Lance Armstrong to Swim at South Central Zone Masters Championships

  16 Braden Keith | April 03rd, 2013 | Featured, Masters, News

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 MontgomeryAnde Rasmussen, Masters World Record holder Steve Wood, and another Masters World Record holder David Guthrie.


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16 Comments on "Lance Armstrong to Swim at South Central Zone Masters Championships"

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3 years 5 months ago

I hear Michelle Smith is up to some interesting too.


Cm e
3 years 5 months ago

The swimmers need to begin drug testing and get rid of that pitiful human being, Lance Armstrong. He found a sport that doesn’t drug test, so so sad.

3 years 5 months ago

US Masters need to kick out this psychotic individual ..

sentient being
3 years 5 months ago

honestly, it was very upsetting what he did, but to HATE him and to disregard the hard training that he still went through (since there is no miracle drug that automatically wins the tour de france for you) along with his livestrong campaign, makes you look pathetic. this man and everyone else needs to move on. if he wants to compete in something else with another chance, let him.

3 years 5 months ago

maybe i’m not harsh enough but i think it’s a little unfair what they are doing to lance. he doped in cycling, so he should be banned for life in cycling, and maybe triathalon because there’s biking in that. but to ban him from all sports related to the WADA……that seems tough

i think each person has a right to compete in sports until they get themselves kicked out of that sport. he lost his chance in cycling, but should they permanently take away any chance he has of training with USA swimming or track and field? strip him of his titles, take away his reward money but to kick him out of almost every sport all across the world is unfair

Kirk Nelson
3 years 5 months ago

I feel like I should care about this, but my true feeling is let the guy swim. It’s masters, for goodness sake. I’m as competitive as the next guy, but if someone really wants to take performance enhancing drugs to win or set a record in masters swimming it’s just pitiful. I doubt Lance is doping now. He probably just wants to compete. Should we deny him that?

David Guthrie
3 years 5 months ago

First, Rob Butcher is a phenomenal leader and I have 100% confidence in his judgment and ability to navigate through the most complex challenges. This is one of them. USMS is in a tough position, facing enormous external pressure to act beyond its own rules. I respect his restraint.

If there’s a polar opposite in sports from the upper echelons of pro cycling and its “win at all cost” mentality, it’s Masters Swimming. Masters isn’t about fame and money and runaway egos. (Are there cheaters? Of course. And as Kirk said, they’re pathetic.) But at its core, it is truly about people who share the love of their sport, regardless of ability, striving to improve themselves and helping others do the same, enjoying some amazing friendships in the process.

I believe Lance is clean now and he isn’t barred by USMS rules. My mind is conflicted, but my gut reaction is to welcome him.

If Masters Swimming becomes known as a place where people who have done terrible things in the past can redeem themselves, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, would it?

3 years 5 months ago

The BBC today is reporting that Armstrong has been withdrawn from this meet after FINA has filed a protest directly to USMS.
Why do I have to go to England to get my news???

Kirk Nelson
3 years 5 months ago

Probably the best possible outcome. USMS doesn’t really need the kerfuffle.

coach bambam
3 years 5 months ago
Let Lance Swim
3 years 5 months ago

Let him swim. I hate what he did. I hate liars and cheaters, but I hate USA Swimming and FINA more. If USMS rules do not prevent Armstrong from swimming – LET HIM SWIM. USA Swimming does not follow their posted rules and regulations – they prevent eligible athletes from competing – they promote cheating – they encourage cheating – then they cover up. What’s the difference between them and Armstrong?

If FINA did file a protest directly to USMS – USMS should ignore it – or shelve it for years like USA Swimming. Armstrong should file a protest to swim.

Adam L. Vanek
3 years 5 months ago

I was feeling sorry for the guy until a friend sent me the twitter pic Lance indignantly put up of himself lying on his couch with the 7 framed jerseys adorning the walls while he was under federal investigation. I can’t say it’s right to blackball the guy from masters swimming, but I can understand why people want a pound of flesh from this guy. More importantly, I hope all those swimming in the South Central Masters Zones nail their starts and turns. I want to hear about best times from everyone and not about some self-absorbed guy who cheated. Swimming is better than that!

3 years 5 months ago

I think “psychotic” and “pathetic” are VERY strong words to be throwing out there about an individual that has done so much for not only the cycling world but also started a solid charitable organization. He has inspired many people through the years. Whether you see his achievements in cycling as a fraud or not, you can’t disrespect the good he has done with his fame. Cycling in the US was rarely ever covered before he became a star. This is similar to swimming before Phelps.

I will admit that I have not followed the WADA scandal as closely as maybe some of you have but to me there was no tactical advantage to Lance fighting this any longer. I think Lance has very strong tactical skills and thoughts, if you have ever watched him cycle he was smart about his attacks on his competitors. This is a fight he wasn’t going to win in any easy fashion and there was nothing monetarily to gain from it.

If they didn’t catch him back then, why are we going back and re-hashing this? How can we even be sure of any of this testing at this point? Why should he spend any of his hard earned money defending something that shouldn’t even being questioned?

Put yourself in his shoes, you are not going to be making any more “huge” money like he has in the past at this point in his life. He would have had to spend millions of dollars in lawyer’s fees to fight an organization that wasn’t going to stop pursuing him. WADA needed to “take down” a star to justify its existence. Everyone knows that the cycling community at this time was plagued with doping. If you didn’t do it you were not competitive, that is just the plain unfortunate truth of that era. It is horrible and I don’t like or agree with it but that is what it was. So to go back and attack him now is just not right to me.

As Sentient Being said above there is no miracle drug that made him win the Tour De France. He AND his team mates did the work to win those races. Similarly, I remember a story back when suits were the big story in swimming around the time of the Olympics a reporter was asking an Italian swimmer about what suit he was going to be wearing and he was a little angered I guess by all of the press the suits story was getting so he took out a suit and threw it in the water and said something to the effect that I don’t see that suit going very fast at all. So there was some very hard work and a lot of years of dedication to a tough sport that got Lance to that point, not to mention that he beat testicular cancer as well.

I have to say I was very disappointed and very sad the day that he relented and admitted his guilt but, I also believe there was no other choice for him then or now. The only difference is that back then he was a winner and now he is a loser in that fight.

I think Lance is a competitor and just wants to compete in sports to the highest level he can. I too doubt he is doping at this point in his life. If he wants to get out with the people that love the sport more than anyone else, and enjoy the competitions and friendships that develop, then go to it and God Bless him. How many people would continue to be seen in public after something like this?

Let him be and don’t throw ugly words his way. He doesn’t have to be your hero, but you haven’t walked in his shoes so don’t cast stones. I think he has done an enormous amount of good with his fame and that is more than I can say for a lot of “celebrities”. Save pathetic and psychotic for the Lindsey Lohans of the world.

3 years 5 months ago

FINA fight with USMS to kick him out of this competition. Amstrong finally dismissed this week from that competition.

3 years 5 months ago
3 years 5 months ago

This is absolutely ridiculous and goes against everything masters swimming stands for. Is Lance not allowed to be healthy and fit anymore because of something he did in another sport?? I thought swimming would be classier than how they have conducted themselves thus far. Furthermore, if he wasn’t allowed to compete-why did they even let him register? Make a decision and stick with it (which is pretty hard for FINA to do as evident from breastroke rule changes over the last 10 years).
But I pulled this DIRECTLY off the masters swimming site

U.S. Masters Swimming

Mission Statement
To promote fitness and health in adults by offering and supporting Masters swimming programs.

Goals and Objectives
To encourage and promote improved physical fitness and health in adults
To offer adults the opportunity to participate in lifelong fitness and/or competitive swimming program
To encourage organizations and communities to establish and sponsor Masters swimming programs
To enhance fellowship and camaraderie among Masters swimmers
To stimulate research in the sociology, psychology, and physiology of Masters swimmers

Vision Statement
Provide consistently superior services to our members and clubs
Provide the leadership tools to our local and national volunteers to enrich their lives by participation in Masters swimming
Educate our members and the community at large about the benefits of swimming
Actively seek to enrich as many lives as possible through programs, recruitment and member retention
Pursue opportunities for adults to swim and clubs to form and be successful


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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