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Lance Armstrong's doping past got him kicked out of the pool. Armstrong was forced to withdraw Thursday from the Masters South Central Zone Championships this weekend after swimming's international federation raised objections to his participation.
The US Anti-Doping Agency banned Armstrong from sanctioned competition for life for his use of performance-enhancing drugs during a cycling career that included seven Tour de France titles. US Masters Swimming executive director Rob Butcher had said Wednesday that Armstrong, who is a US Masters Swimming member, would be allowed to compete in his 40-44 age group because the event did not fall under USADA drug testing rules. But FINA, swimming's international federation, sent a letter to US Masters Swimming officials, saying that because US Masters Swimming is under its umbrella as a sanctioning body, it must recognize the World Anti-Doping Code and bar Armstrong from competition. Armstrong spokesman Mark Higgins said Armstrong contacted U.S Masters Swimming weeks ago about racing. Armstrong, 41, was among the top qualifiers in the 40-44 age group in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle events.