Lance Armstrong won the Tour De France, one of the toughest endurance events in any sport in the world, an amazing seven consecutive times. Even more impressively, all of those wins came after he had been diagnosed with, and defeated, testicular cancer. As a cancer survivor who won such a challenging event against the best riders in the world, Lance Armstrong has become a hero to many people all around the world. In 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) stripped Armstrong of all seven of his Tour De France victories over doping allegations.
Armstrong had faced doping accusations since the 1999 Tour De France, including a positive test for steroids during that year’s Tour which was overturned. In July of 2012, USADA charged Armstrong not only with doping but also with drug trafficking. USADA used blood samples that were taken in 2009 and 2010 from Armstrong along with testimony from other riders as the basis for their charges. They also charged three of Armstrong’s former teammates, including the team doctor and Armstrong’s consulting doctor. Armstrong sued to have USADA’s charges thrown out but when that lawsuit was thrown out, Armstrong dropped the fight against USADA. Many took that to be an admission of guilt on Armstrong’s part.
Two former teammates of Armstrong’s, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, are among those who have testified against Armstrong. Hamilton won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in 2004 and Floyd Landis won the 2006 Tour De France. They both failed drug tests and were forced to retire from cycling. Hamilton and Landis not only testified that they knew Armstrong were doping but that he had taught them how to do it so as to not get caught. Armstrong has denied all of the charges from both of these former teammates.
One of the ways in which Armstrong defends himself is to claim that he has never failed a drug test, which is not exactly true. In 1999, a urine test showed a corticosteroid result that Armstrong claimed was the result of using a cream to treat saddle sores. Armstrong produced a medical certificate for that test. Armstrong’s masseuse denied that Armstrong suffered from saddle sores. Floyd Landis alleged that Armstrong failed a test in 2002 and bribed the testing organization with payments of $25,000 and $100,000. There is evidence of those payments being made.
Should He Be Stripped?
The question from all of this is: did Armstrong deserve to be stripped of his tour wins? The answer is yes. Many tour riders have been stripped of their wins over similar issues and Lance Armstrong is no different. If they deserve to be stripped of their wins, so does he. The evidence against him is simply too strong to deny. There are the failed tests, the testimony of teammates and the wins themselves. So many riders were caught doping that it is impossible to believe that Armstrong was winning without doping.
Lenny is the Manager at one of the largest bike shops in Sydney, Australia. He as always found inspiration in Lance Armstrong and was devastated by this latest scandal that saw him stripped of his titles. Away from work, Lenny enjoys recreational cycling and spending time with his children.