Armstrong questioned USADA jurisdiction in the matter, saying, “At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.”
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks threw out Armstrong’s case but noted that
USADA’s “conduct raises serious questions about whether its real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting according to less noble motives.”
Armstrong had the option of going to arbitration but announced late Thursday that he would stop contesting the matter.
“The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense,” he said.
Armstrong shared a familiar defense Thursday, noting that he had been tested his entire career in a variety of ways and results never showed conclusively that he violated any rules, even though whispers, rumors and allegations mounted in recent years.
“Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?” he said.
USADA oversees anti-doping efforts in Olympic sports in the United States. The agency does not have the authority to bring criminal charges but is empowered to levy charges that result in suspensions and the rescinding of awards.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles investigated doping allegations against Armstrong for nearly two years, ending its probe in February without filing any criminal charges.
While the record books soon will likely no longer reflect that Armstrong ever won a Tour de France, the cyclist apparently is at peace with his career and accomplishments.
“I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. . . . Nobody can ever change that,” he said.
Armstrong had spent years cultivating his wildly successful and familiar brand around the idea of perseverance and overcoming adversity. Armstrong won his first Tour de France title in 1999, three years after he had testicular cancer diagnosed. His fame transcended the sports world, as his books became bestsellers and his foundation raised millions of dollars with its iconic yellow “Livestrong” bracelets.
Armstrong said he will focus his efforts on his foundation, which he says has raised nearly $500 million to fight cancer.
“We have a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report