United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) lawyer Bill Bock said earlier this week that, had Lance Armstrong cooperated with the organization’s investigation, the cyclist only would have been stripped of two of his record seven Tour de France titles. In August, the USADA charged Armstrong with performance-enhancing drug use, banned him from competition in any sport that follows the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, and voided all titles won by Armstrong since August 1998.
Throughout the years, shocking and disappointing sports stories have seemed to come one right after another. And this week has been no exception, with another chapter being written in the bizarre story of Lance Armstrong.
With the news of Armstrong’s confession of using steroids causing a mass amount of hype, it felt like a good time to give a quick rehash of the Armstrong story.
The last word you would think of to describe Lance Armstrong is “quitter.”
He fought and eventually overcame testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain.
He beat the 40% odds of survival his doctor gave him after surgery to remove the testicular cancer.
After chemotherapy and surgery, Armstrong went on to win the Tour de France seven consecutive times, breaking the previous record of five wins (which had been a four-way tie between by Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, and Jacques Anquetil).
However, Lance Armstrong has decided to end his battle against the United States Anti-Doping Agency. He’s quit the fight.
[A version of this article ran on May 27, 2011 after cyclist and Lance Armstrong’s former teammate Tyler Hamilton told 60 Minutes that Armstrong not only took erythropoietin (EPO) and received a banned blood transfusion but also encouraged teammates to do the same.]
If you went to bed early last night, here’s what you missed:
American folk hero Lance Armstrong—who won a record seven Tours de France after beating cancer; founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support cancer victims and survivors and their families; and made silicon wristbands a sought-after fashion accessory—gave up his fight against the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The USADA is now free to ban Armstrong from cycling and triathlons for life and strip him of his seven Tour titles and Olympic bronze medal. (He finished third in the men’s time trial in 2000 in Sydney.)
Below is a video of the 1990 Match Sprint Cycling World Championships. It is the only video of match sprint cycling I have ever watched. In fact, about a half hour ago, I never even knew this sport existed.
But I feel confident telling you that you have to watch this video, especially if you are unfamiliar with this outrageous yet completely captivating sport.