Disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong cannot participate in a charity bike ride event this weekend sponsored by his friend and former teammate George Hincapie.
Armstrong had planned to ride in the Gran Fondo Hincapie this weekend in Greenville, South Carolina, until USA Cycling ruled otherwise.
Although the Gran Fondo is a fun ride and not a race, it has been sanctioned by USA Cycling as a “non-competitive” event. That means that someone under a lifetime cycling ban, like Armstrong, cannot participate.
Other former teammates and professional dopers from the US Postal Service and Discovery Channel are planning to be on hand at the gran fondo. Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson paid their debt to pro cycling by serving six-month bans from the sport.
The pot has been boiling over Armstrong’s possible participation in the event for the past few days. Velo News reports that USA Cycling issued a statement on Thursday that the World Anti Doping Agency’s rules prohibit a banned athlete from participating in an authorized event.
If Armstrong decided to go ahead and ride in the event anyway, the action could affect rider insurance coverage that USA Cycling provides.
The ride is Saturday. If you’re interested in riding this gran fondo, on-site registration is offered during packet pick-up from 9 to 4 on Friday at the Hincapie Sportswear Office. See the Hincapie Gran Fondo website for details.