Lance Armstrong to be stripped of Tour de France titles by USADA

I don’t know enough about doping and sports to have a strong opinion either way as to which athlete is doping and who is falsely accused. As I watched some of the track & field events during the Olympics, I was struck by how many athletes – from several different countries, but mostly the US – have been accused of doping, and what a shame that it is, and how there will always be an asterisk beside some of these names. From a purely outsider point of view, I simply don’t understand why athletes even try to take performance-enhancing drugs – the risks surely outweigh the benefits, from where I sit.

Anyway, Lance Armstrong is going to be stripped of his seven Tour De France titles because Armstrong has just announced that he will no longer be participating in the USADA’s (US Anti-Doping Agency) investigation and prosecution. Since Armstrong will not be participating any longer, the USADA can strip him of all of his titles, his Olympic medal, plus they can take away the money he made from endorsements too, I think.

Lance Armstrong has quit the race. The seven-time Tour de France victor announced Thursday he will no longer fight his investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency – meaning he will be banned for life from ever competing again, reports CNN.

Late Thursday, the USADA confirmed it will also strip Armstrong of all results since Aug. 1, 1998, reports USA Today.

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong, 40, said in a statement.

This latest turn of events began to unfold in June, when the quasi-government agency (recognized as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sports in the U.S.) accused Armstrong of using, possessing, trafficking and giving to others performance-enhancing drugs, as well as covering up doping violations.

Armstrong, as he had in the past, vigorously denied the charges.

“I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one,” he said on his website, where he also accused the USADA of wanting to “dredge up discredited allegations,” which he called “baseless” and “motivated by spite.”

Armstrong, who has never been convicted of any doping charges, had been accused of doping before by other disgraced U.S. riders, including Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton. In February, the U.S. Justice Department closed a criminal investigation after reviewing allegations against Armstrong, apparently for lack of evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Following news reports of Armstrong’s decision Thursday, USADA chief executive officer Travis T. Tygart issued the following statement: “It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes. This is a heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all costs culture of sport, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe and honest competition, but for clean athletes, it is a reassuring reminder that there is hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.”

Of losing his titles, Armstrong said: “I know who won those seven Tours. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially Travis Tygart.”

[From People]

The Today Show led with a segment on this subject this morning, and their sports/doping analyst said that the USADA had lined up ten witnesses – mostly former teammates of Armstrong – to testify against him, and that if the USADA’s investigation and prosecution had gone further, it probably would have gotten really bad for Armstrong. I never really had an opinion either way about whether Armstong was a doper – I know a lot of people do, including my mom who was oddly convinced all along that he was using performance-enhancing drugs. In any case, this is a dark day for sports and for people who held Armstrong in great esteem.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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172 Responses to “Lance Armstrong to be stripped of Tour de France titles by USADA”

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  1. Emma says:

    This is the best news of the day. Really, this man was so full of himself all these years, he will now go down in shame, which is exactly what he deserves.

    He is a fraud, a douche, a cheater and I think the list could go on and on…. And quiting the fight is an admission of guilt.

    • Lindsay says:

      Can’t stand him either but it is never good news when the American Justice system allows an independent agency to act like a real court while stripping a citizen of their rights and conduct a faux trial with real consequences while allowing nothing even resembling due process rights.

      • Rachel says:

        EXACTLY. I don’t know anything about these allegations and have no opinion on his guilt or innocence. However, in this country, you are innocent until proven guilty. He was investigated by the US Justice Dept. They did not find enough evidence to even bring charges against him. I find it sad that this organization has the power to strip him of his titles because he’s choosing to stop fighting. I don’t know how long their investigation has gone on, but even the strongest person can only take so much before they just can’t take any more. How is it fair to strip someone of their wins without finding them guilty of anything??? He doesn’t have to prove his innocence. The USADA has to PROVE he’s guilty. And they don’t need his cooperation to do that. Go ahead and have your trial and call your witnesses. Here in the US, the accused doesn’t have to testify, so it’s not like they need his involvement anyway.

      • Annie says:

        They do not have the authority to strip him of his tour wins. They can only say they won’t recognize them. He keeps the 7 wins unless the tour officially strips them- which they won’t without evidence

      • Lindsay says:

        The tour could use the agency guilty verdict. They test Oiympic athletes as well. I’m pretty sure his medal already gone but that not even the point. Even if he is the worst person ever he has rights because and now he can compete professionally again. He had plans to do other things.

        How would you feel if some non-government agency put up a fight you felt was unfair, violated your rights and because you chose not to play a losing game they said you have to quit your job and can never work field again. Keeping any awards you got along the way would be pretty cold comfort to public humiliation and having to end you career and not even being able to appeal that.

        This is flat out not how any American citizen should be treated and no independent agency should have this much power unchecked. The baseball players using illegal drugs in the United States and admitted to it before Congress weren’t even treated this way.

      • Wilma Flintstone says:

        I work in sports and business journalism, and I have written a number of articles over the past couple of months about the Armstrong doping controversy. It’s a bit more complex than Armstrong’s press releases would lead you to believe.

        The USADA case against Armstrong IS NOT a criminal case, it’s a civil case. This also not at all a case of an American citizen being stripped of his rights without due process. This is basically a breach of contract case. Armstrong was required to sign a contract before every race (all professional and competitive amateur athletes are required to sign the same type of contract) affirming that he did not use performance enhancing methods (drugs, blood doping, etc.) of any kind. One of the terms of the contract is that the competitor gives the USADA the authority to investigate if the USADA has reason to believe that the competitor has violated the contract.

        Based on testimony from various people in the cycling world, the USADA determined that there was valid reason to believe that Armstrong had cheated, and so the agency brought charges against Armstrong. Armstrong filed a suit last month in US federal court in Austin, asserting that the USADA had no jurisdiction to investigate him.

        The decision on that case came down just this past Monday, with the judge essentially siding with the USADA. According to the judge’s ruling, Armstrong had signed valid and binding contracts giving the USADA the authority to investigate him if necessary, and the judge upheld the validity of those contracts.

        Following the US court’s decision on Monday, Armstrong had three choices: he could appeal the judge’s ruling and take his “the USADA has no jurisdiction” case to a higher US court, he could accept the charges brought against him by the USADA, or he could fight the charges in a three-member USADA arbitration meeting. If he chose to go to arbitration and then lost, he had the further option of taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. If he lost THAT case, he had the FURTHER option of appealing to the Swiss courts system.

        By signing all those contracts before every race, Armstrong agreed that the USADA had the authority to investigate him. Think of it like signing any type of employment contract. Any one of us might sign a contract agreeing that we won’t steal company secrets, or smoke dope, or engage in unprofessional behavior outside work hours. Do those contracts suck? Probably. Are we legally bound? Almost always. Armstrong signed employment contracts saying he wouldn’t cheat. The USADA believes Armstrong broke those contracts, and so they took action.

        Armstrong had a lot of options, but the one he chose was to not fight. Because of this decision, he loses his Tour de France titles, he loses his credibility, he loses LiveStrong, and he loses millions of dollars in prize and grant money that he has to repay. These were not taken from him without recourse. He chose to not fight.

      • Jordan says:

        What I don’t understand is, if he passed all the drug tests throughout all these years, and they still believe he was doping, are they investigating their crappy drug testing? Apparently, it’s impossible for their actual drug tests to find anything and their only chance at catching someone doping is witnesses? It just doesn’t make sense, but maybe this will be the death of cycling in the U.S. b/c you will never be able to know if they are cheating, even if they take drug tests.

      • Lindsay says:

        It is not a civil case. A civil case is done in a court of law this is being conductuded by the anti-doping case in the US and following the rules of the World Anti-Doping Commitee. One very plausible reason to quit is the testimony would have been made public and it would have made his sponsors civil cases a hell of a lot stronger. It is not a really court, it is private agency (who receives some government money for the Olymic testing) so they can make their own rules, which is a problem. They are even trying to change their own statute of limitations.

        Their case if anyone is interested:
        http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/armstrongcharging0613.pdf

        Why he got away with it:
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/richkarlgaard/2012/08/24/did-lance-armstrong-quit-the-fight-to-hide-more-dirt/

        In a civil case you still have legal rights and are entitled to a much more fair trial. That is not what the judge said at ALL. He felt it should be handled within the sport through arbitration despite acknowledging he was being DENIED due process for a CRIME.
        http://www.thetriallawyermagazine.com/blog/viewpost/502

    • polk8dot says:

      Maybe, but he also helped change, improve, and save many, many lives of people with cancer. His story gave them hope, his career gave them motivation, his fundraising gave them financial support.
      Whatever you think of him personally, nothing will change that.
      And if he rubbed some people the wrong way? Oh well, a lot of them deserved to have their feathers ruffled, and a lot took bluntness and abrasiveness as personal affronts. But most of them also built their personalities and successes on bluntness and abrasiveness, and sometimes even on stealing, lying, cheating, backstabbing and selling out all of their values and principles.
      I do not care that he offended the boss of USADA by not sucking up to him. USADA has no legal authority to strip anyone of anything. Their boss is like a little vicious chihuahua that grabbed a pant-leg of a famous guy, and is trying to make his own name by destroying the other one. I wonder how soon he’ll be announcing his political aspirations, or trying to get himself a TV gig as an ‘uncompromising truth defender’.
      Truth defender, my eyeball!
      Lance spent 20 years of highly competitive sports career, in the hightest echelons of professional achievement and financial success. With such accomplishments come huge expectations, and hopefully responsibility, and A LOT of athletes can’t handle that. So to either get to that level, or to remain there, they will stoop to anything to improve the odds. The doping problem has become outrageously prevalent in sports, but the few should not be allowed to ruin it for everone.
      The testing for doping has become very sophisticated, and very rigorous. According to research I read last year, it takes at least 28 days for the doping substances to work themselves out of the human body. That’s why professional athletes are tested at least once a month, and during a ‘competition season’ about every 10 days. Whether they participate in any comptetitions or not. You get a summons, next day you have to show up at the nearest testing lab, and if you just went partying the night before, or had a joint, or shot yourself up with EPO, it will come out! That’s why the athletes who dope, like at the Olympics, are found out and declared cheaters almost immediately – within a matter or days.
      Lance has taken over 500!! drug-dope-tests in his career. That’s on average 2 a month. With this margin of overlap, how would it be physically possible for him to not have one positive result??? Magic?? How about, if there are no signs of cheating, then maybe the person isn’t freaking cheating, as opposed to not getting caught?
      I hate was has happened to american public opinion. It gets so easily influenced by people with personal agendas and running their personal vendettas, it is actually scary.
      Lance has NEVER EVER been found to have a positive dope test. Yet they were finally able to destroy his accomplishments, his future career and his life by innuendo, unsubstantiated gossip and false claims.
      How would any of us feel if that happened to us? I would bang my head against the wall till it cracked, wall or the head. Lance had money, so he kept fighting the libel and slander, but that must end eventually, too.
      Bottom line? With all their resources, all their wheeling and dealing, all the threats and blackmailing of potential witnesses, USADA (or Justice Dept) were never able to get and present one single shred of evidence of Lance’s supposed guilt.
      Ockham’s Razor: what’s more likely, that Lance doped all his career, that all his wins were unfair and accomplished by cheating, yet he never left any evidence of it, and nobody could ever prove it; or that he simply never cheated at all?
      Seriously, this is not what America is about, this freaking witch hunt, which destroys lives without truth or consequence. We are a country of hope, of hard work, of accomplishment rewarded by adulation and success, not by jealousy, personal vendetta and lying without consequences.

  2. Long time lurker, first time commenter!!!
    I read both Lance Armstong’s books in a single weekend (‘It’s not about the Bike’ and ‘Every Second Counts’). I loved them both so much, and I know those books are really important to a lot of people out there. Despite being a massive fan, I am slowly finding it harder to continue to believe that he was not using performance-enhancing drugs. Some of the latest stories that have been coming out are pretty damning…
    Those books and Lance himself occupy a very special place in many people’s hearts… I just find it really sad and disappointing.
    Ultimately, I suppose I hope that even though he is being found guilty and all his titles stripped, I hope that Livestrong will continue. I suppose that what I’m saying is that I think Livestrong is bigger than just Lance himself, and I hope that the movement and its ideals survive unscathed…

    • Lindsay says:

      If it makes you feel better ihe was found guilty because he felt the deck was stack against him in this kangaroo court. The USDA HAD to win they are on their last legs as it is. He was going to lose. Bowing out saves him time, money, frustration, and more of his named being dragged through the mud. Plus, he will go to the International Biking Commitee and challenge the USDA right to strip him of his titles. I don’t know how strong his cases is. Hopefully there aren’t a ton of French people currently on the board; they are not big fans!

    • Esmom says:

      Unfortunately Livestrong is not all that it claims to be. To me this is bigger than his doping:

      http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/athletes/lance-armstrong/Its-Not-About-the-Lab-Rats.html

      • Keddie says:

        I am confused- You don’t think raising awareness is a good use of cancer charity funding? Or is there something else in that article that I missed?

      • Minty says:

        Esmom, thanks for the link.

        @Keddie:
        The article wasn’t confusing at all.

        Raising cancer awareness, which Livestrong does, doesn’t automatically equal cancer funding. The article clearly reveals that much of Livestrong is about promoting the brand and Lance Armstrong himself. He uses “the goodwill of his foundation to cut business deals that have enriched him personally, an ethically questionable move.”

        Okay, now many people are aware of the horrors of cancer and that it’s also possible to survive it if caught in time. After awareness is achieved, the next logical step is to raise money for cancer research, in the hope of better treatments or possibly a cure. Livestrong no longer funds cancer research and certainly not testicular cancer research (the disease Armstrong survived). When Livestrong did donate in the past, the amount donated was relatively small compared to other charitable foundations with the same revenue.

        If not cancer research funding, then what is the bulk of Livestrong’s money used for?

      • Keddie says:

        @ Minty
        I don’t think the article reveals that at all.
        I would say raising awareness is a very important part of cancer funding, as is research. Not all charities need to fund research. Awareness is not just about telling people cancer is deadly, its about helping people detect it early (breast exams ect.). This is something that can have a huge impact on survival rates and still has a long way to go even in developed countries. Funding cancer research is not the golden ticket… there are many ways to prevent cancer and increase survival.
        “If not cancer research funding, then what is the bulk of Livestrong’s money used for”- there were so many things listed in that article:
        - help connect people with clinical trials and offers assistance to patients who help learning about sperm banking or egg freezing
        - bilingual staffers offer cancer patients financial consultation, help with insurance issues, and counseling
        - publish a set of cancer guidebooks
        - campaigns in Mexico and South Africa against cancer stigma—the perception that cancer is contagious or invariably fatal
        These all seem like worthy causes to me. People can make their own decisions about whether they are worthy causes. There is no deception going on- If you don’t like how they use their money, don’t donate to them.
        Sorry- I don’t see the scandal here at all. Whatever people have to say about Armstrong’s personality or alleged doping, I think its great that he is using his name for good. We should encourage this in more people.

      • Esmom says:

        @Keddie, I’m all for awareness but I think the point is that they don’t seem to be interested in correcting the assumption that they do fund cancer research. And they have commercialized the Livestrong name to the point, when you look at financials, it seems as the one who is benefitting the most from it is Lance himself.

        In fact, some would say that he built this Livestrong empire solely to cushion himself in goodwill for when this day came.

      • polk8dot says:

        @Esmom,
        ‘In fact, some would say that he built this Livestrong empire solely to cushion himself in goodwill for when this day came.’

        That is such a horrendously JADED thing to say, it just proves that no matter what, some people have already made up their minds and nothing will change that.
        Why is it sooooo much easier for some to suspect others of bad deeds, even with zero evidence, and besmirch their reputations, and ruin their lives; than to actually support, admire and trust them for all they’ve done for others? It is sickening, this culture or hate, jealousy and destruction.

      • Esmom says:

        “That is such a horrendously JADED thing to say”

        I don’t disagree. At all. I tend to lean towards idealism and optimism about many things. But sadly professional sports is no longer one of them (politics, too).

    • constance says:

      Cycling is full of cheater especially tour de france i never really liked the guy. Americans always pointing fingers on other countries when it comes to doping when their athletics are not exactly clean either. Stripped him the medals for all I care he get too much attention, it has always been an open secrete that he used to used drugs

      • polk8dot says:

        @Constance,

        1. ‘Cycling is full of cheater especially tour de france’
        * That’s why its anti-doping procedures are so stringent, and the tour has actually been getting cleaner over the last few years. Also resulting in many positive test results and immediate DQs, followed by termed or lifetime bans. Making it a ridiculous notion that a ‘career-long cheater’, who allegedly earned his laurels ‘unfairly’ for almost 15 years WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CAUGHT CHEATING ONCE!

        2. ‘Stripped him the medals for all I care he get too much attention, it has always been an open secrete that he used to used drugs’
        * So now we just strip people of things, whatever they are, on a whim, just because someone else arbitrally decides that ‘they got too much attention’? How about a proof of wrongdoing first, ugh? This is not a fascist state, yet, thank God.
        * So it HAS BEEN AN OPEN SECRET all this time? No shi-? Why did USADA even bother with their investigation? Why did US Justice Dept? Apparently all they needed was to talk to you and poof! miracously they would have had their proof since YOU KNOW THE OPEN SECRET! Oh, wait, that’s right – they actually needed REAL PROOF, something you seem to be completely unfamiliar with the concept of.
        Do you even realize what crap you are spewing? It is people doing just that who ruin others’ livelihoods, exempt from scrutiny themselves as they hide behind their keyboards.

  3. KellyinSeattle says:

    retiring at 40 – that’s about right. Stil, a shame he has to lose everything he worked so hard for; I don’think he compares with Cracken or other blow hards, but the rules are the rules, after all. Reminds me of a bad Maury where the daddy or the woman refuse to take the lie detector test to find out who the dad is; only he’s refusing to take this test; I think if he was clean, he wouldn’t be going through this.

  4. sillyone says:

    What I do not understand is how the federal government investigated him for two years and dropped the issue because there was no issue. His teammates over the years have said they themselves and Lance had never did the entire doping thing, well then a few of his teammates get caught for doping and then all of a sudden they cry “Lance did it too” so the witchhunt begun again with the USADA and now they are taking the word of a few pissed off (already known lieing) teammates that got caught doping after they said “nope we never did the stuff.”

    No wonder the government has the Fifth Amendment Double Jeopardy in place good grief.

    • Lindsay says:

      Double jeopardy wouldn’t apply, he has never been tried.

      Either way earlier this year a court ruled the US Anti-Doping Agency is bond to the same rules of due process because they are not a court, not a government entity, and there is no criminal record or criminal punishment (jail, fines to the US government)

    • Esmom says:

      They turned on Lance when they got busted because the fact is they were ALL doing it. Because if you weren’t doping you didn’t even have a shot at the Tour.

      • polk8dot says:

        No, they turned on him, after getting caught themselves, because they were offered deals to incriminate him. They were each told that in exchange for testifying against Lance, their suspensions would be foreshortened, or bans lifted, or monetary penalties withdrawn.
        Isn’t it amazing that neither Lance, nor these disgraced, lying, cheating former teammates, NEVER got caught while riding with Lance, on his team? Only after striking out on their own they decided that now they HAD to cheat to keep up with their former teammates, and the moment they got caught they spent years denying the fact of positive test results, calling others liars, or unprofessional, or unethical; sometimes even writing the books to decry their innocence (the A-class jackhole Floyd Landis); only to then turn around, agree to lesser sanctions in exchange for trying to ensnare Lance in their schemes and deceptions, blame everybody around them while claiming they were the poor little lambs who got tricked into doping, and then writing another book, this one admitting the whole truth, in yet another effort to cash in on Lance’s name and fame (the A-class jackhole Floyd Landis, again). DISGUSTING!
        And @ ‘Because if you weren’t doping you didn’t even have a shot at the Tour’
        * WTF? Your statement clearly implies that EVERYONE who makes it into the tour did it by doping. It is offensive, completely without merit, and highly irresponsible.

      • Esmom says:

        @polk8dot, I find it ironic that you can trash us for hiding behind our computers, ruining lives and the sport of professional cycling with our comments (on a blog that’s billed as “escapism”, btw) and yet refer to Floyd Landis as an “A-class jackhole” more than once. So what’s the deal? We can’t criticize Lance but Landis is fair game?

  5. Kate says:

    Yes, he probably was doping. The sample they have against him is reportedly from 1996, which was 3 years before he won his first Tour. Statute of limitations anyone?

    There are also big questions in terms of how much authority the USADA has as well as their methods. How can a US anti-doping agency “strip” him of titles won abroad, exactly?

    Whatever. He probably was doping. He’s kind of a jerk. But he was the best cyclist anyone has ever seen, and yes, it may have been because of doping, but his competitors were probably all doping too. Despite his warts, the guy has raised a ton of money for cancer research and been an inspiration for a lot of really sick kids and adults. You can be a jerk and a cheater, but still do some really good things.

  6. flourpot says:

    Where’s the proof that he’s been doing these drugs? Every article I read said that he passed all drug tests.

    How can they strip him of medals that he’s won if they have a bunch of negative drug test results?

    Whether the man is arrogant or not, this seems like a witch hunt. You got a bunch of people accusing him which turns it into a he said/she said situation. (read: jealousy)

    And on that basis they’re stripping him of his titles/medals/money?

    Wow. That’s … pathetic.

    • Emma says:

      Not just a “bunch” of people but a lot of witnesses and the investigations has been going on for years…

      It’s very difficult to believe that after a cancer treatment has he had he could be the fastest 3 years later… And not just once but seven times

      But he is maybe a mixture of Superman, Bateman and Spiderman, who knows….

      • flourpot says:

        ok, witnesses. great. team members, great. where’s the proof? because that’s what it’s all about, sugarpie.

        I’m not interested in your snarky comments about him being a superhero. I want to know where the proof is.

      • L says:

        If you guys are interested-here’s a index of all the investigations that have gone one since 1999 with Armstrong.

        http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/index-of-lance-armstrong-doping-allegations-over-the-years

        And other than Landis and Tyler-all of the other witnesses are anonymous. According to USADA there were 5. 3 of whom are still riding and were given immunity.

        Like I say down thread-I’m not naive. But this entire case is based off of hearsay and flawed testimony (not given under oath or cross examined)-USADA needs to release the physical evidence.

      • Kate says:

        @Emma I am curious, are you European? And the reason I ask is that the argument you are making — he had cancer, no way could he have been that good after treatment, is one the European press has made for many years about him. And, let me clarify, I’m not saying he did or he didn’t and I’m not trying to start some type of international incident, I just find it to be an interesting argument. I read an article once about this argument and the skepticism over Lance’s victories in Europe being linked to a different mindset between Europeans and Americans. The basic premise of the article was that Europeans are generally more accepting of grave healthcare news and Americans generally refuse to accept and fight on for “miracles”, Lance’s victory over cancer being a “miracle” that many Europeans wouldn’t try to pursue. And please, before someone hammers me, I’m not saying the article and the generalizations its author made is right. I have no idea. I’m just saying it was an interesting take on it. Of course I don’t have a link and have no idea where I read it as it was years ago, but it also looped in the different health care systems contributing to the different mind sets.

      • Emma says:

        Kate, I am European, yes. Not French, but European. And my father had a cancer so I witnessed every day what that illness does to the body. He had the exact same cancer as Lance Armstrong had.

        There’s no way after all that chemicals in the body, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, it can heal and be strong enough for a sport like that in such a big competition.

        It’s not credible

      • L says:

        I’m sorry your dad had cancer. Hopefully he’s in remission and is now cancer free.

        But everyone reacts to cancer treatments differently. My mother had breast cancer treatments and didn’t have any real side affects other than her hair loss, tiredness, and nausea. My aunt had the same disease and almost wasted away from her treatment symptoms. Same disease, totally different body reactions From what I understand Armstrong’s form wasn’t aggressive and they used a special cocktail of drugs to prevent damage to his lungs. A 25 year old elite athlete getting cancer is different than the average person getting it.

        I’m not saying it doesn’t raise a cloud of suspicion, but anecdotal evidence isn’t enough to say ‘this can’t happen’

      • Emma says:

        My dad is fine now, thank you.

        I can’t believe that he could have win 7 times in a row without cheating. Maybe once or twice but not 7 times. He won the Tour for the first time in 1999 and it was his first try….. All that is a lot fishy at best

      • Ann Emmess says:

        I’m American, and I’ve always assumed he cheated. I wouldn’t peg it to my beliefs in health; for me it’s more like “when a thing sounds way too good to be true, it probably is.”

        I also wonder if the explanation isn’t about health beliefs, it’s about belief in your own heroes. When a guy comes back from cancer and dominates a sport that has the slimmest victory margins, in which everyone else is doping, I think the people who suspect that guy is probably doping too are the rational ones. The people who are uplifted by a seeming miracle — and are willing to accept that miracle on its face, and ignore any doubts — that’s who I think gets swept up in the tide.

        Flo-Jo and Mark McGwire looked like living miracles, too, and were treated as such — but in hindsight, what they achieved was indeed impossible without enhancement.

      • cr says:

        “and it was his first try….. All that is a lot fishy at best”

        Not his first TdF, he’d competed before the cancer and won two stages in 1993 and 1995.
        Do I think he probably doped? Sadly, I do. But he was a very talented cyclist even before the cancer.

    • Esmom says:

      It’s not as simple as finding an illegal substance in your system. The kind of doping they did/do enhances their red blood cell count or something to that effect, which enhances performance. That’s why so many athletes are able to pass the tests — they take enough EPO to be effective, but not enough to raise their blood cell counts enough to raise suspicion.

      • Bugsrunny says:

        Many sports are rife with performance-enhancing drugs, but bicycling, in my opinion, is particularly dirty (and EPO, used frequently by cyclists, is very hard to detect). It’s safe to say that all upper-echelon Tour riders in the last two to three decades are dirty, Armstrong included.

      • polk8dot says:

        @Bugsrunny, ‘It’s safe to say that all upper-echelon Tour riders in the last two to three decades are dirty, Armstrong included’

        And with this one thoughtless sentence, you have just cast unjustified and unsupported aspersions on some of the greates riders in the sport’s history, who – like Armstrong – have never been caught cheating either: Miguel Indurain, Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, and so so many others. Did they work harder than anyone else? Did they train smarter? Were they physically stronger? Were they mentally stronger? Were they simply better then the rest? Were they simply luckier? Who knows – there are so many aspects to the sport in its modern era, it is hard to pinpoint one single factor. It is possible that the answer is different in every single case. What remains the same is the fact that NONE were ever caught cheating, like Lance, yet you just willy-nilly lumped them all together and branded them all cheaters and dopers nonetheless, just because… what? Because you say so?

  7. Mssnarnd says:

    Years ago, when I worked for “the man” – we worked with an agency in Boston. Our account rep was directly related to LA via marriage (read: she is directly related to his ex-wife). She was a very sweet girl . . . the kind of person who wouldn’t go too far saying nasty things about a person even though her direct relative’s heart had been ripped out . . . But, it was obvious from her accounts from Christmases Past (and other holidays) – this guy is a REAL JERK. No one was sad in her family when he finally left his wife (after years of cheating on her). He’s a spoiled brat who got caught – and his money couldn’t make it go away this time. You would think a cancer survivor would have better priorities to concentrate on . . . Like his children.

  8. Macey says:

    I dont follow anything sports related so Im not up on all this other than a few headlines here n there, but what I dont understand is how they could take away his endorsement earnings. I can see the titles but wouldn’t the endorsement money be separate from that? Im sure he’s already spent most of it just supporting his lifestyle.

  9. Lindsay says:

    I don’t like him but to be fair the witnesses were also PROVEN dopers that we’re getting incentives to testify. It is pretty much a know fact that cyclist use performance enhancing drugs on tour – just not the one most people think of like steriods. They new ones that emprove endurance and are easy to hide. Most the people that get caught just didn’t have time to drink the gallons of water required for test results to be inconclusive and blood transfusions can’t really be tested for. What the use on tour provides extra red blood cells. When they train some do use steroids and things like that. He is a jerk but he is an incredible athlete and has been since he was a child. I’m sure he used illegal things to match his competition but drugs alone didn’t make him great. Plus, he used a lot of grey area things like sleeping in hyperbaric chambers.

    The track and field athletes have cleaned up a lot.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/five_ring_circus/2012/08/03/long_jump_olympics_why_do_the_best_long_jumpers_in_the_world_seem_to_be_jumping_shorter_distances_.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/29/us/with-drug-tainted-past-few-track-records-fall.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    • Carol says:

      I agree! I have always been fascinated by these claims, for many years, because so many people were convinced he was doping. To the point of irrational anger when his wins would be mentioned in casual conversation. What I have surmised is that he was able to prasad the doing tests for years, as the tests couldn’t detect the products used to COVER up the dope. But now that they catalog blood tests and have grown more advanced that along with testimony is how they caught him.. It’s sad too, we all love a great fairy tale.

      • cr says:

        @L: What you wrote is one of the reasons I didn’t believe the doping allegations, at least not for a very long time. He was an exception athlete before the cancer, and was one after. Could he do that without doping? Yes, he could be a genetic ‘freak’ and do that, with lots of legal methods.
        And he could still do all that, within legal means,and still also dope.
        It’s sad, because doping is so prevalent in sports that anyone doing anything extraordinary is automatically suspect.

      • polk8dot says:

        @Carol: ‘But now that they catalog blood tests and have grown more advanced that along with testimony is how they caught him..’
        Actually, that is only how disinformation and confusion get spread.
        Nobody ever cought him doing anything illegal, he never failed any of his drug testing, and he never absconded from taking one, unlike many of his competitors (it’s easier for them to then fight suspension if they just did not take the test, as opposed to having tested positive and then trying to convince the anti-doping body of their innocence).
        Why would you even say something so patently false? Mind-boggling, I swear..

    • Liz says:

      I wonder why his performances were average till he was nearly thirty. Then all of the sudden- after the cancer treatment- he becomes Superman!
      I will never forget how rude and dismissive he was to the unfortunate Marco Pantani, when he started to win.

      • L says:

        He didn’t just come out of nowhere at 30 (he was 27 when he won his first TDF by the way. Generally speaking that’s around the peak age for cyclists)
        This guy was winning triathlons long before he took up pro cycling. He won the US sprint course championships at 18 and 19. At 21 he finished 14th in the olympics (not to shabby). That same year he also won the UCI Road championships.At 24-25 he was winning stages at TDF and also spring classics races in belgium. After cancer he took two years off. Came back and finished well in the Tour of Spain. Following year won TDF by a slim margin.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes! Also, these “witnesses” were never cross-examined by LA attorneys. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I know from personal experience how easy it is for someone to claim something false, and how difficult it is to prove that you DIDN’T do something, especailly over a multi-year period of time. The only hard evidence on either side is LA’s 500+ negative tests. And the accusation that “nobody who wasn’t doping could win 7 TdF” is specious and insulting to a slew of record-breaking athletes: Michael Phelps? Michael Jordan? Babe Ruth? Jesse Owens? Tiger Woods? How about standard-busting geniuses in other realms? Steven Hawking, or Steve Jobs? It is the nature of evolution for there to be outliers to the average.

  10. brin says:

    Cheaters (allegedly) never win.

  11. Rux says:

    I know I am in the minority, but I do not believe this man used performance-enhancing drugs. Past teammates testifying that he used drugs versus the scientific fact that he passed all of his drug tests, a lot of them were “surprise tests” should say more than enough. As he stated, he never had peak performance and then dropped. He was always steady and consistent. This is very hard, if not impossible, to do when taking performance enhancing drugs.

    • Emma says:

      So… Let’s admit for a second that you are in his shoes and you are innocent. You would quit fighting to prove your innocence ? You would say “enough is enough’ even if that means you will loose what you fought for all these years ?

      I wouldn’t

      I would fight over and over again.

      As I said, quiting the fight is an admission of guilt.

      • Sam says:

        That’s not fair. Just because YOU would keep fighting, doesn’t mean anyone who wouldn’t is automatically guilty. This is along the same logic as, “If you refuse to let the cops search you without a warrant, its because you’re guilty and hiding something.”

        Maybe he is just tired of being held under a microscope. Maybe for once in his life he is thinking, “hmm…my kids are feeling the impact of their daddy always being accused of doping. My home life is very stressful. I worked really hard and I know I won, and no one can take that from me.”

        I am not implying at all that he is innocent, or that he isn’t a raging douchenozzle. But not wanting to fight anymore after 10+ years of constant monitoring does not indicate his guilt. It could just mean he is tired of being stalked like a Dexter target.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Sam – i completely agree. Each individual has to decide at what point the costs outweigh the benefits. He has every right to decide to go forward with his life without having to spend time, money and energy on this decades-long fight.

    • Gia says:

      You know that athletes also undergo treatments to mask the doping. The science of masking is faster than testing. He reportedly underwent plasma transfusions to hide the doping. It’s an extremely complex and dirty little world.

      • Rux says:

        I understand and know of the “masking of doping” but what I am really try to point out here is that even with “masking” the tests, you cannot mask the effects it has on the body for too long. There will be a peak and then falter with no coming back to that peak. Armstrong never “peaked” he was consistent in his performance. With regards to the fighting, I think he is just tired of fighting. He has been fighting and living under a microscope his whole life. I do not know about you but I would tired of that shit after awhile too. @Sam echoed and put my thoughts into statement better than I could. I also agree that he is a raging asshole and I personally do not like him but I still think he won those races/medals/etc. rightfully.

      • Rux says:

        I understand and know of the “masking of doping” but what I am really try to point out here is that even with “masking” the tests, you cannot mask the effects it has on the body for too long. There will be a peak and then falter with no coming back to that peak. Armstrong never “peaked” he was consistent in his performance. With regards to the fighting, I think he is just tired of fighting. He has been fighting and living under a microscope his whole life. I do not know about you but I would be tired of that shit after awhile too. @Sam echoed and put my thoughts into statement better than I could. I also agree that he is a raging asshole and I personally do not like him but I still think he won those races/medals/etc. rightfully.

      • Gia says:

        Honestly…you think he legitately, and cleanly beat all those other athletes (some of whom have already been caught doping) 7 times, by a landslide, even after battling cancer? Really? Come on…

  12. freya says:

    I’ve always given him the benefit of the doubt. thinking that a cancersurvivor would take care of his body and not poison it with doping after all it’s been through. but i also think that if he were innocent, he would have continued to fight.
    btw, didn’t know they could take his endorsements money, i thought only the prizemoney?

  13. Madison says:

    The arrogant jerk thought he had gotten away with cheating, the EPO and other performance enhancing drugs. The tour de france is so hard to win and he won it 7 times expecting everyone to believe that while the other riders on his team and other teams were doping he was clean and won because he trained the hardest, yeah sure lance when pigs fly. All cheaters are the same deny deny deny until they get caught and Lance was about to be caught by the USADA.

  14. jetgyro says:

    Of course he doped but the guys that came in behind him did too. The drugs that they use are specifically designed for each individual and can’t be tested for. It’s not just cycling, do you really think that Bolt or Phelps can do what they do without PEDs…or for that matter anybody else that made it into the finals with them? Do you really believe that Ben Johnson pissed hot but Carl Lewis was clean? All the top athletes are doing it but they will never get caught unless somebody squeals on them like they did on Armstrong.

    • Incredulous says:

      Yeah, this. Cycling has been ridiculously dirty for decades. There’s a reason they keep the samples for 8 years. The tests need to catch up to the doping means. Quite a few athletes got stripped of medals from the 04 Olympics as the clock ran out.

      Anecdotally, I have heard from people who train in many different disciplines that, past a certain level of skill/talent, chasing that last tenth of a percent comes down to performance enhancing drugs. Take them and you can get to the final, don’t and you will be a minor also-ran in the first round.

      Look up Usain Bolt’s doctor Feelgood trainer. That guy is dodgier than Charlie Sheen would be comfortable with.

  15. Leigh_S says:

    No one’s going to like this perspective.

    I don’t give a crap if he was doping, or how much of an a$$hole he is. It was standard operating procedure when he was competing, so there was actually a level playing field. He wasn’t the first and wasn’t the last. It doesn’t matter WHOSE team you were talking about. I don’t see the same standards of investigation and pursuit being applied to all participants of the same races.

    Unless they are wiping out all records from that era, move the f*ck on. The hipocrasy at work in this is ludicrous.

    • cr says:

      They are going after others:

      In 2006 Floyd Landis was stripped of his title after testing positive for synthetic testosterone.

      In 2007:
      Team Astana abandoned the race after Alexander Vinokourov was caught doping, and the Cofidis team withdrew the next day following Cristian Moreni failing a drug test
      Michael Rasmussen was removed by his team, Rabobank, while wearing the yellow jersey for lying about his whereabouts during a team training session in Mexico. This was an issue as by claiming to be in Mexico he was unavailable for random drugs tests in Europe where he was actually residing.

      In 2008 Riccardo Ricco was kicked out of the race after testing positive for CERA

      In 2008 Moisés Dueñas Nevado was kicked out of the race after testing positive for Erythropoietin

      In 2008 Manuel Beltrán was kicked out of the race after testing positive for EPO

      In 2010 Alberto Contador failed a doping test. After a series of events, the CAS finally in February 2012 declared Andy Schleck the new winner. Also in 2010 lead out man Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia) was disqualified after headbutting another rider, Julian Dean, as well as his blocking of Garmin-Transitions rider Tyler Farrar.

      In 2011 Alexandr Kolobnev left the race after testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide[185]

      In 2012 Frank Schleck tested positive for a banned diuretic Xipamide and left the competition.[186]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doping_at_the_Tour_de_France

      • Emma says:

        Don’t forget that when there was the big scandal with Festina, in 1998 he was already suspected. But at the time he was untouchable.

      • Leigh_S says:

        I get that.

        But it is pretty common knowledge that it was ALL teams at the level during the ‘Armstrong Years’. That’s my point, selective examples.

        If you catch them now? Yup, go get ‘em. But unless you are wiping out the books of the ‘doping years’, move forward.

        Perhaps a ‘statute of limitations’?

      • L says:

        The difference is those are all people that have had positive test results. Armstrong hasn’t had any (rumors about he failed X test but paid of the judges nonwithstanding) None of those people are from testimony alone. Contador will be back next year. Schleck’s case is still working its way through the courts.

        Those aren’t from the USADA as they have no jurisdiction on UCI riders. Those are all people who had positive test results in UCI testing labs (and who also went through CAS)

    • DeltaJuliet says:

      Actually I LOVE this perspective. Because this is what I was thinking but couldn’t quite put into words. Should any of these guys be using PEDs? Of course not. But, the VAST majority of them are and if you think they aren’t you are kidding yourself. This was a witch hunt to take down the top dog and they’ve done it. Everyone loves a winner. And then everyone loves to tear them down.
      And I’m not even a “fan”, although I do admire his accomplishments. I have no doubt he’s an arrogant asshole, as a lot of these top athletes/movie stars/performers are, but I still think this was a dirty investigation.

      • Bobbie says:

        You said it perfectly. Exactly what I think. It’s a terrible thing how everyone loves to tear down someone who has accomplished so much. He is a great, amazing athlete, but we cannot just let that be. We have to tarnish and destroy him. If he was going to be caught, he should have been caught when it was happening. All these years later it is too late and the investigation is too dirty.

    • mytbean says:

      I (kind of) agree….

      The only problem is, aspiring athletes use these winning records as inspiration. It’s what they aim for. And now those numbers are all kind of a sham.

      At one point, this was about overcoming the urge to quit in the face of unbelievable pain and exhaustion in order to show what the natural body was capable of when driven by sheer, unstoppable willpower. It was about mental conditioning as much as physical conditioning…

      I guess if the general consensus is that the culture has shifted, the unspoken rules have changed and it’s become generally accepted that in order to be a “real” competing athlete you must use PED’s then anyone serious enough to consider an athletic career should get ready for the needles and the pills?

      It’s just sad because it cheapens the effort, the victory and the celebration of it. :(

      • Bugsrunny says:

        Totally agree about the numbers. Remember Flo-Jo? Florence Griffith Joyner? She still owns world records for the 100 and 200 meters, set at the Olympics in 1988. No one since has even come close, and there’s a chemical reason for that.

  16. Merritt says:

    Good, he deserves to lose his titles and any respect people had for him.

    I’m tired of athletes doping. They make sports and their country look bad. And they steal the moment of glory from the person who actually won.

    • Leigh_S says:

      Merritt and all,
      What do you count as doping or cheating?
      -Is it artificial medications?
      -Is it natural supplements?
      -Is it high altitude training to increase your red blood cell count? (the same purpose as ‘blood doping’ transfusions)
      - Is it sleeping in an oxygen tent to mimic high altitude training?
      - Is it selecting individuals who naturally produce extra testosterone (steroid)for improved muscle building capacity?

      Honest question … The winner is typically the person/team with the best combination of talent/luck/(medical/technical/financial) support. What is the cut off and when does it become simple butthurt on the losing side?

      • Merritt says:

        What I consider doping/cheating:
        -Using any banned medications or methods like blood transfusions
        -Deliberate losses like in badminton at the 2012 Olympics
        -Causing intentional harm to a competitor
        - Banned equipment modification
        -Violation of age requirements

        I suppose there could be other things, but those tend to be the most common.

  17. Samantha says:

    Before folks ‘write off’ this man completely,take a look at the statement that Lance issued just a few hours ago:
    http://lancearmstrong.com/news-events/lance-armstongs-statement-of-august-23-2012

    • kay says:

      Thank you for posting that link, I read every word carefully.
      I believe him, fully.

      I don’t care what is personality is, I believed what he wrote.

      years ago I was involved in a law suit that was unfair, and for many reasons my husband and I backed off and paid her out, even though we were not guilty. The toll it took, fighting her, on our marriage, our lives, was horrendous- the phone would ring and we would panic “what now? what next?”. it became not a matter of the money, but our lives being ruined because she had more money to fight than we did. so we capitulated, and moved on. and it still sucks, but my marriage is sound and my kids happy.

      so I can totally see why he is backing off, and how it’s not an admission of guilt.

    • apsutter says:

      I don’t know if he’s guilty of doping or not but I don’t feel that anyone should have to go through endless harrasment. The whole “You’re giving up so your automatically guilty” thing is total bullshit. Things like this and civil lawsuits and such ruin people’s lives. It’s just like being accused of committing a violent crime and then being found innocent. The damage is done, there’s no going back. They’ll ruin your name and life and take away your future prospects and just walk away without even a sorry(not so much talking about Lance here.) I just feel like the entire situation is unfortunate.

  18. Isabella Notarfrancesco says:

    It’s not about the bike. It’s about the drugs.

  19. Keddie says:

    Firstly- his personality is COMPLETELY irrelevant. It has nothing to do with being guilty or innocent, so it is very sad people to base their opinion on this issue on his personality.
    Secondly- What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? As far as I can see (and I looked) he has no positive tests but a plethora of negatives ones. As a few people have mentioned most people testifying against him are themselves doping cheats or have anterior motives. This is not an investigation that’s has been ongoing for years, it is another investigation after a previous one could not prove anything against him.
    Looks like a witch-hunt to me- and very sad day for cycling and sports in general.

  20. carlino altoviti says:

    All of them are doped, who has more money to pay doctors and medicins is better doped than others.

  21. Louise says:

    Enough with the doping. It’s time that everybody take their responsabilities, even Lance Armstrong.

    How many deaths during the Tour ? And, in other sports, how many soccer players, who were less than 25 years old and who died suddenly while playing during a match ?

    You really do believe that dying at 25 because of a heart attack is normal ?

    For me the Tour de France should be stopped, for good, as many other competitions where big money is more important than sport. But it’s only a dream.

    • apsutter says:

      +1. I’m very glad that they are continually testing people for 8 years after their event now. Maybe now that a plethora of people were stripped of medals and wins athletes will realize that they will get caught, it’s only a matter of time. I just don’t understand their thinking process honestly. They want to do anything to win but once it comes out that they were a cheater their name is pretty much dirt.

  22. EssJJay says:

    Its really sad when a great sport is tarnished like this. It makes all the hard works of honest sport people look cheap.
    As for Lance… I guess its a case of bad attitude catching up on him because his team mates must have been so hateful to play the game of “if Im caught I wont go down alone”… what a shame.

  23. Katie Too says:

    It’s fairly common knowledge that many of the top performers dope. The technology is amazing as it both developed new not-yet-banned ways of doping and new ways to mask it. Look up EPO, although that’s been detectable for awhile now. Then there were autologous transfusions.

    It would be odd to find a winner of the TDA who has not doped, but the focus has been on LA to prove a point. It’s been a bit of a witch hunt. LA is an absolute jerk though, and he behaves like an overgrown frat boy.

  24. jc126 says:

    I’ve always thought he was a big fraud. Of course it’s awesome that he even survived his cancer and came back at all, but I just never believed that he could come back and be so dominant without drugs.

  25. L says:

    Man, as a cycling fan I was hoping celebitchy would be my one reprieve of this (cycling blogs and news are blowing up)

    He’s not actually admitting anything guys-he’s refusing to go to arbitration because he/his lawyers are arguing that the USADA arbitration process is unfair and outside their jurisdiction. And honestly between the europeans and several federal cases (including the one that got dropped last year), how many of these things do we have to do before we let it go?

    And the only people who can strip him of his titles is the UCI and not the USADA, which the UCI is also suing them for. I’m willing to bet this will be in the world sporting court within the next few months. USAcycling is also siding with UCI.

    “enough is enough”? Right-it’s only just beginning

    Look I’m not naive-I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Lance had been cheating. But I need more proof to ban someone for life and try to strip away 7 hard earned titles than the word of cyclists who were threatened with being banned (and who are allegedly still riding), hearsay, rumor, and innuendo. It is easy to make a statement to a panel (especially when you have something to gain). It is another matter entirely to defend that statement under oath or cross examination.
    The USADA has never provided any physical evidence. I have yet to hear them state that we have test that proves y other than from random sources saying they have ‘proof’. Heck, even a US attorney couldn’t find anything with a higher burden of proof.

    • L says:

      And here’s what happens next. USADA formally announces that he is banned for life and stripped of all victories. Then the UCI refuses to recognize and acknowledge the sanctions saying USADA does not have jurisdiction? USADA then appeals the UCI decision/position to CAS (court of arbitration for sport) and whatever they decide will be the matter of record? Still some interesting things are going to happen…It’s the UCI’s record book, not the USADA. This stuff has been going on for the last 10+ years and it’s going to keep on going.

    • Keddie says:

      Really well said!! I tend to think this is a with-hunt and he is innocent (maybe because I like to think most people are honest even in sport). Until there is proof he should be assumed innocent whether you like him or not!

    • Gia says:

      But that’s the whole point; the USADA were about to give their evidence and LA decided to give in before they could…that, to me, speaks volumes. And it’s my understanding that the USADA is required, procedurally, to provide their findings to UCI in all circumstances like this one.

  26. Cletus says:

    Okay, I agree that personality is irrelevant, but ALSO I believe in karma, which will bite you right on your booty. All I can think of when I think of him is how he did Cheryl Crow, and while I’m sure she has been over Ol One-Nut for years now, that karmic debt was still open. Now I guess it can be stamped PAID. Sorry, Lance. Sometimes it just bees that way.

  27. Locamochagirl says:

    If you read into this more, you’ll see that he isn’t DEFINITELY going to be stripped of his titles and things. He isn’t pursuing to continue to fight the suit. NOTHING has been proven….yet. This just means the Anti-Doping Agency can legally pursue Lance, something he was blocking. He’s just decided to stop trying to block it.

  28. Anon says:

    It was rumoured for years that he used performance enhancement drugs; USADA has finally on. Moving on.

  29. Katyusha says:

    Maybe the doping is what caused the cancer.

  30. Mel says:

    I want to know how a US organization feels it has the authority to strip him of international titles? Getting kind of big for our britches…

  31. void says:

    I can’t help but admire the cleverness of the doping technique. Taking your own blood and raising the about of erythrocytes to increase oxygen uptake, using no chemicals…brilliant.
    But I hear universally that Lance is a dbag. So I’m not so crestfallen over this.

  32. Viggo says:

    The burden of proof was always on the USADA, why didn’t they have more concrete evidence like negative test results. The proceedings resembled a civil trial. How are they given so much power with such little concrete evidence? Just because he dropped his counter suite does not mean they shouldn’t conclude theirs. If their so sure of his guilt they should conclude the trial with all the evidence on the table. His folding could also be due to the exhaustion of fighting this for the last 14 years, but I still think he should have fought till the end, I mean this is his legacy.

  33. Dana M says:

    Pretty sad either way. I had a feeling he was cheating….if he truly was not cheating, he would have fought it all the way. Wouldn’t you? I would.

    • Kate says:

      The thinking behind not fighting is that there is little to no due process in the USADA hearing system. It is a kangaroo court. So if he refuses to fight there remains doubt as to whether he did it, and he can always maintain that nothing was ever proven. If he fights, then the teammates testify, etc., and it is Lance’s word v. all his teammates (who have been promised immunity, etc. for their transgressions if they agree to testify). Given that his federal lawsuit didn’t work, I think this is his best option going forward if he wants to maintain his “innocence.”

  34. blondie10101 says:

    I don’t think he did drugs, he might still be a douche but he didn’t take drugs. I think they have a much older sample from 1998 when he could have still been on cancer medication. I also think his teammates are crying wolf, at first they were all like “No, Lance never did drugs” but suddenly when they were in trouble, it was all like “Lance did it too!”. Hopefully the international committee won’t strip him of his titles. But, he still won in my book!

  35. ruby says:

    7 tours ??? I always thought that was just too unlikely. In the endurance type races, you win two or three of the really big ones and you’re a legend. No one ever wins more because it’s just not possible to stay at your peak for years and years. There had to be something fishy.

  36. chaxlowkos says:

    great bicyclist, better liar, or at least until now.

    The man has a rap sheet of douche like activities. The idea that he is tired and wants to spend time with his kids. OK Lance, whatever

  37. Jaded says:

    I think doping has gotten so sophisticated, and there is such a shady line between what is detectible doping (i.e. steroids) and non-detectible (i.e. plasma transfusions, HGH injections, Actovegin, etc.) that it’s opened a whole new pandora’s box of what is legal and illegal. On the one hand you could say that HGH, plasma and Actovegin are merely natural supplements to help speed healing of muscle injury or wear, on the other that they’re performance enhancing supplements.

    I don’t know if they were all doping, or if LA was such an arrogant douche that his fellow cyclists just piled up against him to take him down, but without concrete proof other than his team-mates’ allegations, there doesn’t seem to be a case.

    The way these athletes push their bodies to perform is unbelievable and at a certain point becomes injurious. They travel with a hoarde of doctors, physical therapists and nutritionists to keep them going no matter the consequences.

    A skilled athlete these days has become a product of science which is kind of sad, and Lance Armstrong is the poster boy for how a sport has become all about the winning at any cost.

  38. TG says:

    I am one of those naive people who find it hard to understand that others would cheat. I mean I just couldn’t feel like a true winner if I cheated. And I am still in shock years later to learn that Marion Jones was a big cheat. She was so graceful and poised and confident without being arrogant, just shocking to me to find out she was involved in that whole BALCO scandal. It is so sad and hard to even believe in anyone anymore. I mean the Olympics was full of drug cheats. Our own Justin Gatlin competing against Bolt served a drug suspension that Turkish girl who one the 1500 meters served a drug suspension. She looks lika man and has a busted face all evidence of drugs to me. Neither of them should have been allowed to compete. I do understand though that in some countries these athelets are so desperate to escape poverty that they will resort to cheating just to get out of a bad situation. That is sad.

    • iseepinkelefants says:

      Consider me one of those people too. (maybe I’m just a goody goody :/). But not having the inclination to cheat, steal or kill myself it doesn’t make sense to me why people would. The risk far outweighs any of the good.

      BUT we also don’t know if he did cheat. I mean 500 drug tests and none have come up positive? I think I’ll go with the evidence.

  39. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    But did he smoke the ganja?

  40. claire says:

    I haven’t followed this story at all, so I know nothing about the facts. But people who do seem to know a lot, in cycling forums I’ve read, seem pretty pissed about this, and pointing out that he’s never tested positive, in tons and tons of drug tests. Most people seem to think this court is a joke. So I don’t know what to think of this.

  41. diana says:

    I find it really sad that when a great athlete is condemned without any proof, losers in life who could never aspire to his greatness come out of woodwork and croak about karma, his personality etc..
    Innocent till proven guilty.

  42. iseepinkelefants says:

    I don’t know Armstong and I don’t pay attention to that fancy bike riding, BUT it is sad when someone dedicates their life to something and suddenly they’re stripped of it.

  43. Francesca says:

    He and every other guy on that team who was an good, doped. It is what goes on in athletics these days. It’s what has happened to the sport of cycling, running and pretty much any game you name where speed is involved. It is hard to track but they are getting better at it all the time.

    Bet Sheryl Crow is glad glad she dumped his ass a long time ago now. What a disgrace.

  44. LeeLoo says:

    Hey everyone! Long time no post.

    If someone asked me if I believe Lance Armstrong is a doper, I would answer yes.

    BUT, I also do not believe that the USADA should be the one to make the decision, especially without the hard evidence of a dirty test. I also do not believe it is within their right to take his medals. Only the Tour de France and the WCA can do that. I do think the USADA is a kangaroo operation and I don’t think they should have the legal clout to do anything other than refer cases to the FBI. The dude never once tested positive. While I think he did a good job of covering it up, I know many out there seem to think he’s legitimate. There is no hard evidence to suggest he was doping. He should keep his medals and everything until they have some tangible evidence to prove otherwise. The fact there was ZERO due process in this case, makes me think that there is no leg for the USADA to stand on. It can serve a legitimate purpose but there needs to be some legal due process behind it too. Lance Armstrong just got shafted because there wasn’t any due process.

  45. Kiyoshigirl says:

    Innocent people do not “give up” because the fight is too hard. The fact that he has speaks volumes.

  46. jane16 says:

    Why is the U.S. government wasting time and taxpayer money being a nanny for professional sports? Was this USADA set up by the Bush admin after he went after doping in baseball? I think professional sports should look after their own house. There are way more important things to spend taxpayer $ on than this drivel.

  47. Sakota says:

    Here is my way of looking at it:

    Every so often there comes along some athlete who ends up breaking records and set a new precedent. Michael Phelps has a dozen medals by now and no one disputes that it was hard work or discipline and so far, no accusations of doping up. But all it takes is one person with a grudge and a bone to pick to make an accusation about Michael being a doper and then what?

    Will he have to spend money and time fighting it, or end up giving up and being stripped of his titles and medals and endorsements? All because of an accusation he can’t fight? Life isn’t fair and there are some people who just do phenomenally well and I don’t believe that Lance is guilty of it because of all the extensive tests done and the random ones as well.

    As for the guilty, well, often people who are guitly will try to take others down with them.

  48. dj says:

    Enough is enough quote says it all. This is so sad. He looks and sounds exhausted. I do not know much about it but he had 7 titles. My best to him and his family at this difficult time.

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  50. Kayla says:

    He won 7 times because he was the best. Who cares if he was a d-bag? We’re on a site called celebitchy and we make fun of people all the time. We’re all d-bags. He still won in my book. Sounds like they designed the tour de France for dopers anyway.

  51. togsos says:

    I think he doped, but tbh I think all cyclists dope, particularly those doing the tour de france, because quite frankly, i think its unreasonable to expect the human body to be able to do that race without enhancement.

  52. jack says:

    Americans are CHEATS. If you look carefully, Lance Armstrong is also Chinese.

  53. Catherine says:

    Bottom line he is a doper. He shouldn’t be surprised and frankly, neither am I.

  54. Anne Molinari says:

    Hasn’t anyone clued in yet? Where are your brains people. Did he cheat? Most likely. Forget that he wasn’t the only one, however when drowning rats turn on their own – something is fishy. The USADA is on a big witch hunt and they have bagged a big specimen in order to bolster their credibility. Forget the fact that he has passed an enormous amount of tests, can this person be so smart or have such smart technicians able to cover up everything for a big number of years? Why wasn’t this brought to the forefront a long time ago? At the end of the day I think we can all agree he is a jerk, but he is not a stupid one and he didn’t take this stance on moral grounds alone. I think he will probably keep most if not all of his corporate sponsers, and if anyone feels his foundation is suspect, call in the USADA, they get results regardless. Once there is a whisper against anyone, their lives are finished, because they need to devote the rest of their lives trying to clear their names. As I say – he is not stupid. Listen up people.

  55. Louise says:

    He is not smart, if he was he would have never made a come back which, I think, was his big mistake.

    He had a lot of people who covered up for him for years. He thought he was untouchable and he was in a way. But… All things come to an end and it’s about time.

    He is guilty and always was.

  56. Lee says:

    “Oh Lancey, you’re so predictable.” – Casanova Frankenstein

  57. dana says:

    Its ironic that somebody mentioned Marion Jones because her defense was that she never tested positive too. Yet, she did admit that she had been doping even though she still still never failed a test despite taking 160 tests.

    Mark Mcgwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, etc.. all never tested positive but would anybody here really believe they weren’t doping either.

    Finally, Armstrong has tested positive but those results were swept under the rug when he scrounged up a back-dated doctor’s note, he accused the labs of spiking his samples (the OJ defense), etc.. There’s also the 2009 and 2010 blood samples…

  58. dana says:

    Armstong cheated in every aspect of his life.

    For better and for worse, his wife stayed with him when he had cancer. But, as he became more popular and famous, he dumped her because he wanted to date starlets and fashion designers. He was more concerned with that than his children- there’s video where he blatantly ignores his daughter as he crosses the finished line.

    • cr says:

      IIRC, he met his future wife while he was undergoing treatment for the cancer, in 1997. So while he may be douche, can’t blame him for dumping her after her supporting him through treatment, since she wasn’t there at the time of diagnosis and initial stage of treatment.

      I don’t think McGwire would have tested positive for steroids, since he retired in 2001, which was before they started testing for that, in 2004.

  59. dana says:

    It never made sense that Lance Armstrong could win 7 straight titles without doping when his top competitors were all doped up. Just look at this this year’s times across the board vs the times when Armstrong was winning, and how much slower they are now- they show the difference between doping and not doping.

    So, Armstrong defenders will argue that if everybody else was doing it, then…

    After the 98 scandal, most of the cyclists were too scared to dope in 99. It could have been a turning point, as some insiders have said the idea that the race should be clean in 99 was gaining momentum.

    http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/results/1999/jul99/jul18.shtml

    But, after Armstrong won it despite failing a test, everybody realized they had to go back to cheating to compete as the authorities would continue to turn a blind eye.

    Armstrong is worse than the other dopers because he used his popularity, lawyers, money to go after and intimidate those who tried to clean up the sport.

    There was always cheating, but Armstrong made it worse and took it to the next level.

    • dana says:

      Just to give some context about Bassons who said that there was growing momentum for cyclists to stop doping until Lance arrived:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/26/lance-armstrong-doping-whistleblowers?newsfeed=true

      He was the only Festina cyclist who was not implicated of doping, and thus he had the moral stature to speak out against doping. If Lance wasn’t doping, you’d think he’d support people brave enough to speak out against doping. Instead, Lance harrassed Basson and told him how he should quit.

      In the story, it also talks about how he terrorized his former masseuse for two years and tried to break her. There’s a real pattern of abuse where Armstrong will do anything and say anything to attack those who tried to clean up the sport.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        You make a very convincing and damning argument. Maybe I should search for my missing Triplets Of Belleville soundtrack CD–that car chase could get Pope Formosus to giggle and stranger things have happened…to him. With every scandal of this sort, the only thing of which we can be certain is that for whatever reason there are some athletes that people want to be proven innocent more than others. It sounds as though he has engaged in some Al Jolson-style bullying of the competition (although when it comes to attempting to destroy somee colleagues, DopeStrong (allegedly) is just Jolson’s Ganymede) and memory stays sharp when there’s an axe to grind. I swear, the Tour’s motto should be ‘I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends, Make Me Head Of StrongHold…Or Something’.

  60. Christine says:

    What does he care? He already made his $ ( endorsements etc). He’s laughing all the way to the bank. This only hurts his ego and even then he’ll find a way to recover.

  61. Anon says:

    Lance Armstrong’s words and actions just makes me more curious. Like what does his charity actually do for cancer research as he claims, how much money does the CEOs make, how much money has Lance personally benefited from, how much have they paid out to what they’ve taken in, etc.
    There is a reason why someone would give up a fight if they were so “innocent”. (no way in hell I would). As they always say, follow the money.

  62. Megan says:

    My brother, who is a professional cyclist, said that not fighting the chargea may be part of Armstrong’s bigger plan to expose the USADA as a fraudelnt, corrupt organization. Supposedly they were going to remove several lifetime bans, including Landis’s in exchange for testifying against him. To me, this seems incredibly shady. How do you convict someone who has passed 400+ drug tests? And does the fact that a federal invrstigation found nothing incriminating him mean nothing to the USADA? If he was legitemately cheating, by all means, he should be punished, but I don’t see the evidence in this case.

  63. Feebee says:

    Of course the fact he’s reportedly an ass does not mean he’s guilty of doping or using other illegal means to enhance performance.

    And he may yet be guilty of the above however the process that he is being subjected to is all sorts of wrong. Suspected murderers are treated better than this and certainly appear to have more rights.

    If only the SEC was as dogged as the USADA.

  64. Deeana says:

    I read the first book, not the second. Haven’t liked him since learning of his callus treatment of women.

    A carefully calculated use/abuse of EPO could be very difficult to detect. Normal “drug testing” would not pick it up. The testing involves drawing a blood sample and counting the red blood cells within the sample. Also in observing the development of the red cells present (these cells start out small, then mature to where they can carry oxygen) There are natural differences among individuals in RBC counts, which is why a “range” of normal is given.

    In this case, it sounds like the very organization that was shielding Armstrong over the years has now turned on him. For whatever reason.

  65. Cycle Samuel says:

    We ran the question of guilty or witch hunt with our facebook fans and had a resounding 85% witch hunt…sample size 160+ road bikers