Lance Armstrong Returns, Goes Swimming in U.S. Masters
Lance Armstrong is set to participate in the U.S. Masters Swimming event over the weekend in Austin, Texas. The organization hosting the event is a national, non-profit that "provides organized workouts, competitions, clinics and workshops for adults 18 years and older."
Armstrong is signed up for three of the longest races in the meet: the 500, 1,000, and 1,650 yard freestyles. Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France and Olympic cycling titles last year when the doping allegations against him turned out to be true. Armstrong was banned from all sports that test for doping, but U.S. Masters Swimming is not monitored by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
According to the Austin American Statesman, early in his career, Armstrong started out as a swimmer in Dallas before focusing on cycling. He will be competing against middle-aged swimmers, the fastest swimmer being a 50-year old who qualifying time is 15 seconds faster than Armstrong.
Prior to his confession of doping, many gave Lance Armstrong the benefit of the doubt. He had beaten the allegations before and competed in a sport with a long history of doping with some of the most stringent drug testing and standards.
Given the doping scandals that have rocked the cycling world, it comes as no surprise that the Olympics are entertaining the idea of banning cycling.
Early on in his career he trained for tri-athalons. He has spent his life being an endurance athlete and active, swimming is a logical choice for him to participate in as he is banned from competing in marathons and cycling.
That should be all that he is able to do. Participate. The executive director of U.S. Masters Swimming said that the purpose of the organization is to encourage adults to swim. So let him participate for the excersise. Any prizes that participates are eligible for should probably be reserved for those who have not made international headlines for cheating.