Update: Armstrong Pulls Out of Masters Meet After FINA Protest

When the swimming community found out that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was to enter the South Central Zone Masters Championship meet, reactions were mixed. Some were outraged, while others took more of a “live-and-let-live” approach.

FINA, the world’s governing body for swimming, it turns out, fell into the camp of the former.

The National Post reports today that USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher says Armstrong has pulled out of the meet. Though U.S. Masters Swimming is not specifically a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code, it’s umbrella organization FINA is. Though Butcher was quoted as saying that USMS doesn’t fall under the same rules that issued Lance Armstrong a lifetime ban, FINA felt differently.

In a letter to USMS, FINA said that they did, in fact, fall under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Code, even though they don’t drug test.

Armstrong has decided to withdraw from the event after the outcry. He was scheduled to swim the 500, 1000, and 1,650 yard freestyle.

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10 years ago

Let the man swim! Test him if he sets a WR, ban him from swimming if he fails that test.

No harm done letting him swim/compete in low level stuff like USMS. It’ll help grow the SPORT!

Any USMS publicity is good publicity in this case.

10 years ago

Unfortunately, if he wanted to make hundreds of millions off of cheating, lies and harassment, he will be made into an example. He is just lying in the bed he made. (bed=pile of sh*t) Zero tolerance for cheating. Zero.

10 years ago

There’s a really good reason why Rob Butcher made such an extraordinary effort to publicly recruit Lance Armstrong. Rob wanted more people like himself to join USMS.

10 years ago

It is a sad state of affairs when people crucified (at least in this site) Ye Shiwen for daring to swim fractionally faster in the last 50 than Loche did and for being chinese, while defending furiously a proven outright psychotic cheater like Lance Armstrong.

Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago


Reply to  aswimfan
10 years ago

as a rule women can’t swim as fast as men. the olympic qualifying time for men was 48.82, the olympic selection time was 50. the winning women’s time was 53 flat. no woman in the world would even be close to qualifying for the olympics, or even close to doing well at olympic trials (as in dead last for men was 52.79.

so there’s a big gap, so it’s surprising to see a woman doing any part of any race as fast as a man did, and which is why i thought she was very suspicious. i would still think she is doping if i hadn’t realized that a) the difference between a really good split and a tired… Read more »

10 years ago

Why doesn’t he host his own events/races? He can do all the sports.
Call it “Livestrong – Race Against Lance”. How many people would sign up for that?
Sound like money in the bank. Hopefully he won’t ban himself from competition.

10 years ago

This is unfortunate and not right in my opinion but I am glad to see that Lance pulled out didn’t make this a huge deal for USMS. I think that shows respect to the swimming community and that he just wants to find someplace to compete.
It may be too soon as someone said earlier. Maybe after some time passes and the USADA and WADA ruin some other big names for what many would consider ” just trying to keep the playing field level” things will ease for him.

Is it really cheating if everyone is doing it? (was that a fly kick on the end of the breast kick or just natural body moment?) Sit in the high… Read more »

10 years ago

Guys a d-bag and deserves anything negative thrown his way.

10 years ago

I love Lance defenders. It is clear they have read nothing about what Lance did. They just continue to spew how great he was and how he helped people with cancer. Lance ruined people’s lives. He literally ruined people’s cycling careers if they refused to dope or if they got caught doping which he insisted that they do. He ruined the lives of anyone that dared to question him full well knowing that he was defrauding everyone and doping.

He should not be allowed to swim. If he cooperates with USADA, then they can determine a reasonable ban after which he can return to competing. Until then, he needs to sit out every single event.

Reply to  Liz
10 years ago

Liz- not everyone that thinks its ok for him to swim masters is a “Lance defender”. He could be banned from every sport he may want to participate in but is that necessary? Let him go about his life and hopefully find some way to redeem himself for all the hurt he caused.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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