Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/16/14
Lance Armstrong, who is serving a lifetime ban from Olympic sports, was hoping to return to athletic competition by participating in a swimming event, but swimming’s international federation put a stop to his comeback to sports. Banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, Armstrong planned to compete in three events in the Masters South Central Zone swimming championships in Austin, Texas this weekend. FINA, the world’s governing body of swimming stepped in before he could get in the water, however, and wrote a letter to the U.S. Masters Swimming officials barring Armstrong from the competition. The letter states that because the organization is sanctioned by FINA, they must follow World Anti-Doping Agency rules. “As of (Wednesday) evening, we were told he was welcome,” Armstrong’s spokesman Mark Higgins said in an email to The Associated Press. “That position changed and we were told he could not compete, so Lance will not be swimming.” U.S. Masters Swimming does not drug test and until FINA made their ruling, Armstrong was scheduled to compete in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle events. The 41-year-old was among the top qualifiers in the 40-44 age group in those long-distance events.
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