Armstrong Blocked From Swim Event

Governing body denies participation

Caty Enders

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Despite the buzz surrounding his return to competitive sports, Lance Armstrong will not compete in a masters swim competition in his hometown of Austin, Texas, this week. Swimming’s governing body, FINA, has instructed the organizers of the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships to block his participation, citing doping sanctions.

Initially, it seemed that the 41-year-old athlete had been able to work around the World Anti-doping Agency’s lifetime ban, which, the organizers said, did not apply. FINA, according to, did not see it that way:

FINA, alerted to Armstrong’s planned participation as a result of media coverage, wrote to organisers US Masters Swimming and said that the event did fall under its umbrella, and cited its rule 15.1, which outlines that athletes serving a doping ban cannot compete and that anti-doping sanctions must be respected.

Armstrong had been seeded second or third in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle events.

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