Armstrong Banned From Riding George Hincapie Gran Fondo

According to a statement by USA Cycling, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has been barred from participating in the non-competitive Gran Fondo Hincapie as it comes under the umbrella of USA Cycling.

The Gran Fondo Hincapie, which is named after George Hincapie, is a 128 km touring trek set for this weekend around Greenville.

USA Cycling spokesman Bill Kellick said USA Cycling has informed USADA that the Hincapie Gran Fondo constitutes a cycling ‘activity’ that is ‘authorized’ by USA Cycling as those terms are used in the World Anti-Doping Code and in the Anti-Doping provisions of the UCI (International Cycling Union) Cycling Regulations and added under these provisions, an athlete’s suspension bars participation in an authorized activity such as this. Kellick added the UCI has confirmed USA Cycling’s interpretation and added that the World Anti-Doping Code vests jurisdiction in UCI and in USADA to determine whether an athlete has violated the terms of any suspension, as well as to assess any sanctions that might accompany an adverse determination. The USA Cycling spokesman said USA Cycling was asked by the US Anti-Doping Agency to look into the matter after it learned that Lance Armstrong was planning to ride and reunite with several of his teammates, including George Hincapie.

A number of current professionals competing in the race, including Larry Warbasse expressed disappointment with the statement of USA Cycling. Warbasse said he doesn’t think Armstrong is the evil guy he has been depicted to be, in all these books and movies, but he supposes that is ultimately going to be left up for people to decide for themselves. Warbasse said Lance took the brunt of the USADA investigation, much harder than anyone else and in his opinion, and he might deserve a bit of a break.

Hincapie said the Fondo is not supposed to have an intended or implied message; at least that’s not what we are shooting for. The former cyclist said it is just a celebration of cycling with friends and fans that also support what we feel are important causes. The former teammate of Armstrong said he knows he had made mistakes along with some of the other riders in attendance, but he believes in, and hope for, second chances for everyone and added he is very fortunate to count many former and current professionals as friends, and will leave it to his peers to decide how they regard me, and the event.

In 2013, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping. He was handed out a life ban from the sport and admitted that all his seven consecutive Tour de France wins were fuelled by performance-enhancing drugs. During a television interview broadcast with American talk show host Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, Armstrong admitted to using substances like Testosterone, EPO, Human growth hormone, and other drugs for dominating international cycling. The Texan also admitted that he bullied others who accused him of being a cheat and repeatedly denied he ever used banned performance enhancing drugs.

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