Lance Armstrong returns to competitive sports as swimmer

The disgraced cyclist will compete in a US Masters event, which does not test for performance enhancing drugs

By Prachi Gupta

Published April 4, 2013 1:00PM (EDT)

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who in 2012 was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after it was discovered he was using performance enhancing drugs, is returning to competitive sports--as a swimmer. Armstrong, 41, is set to compete in three races this weekend at the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas.

From the Independent:

Armstrong is billed to compete in freestyle races over 500 yards, 1,000 yards and 1,650 yards at the event held in his home city of Austin.

The meeting is a US Masters Swimming event, and although he is banned for life from all competitions that adhere to either the US Anti-Doping Agency or World Anti-Doping Agency codes, which means all high-profile professional and amateur sport, the low-profile Austin event falls outside those restrictions.

US Masters Swimming does not drug test, and although the organization debated whether athletes caught doping should be allowed to participate, Rob Butcher, executive director of Masters Swimming, told the AP, "We just stick to the fact that our purpose is encouraging adults to swim."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Cycling Lance Armstrong Performance Enhancing Drugs Sports Swimming