Ironman athletes react to news Lance Armstrong banned from cycli - News, Weather & Sports

Ironman athletes react to news Lance Armstrong banned from cycling

Posted: Updated:

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Banned for life, that's the decision from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after Lance Armstrong decided to stop fighting the allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs to win.

Around the same time a lot of tri-athletes were getting into Louisville for the Ironman competition, the agency erased Lance Armstrong's 14 year career, just like that.

"It's a shame that the government would go after him instead of bigger fish to fry, I think they have better things to worry about," said Jen Lawrence, Ironman spectator.

Armstrong announced on Thursday that he would no longer fight charges that he used performance enhancing drugs over the years, even though he has always denied the allegations.

On Friday, he was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins. "Title or not, that's in the history books, but to me he's just a champion," said Julie Hausmann, Ironman spectator.

She's not alone, a lot of athletes say they still look up to Armstrong as a hero who they've watched win titles and the battle against cancer.

"I've got my bracelet on," said Ari Whitkin, Ironman participant from Austin, Texas. "I haven't taken it off in two years and it's staying on."

Whether or not you believe the charges against Armstrong are true, Professional tri-athlete Jason Shortis of Australia says performance enhancing drugs are a sad reality of cycling.

"Anyone who thinks that most of those guys who are racing are clean, probably thinks that the tooth fairy still exists," said Shortis.

Prompting many fans to wish, pro-athletes didn't feel the need to boost to get ahead. "I think they need to just step up the testing at that level and have harsher punishments for first or second time offenders," said Scott Minert, Ironman participant from Tallahassee, Florida.

As thousands are about to find out on Sunday, there's nothing like completing this race. "One of the joys of crossing the finish line at a race like this is to know that you did this all on your own," said Whitkin.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.