I have said this on the ACD for months, and finally it came to fruition. Last Monday the International Cycling Union (ICU), stripped Lance Armstrong of all 7 of his Tour de France titles and banned him for life. This is coming off the recommendations from the United States Anti-Doping Agency in August. The USADA completed their investigation of this matter, in which 11 of Armstrong’s former U.S. Postal teammates all testified about their involvement. They stated it was the largest and most sophisticated doping scheme the sport had ever seen.
The director of the Tour de France has come out and said that Lance is no longer considered a winner of the race and that no new champions will be declared for 1999-2005. It has come out that Lance offered bribes to fellow competitors to fix races in 1993 so Lance could collect a 1 million dollar bonus. These allegations are from court documents obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Nike, his biggest supporter, was the first company to drop him from their long list of celebrity sport endorsers. “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,” the company said in a statement. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner”. Armstrong’s other sponsors including Oakley, Honey Stinger, and FRS have also ended their association with him.
So, my question is, why are we holding Lance Armstrong is such high regard? Why are we celebrating someone for nothing more than cheating? Sure, he was not the only one who participated in these acts, but no one else had won 7 Tour de France races either. Growing up I never heard anything regarding American Greg LaMond (3 time Tour winner, ’86, ’90-‘91) or Spaniard Miguel Indurain (5-time Tour winner, ’91-’95) taking bribes or using performance enhancing drugs. Then there is Lance’s Foundation, the only good that has come out of this debacle. Livestrong has been an important cog for inspiring and empowering cancer survivors and their families since founded in 1997. At least he had the decency to step down as Chairman of the Board of his own foundation. I have no respect for Lance as I contend that outside of starting a foundation, his whole career is a lie and sham. Role model, Please, save that for someone deserving.