Although Lance Armstrong likely won’t achieve his goal of competing in the 2012 Ironman World Championship, he’s not giving up on multi-sport for the year.
The cycling superstar had competed in five half-Ironmans, two of which he won, and had planned on starting at June 24’s Ironman France in hopes of qualifying for the world championship on the Big Island. The week before Ironman France, Armstrong and the world learned that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was opening an investigation against him. The World Triathlon Corporation’s (WTC) rule stating that athletes “under investigation” for alleged doping offenses are suspended from competing in WTC-sanctioned triathlons, such as Ironman, meant that he could not start in Nice.
Just over two months later, Armstrong announced he would no longer fight charges from the USADA and he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. In his statement announcing the decision, he made a commitment “to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.”
Armstrong completed the 36-mile Power of Four Mountain bike race in Colorado just two days after the big announcement, and it looks like his next attempt at fitness may be a triathlon.
The SuperFrog Triathlon is known for being the longest-standing half-iron distance race in the world and takes place in Coronado, Calif. Navy Seals created the event in 1979 as a training opportunity for the Ironman World Championship. The 2012 race will be contended on Sept. 30. Armstrong’s intentions of racing aren’t necessarily out of left field as the race offered an invitation to him back on June 20, before he had decided not to fight the USADA charges.
“We’d simply like to abide by the principle that Lance is innocent until proven guilty,” SuperFrog Race Director Mitch Hall said in a press release back in June. “We also believe that Armstrong’s role as a great American philanthropist aligns well with SuperFrog’s mission to serve as a philanthropic force in the Navy Seal and Special Forces communities.”
The press release included an additional challenge for Armstrong.
“In light of SuperFrog’s charitable mission, SuperFrog also challenges Armstrong to a dual between him and a relay of some of the finest Navy Seals: if Armstrong can beat these Seals by 25 minutes, SuperFrog will donate a portion of its charitable proceeds to the Livestrong Foundation,” the press release stated.
USA Triathlon has not officially said whether or not Armstrong would be allowed to compete in USAT-certified events, but it appears that would not be applicable in this case as SuperFrog is not listed as a USAT-sanctioned race.
Check back to Triathlete.com as we continue to follow this story.
– Photos: Lance Armstrong’s Return To Triathlon
– Lance Armstrong Won’t Fight USADA Charges
– Behind The Lance Ban: A Talk With WTC CEO Andrew Messick
– Armstrong Officially Ineligible For Ironman Events
– Lance Armstrong’s Return To Triathlon: A Timeline
– Triathlon Community Reacts To Lance Armstrong News
– Lance Armstrong Faces Doping Charges From USADA