Lance Armstrong Stripped Of Tour De France Medals, Banned For Life From Cycling
Lance Armstrong has lost all seven of his Tour de France titles and been banned for life from cycling after the International Cycling Union (UCI) accepted the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) ruling that Armstrong had helmed a massive doping scandal during his career. "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling," UCI president Pat McQuaid told reporters. "This is a landmark day for cycling."
After recovering from testicular cancer, Armstrong led his U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel cycling teams to seven consecutive Tour titles from 1999-2005, arguably one of the greatest athletic feats in history. But after the USADA's report, which stated that Armstrong and many of his teammates doped via steroids, blood transfusions and blood boosters, these titles and the legacy are no more. Tour director Christian Prudhomme will not name new champions for these lost years because of the rampant doping that riddled the sport during this time, and he also thinks Armstrong should pay back his prize money. In addition, Armstrong is at risk of losing his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.
In the wake of the allegations, Armstrong has vacated his post as chairman of his cancer charity, the Livestrong Foundation, and has lost all of his endorsements. Last week, Nike dropped him, followed by RadioShack, Trek bicycles, Giro helmets, 24-Hour Fitness and Anheuser-Busch. Oakley was the last sponsor to go. Oakley will still back the Livestrong Foundation, however, while Nike will continue to sell Livestrong merchandise. In all, this amounts to as much as $35 million in losses for Armstrong, a source told ESPN.
Armstrong faced stringent testing throughout his career and has vehemently denied doping a suspicion that arose as he was in the middle of his impeccable Tour run. However, he declined the opportunity to fight the USADA’s charges in August and it has all been downhill from there. In the next three weeks, the World Anti-Doping Agency must rule on Armstrong’s fate and, if they uphold these bans, the case of the man once considered among the greatest athletes of all time will be closed.