AUSTIN, Texas, April 3. LANCE Armstrong, who has been banned from professional cycling, is going to the one place where he can still stoke his competitive fire: the swimming pool.
The Austin American-Statesman first reported the news of Armstrong's participation in this weekend's South Central Zone Masters championships in an article published today. The meet will take place in Armstrong's home town of Austin, Texas.
As Swimming World previously reported in January, Armstrong is able to participate in Masters swimming competitions. The lifetime ban imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency earlier this year after Armstrong refused to dispute claims of doping does not apply to Masters swimming, since USADA does not monitor United States Masters Swimming competitions. Additionally, Masters swimmers are not drug tested, no matter the level of competition.
Armstrong will compete in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyles this weekend. After retiring from professional cycling, Armstrong participated in various triathlons, harking back to his days as a young swimmer. Armstrong has been a member of USMS for years, but has not competed in any official Masters races. In January 2012, he raced in an age-group meet, posting a 5:08.11 in the 500-yard freestyle.
Armstrong's USMS membership could be revoked if a grievance was filed against him, but no such claim has officially been made. Sources have told Swimming World since Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey in January that they had planned to file a grievance. But two of them, who are current Masters swimmers and asked that their names be withheld, told Swimming World today that they would only file a grievance if Armstrong broke a national or world record.