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Armstrong could be kept out of local triathlon | News

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Armstrong could be kept out of local triathlon

Haines City, Florida -- Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's doping scandal has now reached the Tampa Bay area.

The newest allegations have Armstrong suspended from future Ironman triathlons.

For some, it also raises questions about the title he won last month in Haines City and casts doubt over whether he will be allowed to compete in that race again.

The U.S. Doping Agency claims Armstrong took part in a massive conspiracy and cover up for more than a decade.

Ironman Florida officials declined an interview with 10 News on Thursday, but did confirm "an athlete is ineligible to compete during an open investigation. Armstrong is therefore suspended."

A spokesperson told 10 News she did not anticipate Armstrong's Haines City victory would be taken away.

She didn't say if his suspension would be lifted in time for next year's race.

A hearing in Armstrong's case could happen by November.

Not having him return to Haines City would be a setback for the community.

The first-time event drew thousands of spectators from several dozen countries, putting the town on the worldwide map and boosting local business.

Johnny Comparato, a resident of Haines City who went to see Armstrong compete, hopes this doesn't get in the way of him returning next year.

"Until they prove he's failed a drug test, I'm 100% behind Lance Armstrong," Comparato said.

Others, though, argue they don't want to see Armstrong again if he's not clean.

"If he's doing something that we feel is not fair, or doesn't have enough integrity into, then he should really consider that and work it out of his routine," said Jessi Rodriguez.

Armstrong denies the latest allegations, calling them baseless and motivated by spite.

He hasn't officially committed to next year race in Haines City, but has indicated he would like to return.


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