Posted by Editoress on 02/16/11
Lance Armstrong announced his retirement yesterday during an interview with the Associated Press. While the seven-time Tour winner had stated previously that last month's Tour Down Under would be his final international event, he left the door open for racing in the U.S. That door now appears to have been shut.
Armstrong returned to racing in 2009 after retiring in 2005 following his seventh straight Tour de France victory. He confounded experts with a remarkable third place in the Tour that year - an excellent result for anyone but Armstrong.
"I can't say I have any regrets," he told AP. " It's been an excellent ride. I really thought I was going to win another Tour, then I lined up like everybody else and wound up third."
Last year didn't go as well on his new RadioShack-sponsored team, when Armstrong finished 23rd after multiple crashes. "I have no regrets about last year, either. The crashes, the problems with the bike - those were things that were beyond my control."
Armstrong's final years in the sport have been overshadowed by allegations of a systematic doping program, accusations by disgraced former team mate Floyd Landis, and an investigation by federal investigator Jeff Novitzky. So far, no allegations have been substantiated, and Armstrong can still point to an unbroken string of negative doping controls. He still denies any allegations of wrongdoing.
"I can't control what goes on in regards to the investigation," Armstrong said in the AP interview. "That's why I hire people to help me with that. I try not to let it bother me and just keep rolling right along. I know what I know. I know what I do and I know what I did. That's not going to change."
He also rejected a move into politics, saying that it would take time and focus away from his Livestrong foundation, which raises funds to fight cancer.
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