Lance Armstrong to Be Banned for Life, Stripped of Titles for Doping
Cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong has stopped his fight against allegations that he doped, resulting in his being banned for life and stripped of his titles.
The story was seemingly miraculous: After being diagnosed with testicular cancer in October of 1996 with a tumor that had metastasized to his brain and lungs, cyclist Lance Armstrong was not expected to survive. But somehow, after numerous treatments including brain surgery, testicular surgery, and chemotherapy, he beat it: Lance’s cancer went into complete remission, and he went on to win the Tour de France each year from 1999 to 2005. He is the only person to have won the Tour de France seven times; the record had previously been held jointly by Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, and Jacques Anquetil, who each won five times.
But throughout his career, Lance has been dogged by allegations of doping, and in June of 2012, he was formally charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA claimed that not only did the cyclist use performance-enhancing drugs, but perhaps even more damningly, that he was one of the ringleaders of systematic doping on his Tour-winning teams—and after two months of fighting the allegations, Lance has decided to surrender.
At the beginning of the ordeal, the USADA released a statement saying, “All respondents will have the opportunity to exercise their right to a full public arbitration hearing, should they so choose, where all the evidence would be presented, witness testimony would be given under oath, and an independent group of arbitrators would ultimately decide the outcome of the case.” Lance, on the other hand, called the case against him “an unconstitutional witch hunt,” and that the process that dealt with it “one-sided and unfair.”
According to the New York Times, Lance, who turns 41 next month, said that he would not contest the charges because it had taken too much of a toll on both his family (he has three children with his ex-wife, Kristen Richard, and two with his girlfriend, Anna Hansen) and his work for his cancer foundation. He went on to say, “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” and that he was “finished with this nonsense.”
As a result, Lance will be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics, and all other titles, awards, and money he won from August 1998 onward. He will also be barred for life from competing, coaching, or having any official role with any sport, Olympic or otherwise, that follows the World Anti-Doping Code. Said Travis Tygart, chief executive of the USADA, “It’s a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes. It’s yet another heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all-costs culture, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe, and honest competition.”
Tell us: What do you think? Is Lance guilty as charged, or was the case bogus?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.