Lance Armstrong Stripped Of Titles and Banned For Life
The world's most famous cyclist, Lance Armstrong, was stripped of all seven Tour de France victories and banned from cycling for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency today.
Seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, may be more famous for what he's done off the bike than his accomplishments on it. Given a 40% chance of survival to beat testicular cancer in 1996, Armstrong beat the disease and created the Lance Armstrong Foundation. According to his website, Armstrong has raised almost 500 million dollars to help fight cancer. You may be wearing one of the famed Lingstrong bracelets as you read this.
A man whom many call a hero, may now be labeled as a cheat. Once beating cancer, Armstrong began riding again and dominated the sport. However, during his run of titles, samples of his urine taken during the 1999 Tour de Franace were frozen. These samples were tested again and found to have Erythropoietin (EPO), which can be used as a performance enhancing drug, and the story was reported in 2005. This past June, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged Armstrong with doping based on samples from 2009, 2010 and testimonies from what Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today quotes as "more than a dozen witnesses."
Schrotenboer continues "The anti-doping agency accused Armstrong of using EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, cortisone and HGH during his career, and that "scientific data" showed he manipulated his blood with EPO or blood transfusions during his comeback to cycling in the 2009 Tour."
According to Armstrong, he's had enough. In a statment released on his website, he says "There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense."
By giving up the fight after all of these years, the USADA handed down the sanctions - a loss of all seven of his Tour de France titles and a life-time ban.
In a world where no man is safe from doping allegations, it seems, Lance Armstrong's case seems to be the most interesting. In the court of public opinion, Barry Bonds and Marion Jones seem to be viewed as villains. If Armstrong truly did dope, is he no different? Or do we turn a blind eye to a man who has made his life's goal to beating a deadly disease? I look at the bigger picture here - the man is a hero off the bike, I don't care what he did on it. How about you? Will you still view Lance Armstrong in a good light?