The report included testimony from several former teammates who competed alongside Armstrong as he won the sport’s most coveted title every year from 1999 to 2005. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has said the race will have no official winners for those years. USADA described it as “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen” within his U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams. International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid announced they would not appeal the decision.
In fact, the USADA also thinks the Tour titles should not be given to other riders who finished on the podium, such was the level of doping during Armstrong’s era. They say that 20 of the 21 riders on the podium in the Tour from 1999 through 2005 have been “directly tied to likely doping through admissions, sanctions, public investigations” or other means. It added that of the 45 riders on the podium between 1996 and 2010, 36 were by cyclists “similarly tainted by doping.”
I hadn’t given the charges against Lance Armstong a lot of thought and hoped that the officials were basing findings on disgruntled competitors or unfounded allegations. He has always seemed such a perfect example of using strength and perseverance to overcome those obstacles life can throw at you. It’s the perfect story. Young man overcomes cancer to become one of the strongest athletes in history and also begins a huge foundation that raises millions of dollars to help others affected by the terrible disease. Why spoil this fairy tale story?
Lance Armstong stays in the spotlight working for the LIVESTRONG foundation. The timing of this decision comes while the Foundation celebrates 15 years. In fact, he now steps down and transfers his duties to the Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey. He said he didn’t want the negative ramifications from the cycling charges to taint the foundation.
Unfortunately, for Lance, this may not be all. He could still face further sports sanctions and legal challenges. He could lose his 2000 Olympic time-trial bronze medal and may be targeted with civil lawsuits from ex-sponsors or even the U.S. government. Yuck.
“In total, 26 people — including 15 riders — testified that Armstrong and his teams used and trafficked banned substances and routinely used blood transfusions. Among the witnesses were loyal sidekick George Hincapie and convicted dopers Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.“
He has been dropped by his sponsorships, one of the biggest being Nike. It is said that when Nike drops an athlete, you know he or she has done something terribly, irreparably wrong. If they continue to stick by some other athletes like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Favre and continue to pay them, it does say something about the charges against Lance. In fact, Nike said this:
“Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.”
I think it’s all very sad. This is a man who has done a lot of good for a lot of people, in a lot of ways. It’s sad for the millions of cancer survivors, victims and their families whom he deceived. All those people out there hoping and praying that Lance was telling the truth. It is sad for the many young athletes, boys, children, looking up to him as a role model, believing in this icon of a man who seemed to be able to do anything. And how does a person honestly think they can continue to cheat and not get away with it? It’s sad that folks continue to forget that the truth eventually comes out. It’s sad that folks forget what they were taught as children. Cheaters never prosper.