FINA objects to Lance Armstrong swim event entry

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Lance Armstrong AP FILE PHOTO

PARIS—Swimming’s world governing body on Thursday said it had written to organizers of a regional swimming championships in the United States, requesting that shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong be barred from competing.

FINA said in a statement from its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, that it was aware of reports that the Texan rider was scheduled to take part in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships in his home town of Austin this weekend.

The 41-year-old was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and banned for life last year after a damning US Anti-Doping Agency report said he orchestrated the biggest doping programme in the history of sport.

He subsequently admitted taking a cocktail of banned substances throughout his career.

Organizers of the Austin swim had said they had received no objections about Armstrong competing.

But FINA pointed out that the event was a national competition that came under the jurisdiction of the US Masters Swimming, which is an affiliate of the US Aquatic Sports governing body that represents the country in FINA.

As such, it was subject to FINA’s rules barring any competitor found guilty of doping, the organization said.

“Therefore, FINA wrote a letter to the US Masters Swimming (with copy to US Aquatic Sports and USA Swimming) requesting not to accept the entry of Mr Lance Armstrong in the above mentioned competition.”

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