

77820352_8Watch: Texans Cheerleaders Spoof Arian Foster

77820352_8Watch: JJ Watt’s NEW Fantasy Football Commercial

77820352_8PHOTOS: Maxim's List Of The 50 Hottest Celebs

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — For a few hours, Lance Armstrong was back in his element — on a bike and in a race.

No controversies, little fanfare.

The escape Saturday into the mountains around Aspen, Colo., comes a day after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency disciplined Armstrong with a lifetime ban from professional cycling and vacated his seven Tour de France titles after deciding he used performance-enhancing drugs.

There were only a handful of fans at the start of the Power of Four mountain bike competition, a 36-mile trek that includes plenty of climbing.

Asked if he was ready, Armstrong smiled and said, “I hope so. … This is going to be hard for all of us.”

Decked out in black and gold and sporting a Livestrong emblem on his jersey, Armstrong tinkered with his bike and gave a kiss to girlfriend Anna Hansen before pedaling off.

His busy weekend includes a marathon Sunday. He may be banned from cycling, but it hasn’t diminished his passion for competition.

These weekend races may have to suffice.

Armstrong, who retired a year ago and turns 41 next month, said Thursday he would no longer challenge USADA and declined to exercise his last option by entering arbitration. He denied again that he took banned substances in his career, calling USADA’s investigation a “witch hunt” without any physical evidence.

USADA said its evidence came from more than a dozen witnesses “who agreed to testify and provide evidence about their firsthand experience and/or knowledge of the doping activity of those involved in the USPS conspiracy,” a reference to Armstrong’s former U.S. Postal Service cycling team.

The unidentified witnesses said they knew or had been told by Armstrong himself that he had “used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone” from before 1998 through 2005, and that he had previously used EPO, testosterone and Human Growth Hormone through 1996, USADA said. Armstrong also allegedly handed out doping products and encouraged banned methods — and used “blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions” during his 2009 comeback race on the Tour de France.

USADA chief executive Travis Tygart described the investigation as a battle against a “win-at-all-cost culture,” adding that the International Cycling Union was “bound to recognize our decision and impose it.”

Fans defended Armstrong on Twitter, insisting his work with Livestrong trumps what he accomplished on a bike. His success helped sell millions of “Livestrong” yellow plastic bracelets as he promoted cancer awareness and research. He’s raised nearly $500 million since the Lance Armstrong Foundation started in 1997.

On Friday alone, the foundation said it received 400 donations that totaled around $75,000.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 24,643 other followers