Former 7-time Tour-de-France Champion Lance Armstrong has been banned from professional cycling, USA Swimming, and most other top-level sporting organizations after admitting to repeated use of performance-enhancing drugs during his illustrious career. Namely, any organization that falls under the umbrella of WADA – the World Anti-Doping Agency – is required by their signature on the World Anti-Doping Code to forbid Armstrong’s participation.
Among the largest sporting organizations, however, that are not subject to those rules is U.S. Masters Swimming, and according to the Austin American Statesman, that is where Armstrong will seek his new competitive outlet.
Armstrong was a very good swimmer as a child, and after his cycling career ended, he became a high-level competitive triathlete. He’s even swum in at least one USA Swimming sanctioned meet in the last few years: the Longhorn Aquatics 2012 New Years Invitational.
Swimming against mostly high school swimmers, he placed 21st in the 500 yard free in 5:08.11. That’s roughly 30 seconds away from the age group record for the 41-year old Armstrong, but still a good time.
According to the psych sheets (which you can see here), Armstrong will swim both the 500 yard free again, and this time add the 1000 and 1650 yard freestyles: the two longest events on the schedule. He is the 3rd seed in the 500 and the 1650, and the 2nd seed in the 1000.
Among other recognizable names entered in the meet are former Olympian and World Record holder Jim Montgomery, Ande Rasmussen, Masters World Record holder Steve Wood, and another Masters World Record holder David Guthrie.