Los Angeles – Chicago Marathon director Carey Pinkowski confirmed Friday that the ban meted out to Lance Armstrong by the US Anti-Doping Agency means the cyclist can't run in the race.
Pinkowski issued a statement after Armstrong spokesman Mark Fabiani told Runnersworld.com that the cyclist and cancer activist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life for multiple doping infractions by Usada, had been told he couldn't enter the October 7 event.
“Usada's lifetime ban prohibits Lance Armstrong from entering races sanctioned by USA Track and Field, which applies to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, as well as all competitions governed by USA Track and Field,” Pinkowski said in a statement, although Pinkowski said Armstrong had not actually submitted an entry.
“The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has had no direct contact with Lance Armstrong, nor had he submitted a formal registration to participate in the race.”
Pinkowski told the Chicago Tribune that there had been “some indication from his charity” that Armstrong might have been interested in participating.
Armstrong ran the New York Marathon in 2006 and 2007 and the Boston Marathon in 2008.
Usada announced last month that Armstrong – now retired from elite level cycling – would be banned for life and stripped of his record seven Tour titles after the American opted not to fight the doping charges brought by the agency in June through arbitration.
Usada said Armstrong will forfeit all titles, medals and prizes earned from August 1, 1998.
Armstrong has denied doping throughout his career and called USADA's pursuit of him a “witch hunt” but the sanctions bar him from any events governed by bodies – like USA Track and Field – that have signed the World Anti-Doping Code.
Livestrong chief executive Doug Ulman issued a statement Friday calling such restrictions “frustrating” in their potential effect on charitable fundraising.
“Lance has helped the foundation raise nearly $500 million for the fight against cancer,” Ulman said. “It's frustrating and unfortunate that this decision could affect the foundation's grassroots fundraising efforts...
“When Lance participates in a Team Livestrong event, it honours team members' efforts and fuels their ability to raise more dollars for the foundation's work.”
Since Usada announced the sanctions, Armstrong has raced in a low-key mountain bike race in Colorado and appeared at a conference on cancer in Canada, where he told a supportive audience: “My name is Lance Armstrong, I'm a cancer survivor... and yes, I won the Tour de France seven times.” – Sapa-AFP