Lance Armstrong (USA) during stage nineteen of the 2009 Tour de France between Bourgoin-Jailleu and Aubenas
Courtesy of: Stephane Mantey/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports
PHOENIX, Arizona, April 4. LANCE Armstrong will not compete this weekend at the South Central Zone Masters championships, withdrawing from the meet on his own accord today.

Dallas TV station CBS 11 first reported on Armstrong's withdrawal, citing United States Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher. The news comes shortly after FINA sent a letter to USMS requesting that Armstrong's entries in the meet be removed.

Armstrong was was set to compete in three events this weekend, his first official Masters meet after being a registered member for many years.


FINA's letter was also sent to USA Swimming and United States Aquatic Sports. The announcement to speak out against Armstrong's participation comes from an interpretation of FINA Rule DC 15.1, which states: "Subject to the right to appeal provided in DC 13, the Testing, therapeutic use exemptions and hearing results or other final adjudications of any Signatory to the Code which are consistent with the Code and are within the Signatory's authority, shall be recognised and respected by FINA and its Member Federations.(...)"

Essentially, because USMS is a FINA Member Federation and FINA accepts USADA's lifetime ban, then USMS should recognize the USADA ban because the parent organization has done so.

Rob Butcher, Executive Director of USMS, has repeatedly stated to the media that the organization will not put up any roadblocks to prevent Armstrong from swimming in Masters meets.

Full text of the FINA press release

Following reports on the media referring the participation of Mr. Lance Armstrong in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships in Texas (USA), FINA would like to clarify that:

1. This national competition is under the jurisdiction of the US Masters Swimming;

2. FINA Rule DC 15.1 states:

"Subject to the right to appeal provided in DC 13, the Testing, therapeutic use exemptions and hearing results or other final adjudications of any Signatory to the Code which are consistent with the Code and are within the Signatory's authority, shall be recognised and respected by FINA and its Member Federations.(...)"

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.

Full text of CBS 11 article