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Lance Armstrong Withdraws From Masters Swim After FINA Pressure

Lance Armstrong withdrew from a Masters swimming meet after the sport’s governing body said he should be banned from the event for his confessed drug cheating in cycling.

Rob Butcher, executive director of U.S. Masters Swimming, said Armstrong’s agent informed him this morning that the former cyclist would pull out of three events at the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas after objections from the sport’s federation, which goes by the French acronym FINA.

After talks with FINA, “we informed Lance’s team that he’s not eligible to compete in our events,” Butcher said in a telephone interview. “He can still swim in USMS practices.”

Masters events are for older swimmers. Armstrong, 41, was entered in the 40-44 age group, the Associated Press said.

Lausanne, Switzerland-based FINA said in a statement the event is subject to the lifetime ban Armstrong received from Olympic-connected sports after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation documented drug use throughout his career.

Bill Stapleton, Armstrong’s agent, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on the decision.

Armstrong said in a television interview that he’d used banned substances and methods throughout his career, which included seven Tour de France wins.

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