Lance Armstrong is no longer scheduled to compete in the U.S. Masters Swimming. The disgraced athlete who was banned from cycling for life by the Anti-Doping Agency was originally set to compete against other swimmers this coming weekend, but now he is forced to withdraw from the swimming event in his hometown of Austin after the International Swimming Federation (FINA) ruled he should be banned from the event.
Rob Butcher, executive director of U.S. Masters Swimming, explained the situation in a statement to CNN, "The word back is that he is not eligible to participate in our competition because FINA follows the WADA code -- the World Anti-Doping Authority code." He added, "So the takeaway is: while he has entered and you'll see him on a heat sheet, he is not eligible to participate in that event. Or any other U.S.M.S competition."
Butcher said he had notified Armstrong's camp about the issue and the cyclist was allegedly willing to back out of the event set to take place April 5-7. Butcher said, "After giving them this news, his people, not talking to him directly but his management team, said, 'You know what: we don't want to cause harm to your organization. We're not trying to create a sideshow circus for you guys. He's just going to withdraw or not show up for the event.' "
Armstrong himself had been hyping up his upcoming return to competition world on his Twitter and he seemed to be disgruntled by how things turned out. He said as quoted by New York Times, "I was told all along that I was more than welcome to compete in masters meets by U.S.M.S. Then all of a sudden, I'm not welcome? I don't get it."