I have written several postings related to Various topics including the military, Voting, the economy, religion and etc in America. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address additional issues in these topics.
You may be asking my reason for writing this article this long after the events? Well I met Lance Armstrong when he was a young triathlete. He had just won an international distance race in Tampa Florida. He took the time to talk to me an amateur level racer. I was impressed with his humility. I knew he was going to go far in Triathlons. Little did I know that he was going to become the greatest professional bicyclist in the world, and win 7 tour de france titles. I know he was stripped of his titles. But it goes to show you that they did this with little enthusiasm because they did not give those titles to anybody else. It is as if they plan on giving him the titles back after the dust settles. I believe that the only reason that they singled him out, when so many others were guilty of the same cheating was because he simply destroyed them on the field. He should have never went for the 7th title. I believe they would have let him keep 6 titles, but the 7th one was rubbing salt into the wounds of the French ego. To show how spiteful they were, they even prevented him from competing in triathlons as well.
I know not many people will agree with me. on this article. But oh well. I am entitled to my opinion.
Lance Armstrong: 5 Reasons Why Allegations Levied at Lance Are Baseless
Reason No. 1: Jealousy of Armstrong’s Fame and Success
1 OF 5
Reason No. 2: The People Making the Accusations Want to Cash in
2 OF 5
Reason No. 3: The Cache of Bringing Down Armstrong’s Empire
3 OF 5
Reason No. 4: Lack of Definitive Proof Armstrong Doped
4 OF 5
Reason No. 5: Lack of Credibility by Any of the People Making the Accusations
5 OF 5
Timeline of Lance Armstrong’s career successes, doping allegations and final collapse
Lance Armstrong, a former American road-racing cyclist, helped elevate cycling to global popularity. His seven consecutive Tour de France victories, from 1999 to 2005, and his status as a cancer survivor made him one of the most iconic and revered athletes outside of the professional sports world.
Yet, throughout his career, he consistently faced allegations of doping — particularly after he faced cancer and won the Tour de France a few years later.
His pro career began after winning a U.S. amateur national championship in 1991, but he placed last in his debut race — the Clásica de San Sebastian in Spain. He won his first professional race the next year and entered his first Tour de France. He won a stage but dropped out and did not finish the race. He won the Thrift Drug Triple Crown in 1993, and his fame took off shortly thereafter.
Here’s the timeline of Armstrong’s career:
1996: Armstrong becomes the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne, and he wins a second Tour DuPont. Despite being a part of only five days of the Tour de France, he goes on to participate in the 1996 Olympic Games, finishing sixth in the time trial and 12th in the road race. In October 1996, he is diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer that had also spread to his lymph nodes, lungs, brain and abdomen.
“I intend to beat this disease, and further I intend to ride again as a professional cyclist,” he says when announcing his diagnosis. He undergoes his final chemotherapy treatment in December 1996.
1997: He establishes the Lance Armstrong Foundation (later renamed Livestrong) to support cancer patients and research. Armstrong also signs with the U.S. Postal Service’s cycling team, which would later be rebranded under a different sponsor, Discovery Channel. The ubiquitous, yellow “Livestrong” bracelets from Armstrong’s foundation would become a symbol for cancer patients and survivors everywhere.
1999: At age 27, after returning to professional cycling in 1997, Armstrong wins his first Tour de France.
“I hope it sends out a fantastic message to all survivors around the world,” Armstrong says at the finish line in Paris. “We can return to what we were before — and even better.”
He is immediately peppered with questions about doping, denying all accusations. Despite testing positive for a corticosteroid, he shows a backdated prescription to avoid sanctions. The questions don’t seem to matter; the comeback story and victory launches Armstrong to global stardom.
2000: Armstrong wins his second Tour de France, as well as a bronze medal in the time trial event at the Sydney Olympic Games. German Jan Ullrich, a chief rival of Armstrong’s, wins the gold medal in the road race and silver in the time trials.
In Armstrong’s autobiography “It’s Not About the Bike,” he provides what becomes a famous quote: “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
2001: Armstrong wins his third consecutive Tour de France. His rivalry with Ullrich is at its peak. Ullrich never defeats Armstrong in the Tour de France. He has more second-place finishes than any other racer.
2002: Armstrong wins his fourth consecutive Tour de France. French authorities simultaneously conclude a two-year investigation into the U.S. Postal Service team, but the investigation finds no use of performance-enhancing drugs.
2003: He wins the Tour de France again, for the fifth time. “This was my hardest win — we dodged some bullets. It was a rough year at the Tour and I don’t plan to make the same mistakes twice. But my win feels more satisfying, more than the others because of that. The crashes and near-crashes take it out of you,” Armstrong says at the finish.
More: How to watch ‘LANCE’
2004: Armstrong wins a record-setting sixth Tour de France.
2005: At age 33, after winning a seventh Tour de France, Armstrong retires to spend more time with his family. French newspaper L’Equipe reports blood samples retested from a 1999 race show evidence of blood doping that year, but Armstrong again denies the allegations.
“If you consider my situation: a guy who comes back from arguably, you know, a death sentence, why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again? That’s crazy,” Armstrong tells CNN. “I would never do that. No. No way.
2009: After announcing his return to cycling, saying he hoped to “raise awareness of the global cancer burden,” Armstrong finishes third in the Tour de France, his first race back from retirement. He also joins the RadioShack team, with intentions to again compete in the 2010 Tour de France.
2010: At the Tour Down Under, Armstrong makes his 2010 race debut, finishing 25th out of 127. At the Vuelta a Murcia in Europe, he finishes in seventh place overall, before pulling out of a handful of other races due to bouts with gastroenteritis. After a crash in the Tour de California, he places second in the Tour of Switzerland and third in the Tour of Luxembourg. In the 2010 Tour De France, which he had said would be his final, he finishes in 23rd place. However, Team RadioShack wins the team competition thanks to Armstrong’s contributions.
At the same time, American cyclist Floyd Landis, who was Armstrong’s teammate for two years and won the 2006 Tour De France, admits he used performance-enhancing drugs. In emails to U.S. and European cycling officials, Landis says he began doping in 2002 — his first year alongside Armstrong, who again denies the allegations against him, saying in May: “It’s our word against his word. I like our word. We like our credibility. Floyd lost his credibility a long time ago.”
Landis also accuses other U.S. Postal Service teammates of doping, in addition to Armstrong, and agrees to cooperate with federal officials investigating the allegations.
2011: Armstrong again announces his retirement from competitive cycling in February, at age 39, to focus on family and his cancer foundation. But the walls obscuring his past use of performance-enhancing drugs are cracking. Two other U.S. Postal team members come forward acknowledging their own PED use and further implicating Armstrong.https://dbf78740fef7865ebacde6ce282e8dbf.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
2012: Federal prosecutors drop their criminal investigation against Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service team in February, with no charges filed. However, the United States Anti-Doping Agency accuses Armstrong of doping and trafficking of drugs in June. In October, the USADA formally charges him with using, possessing and trafficking banned substances and recommends a lifetime ban. In choosing not to appeal the findings, Armstrong is stripped of all of his achievements from August 1998 onward, including his seven Tour de France titles. Armstrong still publicly denies the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
2013: In a January interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong finally admits to doping during each Tour de France win from 1999 to 2005.
“This story was so perfect for so long. It’s this myth, this perfect story, and it wasn’t true,” Armstrong tells Winfrey.
“I viewed this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times, and as you said, it wasn’t as if I just said no and I moved off it.”
Lance Armstrong’s Confession
“Did you ever take banned substances to increase your cycling performance?” – Yes
“Was one of those banned substances EPO?” – Yes
“Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?” – Yes
“Did you ever use any other banned substances like testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone?” – Yes
“In all 7 of your Tour de France victories did you use banned substances? ” – Yes
Lance Armstrong’s Confession
For the first time since cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from elite competition by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, he sits down for a no-holds-barred interview, with Oprah. For years, he’s denied that he used banned substances to enhance his cycling performance. Will he finally come clean? Find out now.
Why Lance Armstrong Is Ready to Come Clean
For more than a decade, Lance Armstrong adamantly denied that he ever used banned substances—like erythropoietin (EPO), testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone—to improve his cycling performance. Now, after admitting his guilt to Oprah, Lance reveals why he decided to finally tell the truth.
Lance Armstrong Reveals Details of His Doping Scheme
Code words. Private jets. Secret blood transfusions. For almost a decade, Lance Armstrong was involved in a systematic doping ring that spanned several countries. How did it work? Watch as Lance shares details and reveals which banned substances went into his cocktail.
Lance Armstrong’s “Inexcusable” Attacks
After Emma O’Reilly, a former masseuse for Lance Armstrong’s cycling team, told the media that a doctor backdated a cortisone prescription for Lance, the champion cyclist went on the attack. Lance sued Emma, even though he now says she was telling the truth. Watch as Lance reveals how his desire to control every outcome made him do “inexcusable” things. Plus, find out how he’s trying to make amends.
Why Lance Armstrong Says He Had to Dope to Win
Between 1999 and 2005, Lance Armstrong led the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team and, later, the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team to the top of the podium at the Tour de France seven consecutive times. Find out why Lance believes he and some of his teammates had to dope in order to win.
Lance Armstrong’s Reckless Behavior and Ruthless Desire to Win
Lance Armstrong opens up about his reckless behavior; his association with controversial Italian sports trainer and medical consultant, Dr. Michele Ferrari; and his flaws that were magnified by fame. Watch as he reveals how his desire to “win at all costs” and his arrogance made him willing to risk it all.
What do you think?
WHY LANCE ARMSTRONG DOESN’T DESERVE WHAT HE GOT
Lance Armstrong confessed to using performance enhancing drugs to help him in his professional cycling career. After years of fighting the allegations, Armstrong decided to confess to using performance enhancing drugs in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The consequences that Armstrong faced because of his confession are not fair. Also, the good he does through the Livestrong Foundation should not be affected by his confession. Livestrong has nothing to do with Armstrong’s use of performance enhancing drugs.
By no means do I approve of the use of performance enhancing drugs in any sport. Some sports such as baseball and cycling have major issues when it comes to the use of steroids. These drugs make the competition so unfair that you cannot even get close to being the best unless you dope in one way or another.
During the Oprah interview, Armstrong was asked if he thought that the Tour de France, or any Grand Tour, could be won without the use of these drugs. His response was no. I don’t think that Armstrong was trying to make himself look a little better in the light he was currently under. This statement is backed up by evidence. Of the seven Tour de France titles that Armstrong was stripped of, none of them could be re-awarded because the rest of the top finishers also had traces of performance enhancing drugs found in their blood samples.
Armstrong named himself the most tested man in the world, yet he never failed his blood tests that were taken throughout his professional career. The reason for this is because the technology that was used to test the samples could not detect the drugs that the athletes were using. As the technology improved, the athletes changed their practices to continue to beat the tests.
It wasn’t until the USADA tested Armstrong’s old blood samples from the late 1990s that had been stored that they were able to fail his blood tests. This means that the drugs and methods that the Athletes were using in the 1990s were legal by the 1990s standards. If these methods were used today, they would not be legal.
I do not think that this is fair. Like all sports, rules change. Use Formula 1 racing for example. In this sport, there are regulations and rules that change every year. The teams have to redesign their cars every season to keep up with all the regulations that are in place. I believe that if something is legal one year then the results for that year should be kept even if something becomes illegal another year. Any type of doping or steroid use that is not detected by modern blood tests should still be frowned upon since it gives the athletes unfair advantages, however it cannot be illegal if it isn’t detected.
The reason that Armstrong had to confess to doping was because he was being hunted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for many years. They ran a witch-hunt, singling out Armstrong just to make an example of him. Just because Armstrong was the most successful cyclist and never failed a drug test doesn’t mean that he should be singled out.
The USADA took outrageous actions to try to bust Armstrong. They contacted some of Lance’s old teammates that are now retired or suspended for doping and tried to pay them off to get them to confess that Lance used performance enhancing drugs. They either offered money or a break in their punishment that was a result of getting caught for doping. Some teammates were jealous of Armstrong for not getting caught such as Tyler Hamilton. Hamilton made multiple appearances on CNN saying that he doped with Armstrong when they were on the same team. Others such as George Hincapie didn’t fall for the bribery and stayed on Armstrong’s side.
After his confession to Oprah, the USADA gave Armstrong the worst possible punishment. He was stripped of all seven Tour de France titles and banned from any professional athletic event for the rest of his life; all on top of the fines and disgrace that he also received. This witch-hunt ended with the destruction of Armstrong’s professional career.
Other athletes that have been caught for using performance enhancing drugs and, unlike Armstrong, failed blood tests, have been punished with only a fraction of the severity that Armstrong did. When a well-known athlete fails a blood test and gets caught for doping, usually they get suspended from cycling for a few years depending on the severity of the situation. To me, it is unfair to be punished more severely just because you are a more successful cyclist like Armstrong. Granted, the USADA did make a good example out of Armstrong, but this will never fix the problem of doping in the sport of cycling. There have already been many cases of professional cyclists being caught doping. In my opinion, it will take much more than ruining one person’s reputation as an example to end the role of performance enhancing drugs in professional cycling.
Not only did the USADA ruin Armstrong’s professional career, but they also ruined his relationship with sponsors, fans, and his foundation, Livestrong. As soon as the doping scandal exploded, Armstrong’s sponsors began dropping him because they did not want his name to affect their image. These big name sponsors include RadioShack, Trek Bikes, Nissan, Oakley, and many more. I understand why these companies would want to disassociate themselves with Lance. It just goes to show how far and severe the impact of the USADA’s decision is on Armstrong’s life.
As you all know, Lance Armstrong is known for being a cancer survivor. In 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer. It was later discovered that the cancer spread to his lungs and brain. It was unlikely that Armstrong would survive. He was put on chemotherapy and was expected to die. Lance’s body however, was different from the average person. He was unbelievably strong and determined. His body was trained to never give up even in the hardest situations. Amazingly, after a year he was declared free of cancer. Armstrong decided to start a foundation called Livestrong to raise money for cancer research. All of this happened before he won his first Tour de France and before he made his name big in the cycling world. This means that the Livestrong Foundation was founded when Armstrong was still a clean rider. Livestrong has nothing to do with the professional sport of cycling or doping. Its goal is simply to help families that have been touched by cancer and raise money for cancer research.
I have been involved with the Livestrong foundation for the past eight years. I first became involved after my grandmother passed from lung cancer when I was in fourth grade. Since then I have raised money for Livestrong every year for the Livestrong Challenge. Personally, I have raised over $20,000 for the foundation. The Livestrong Challenge is an event that takes place every August where the people who have been fundraising can participate in a run, walk, or bike ride. My event is the bike ride. I started with the 45 mile ride, and have worked my way up to the 100 mile ride the past few years. It is amazing to feel the energy that is in the air as everyone lines up for the start. Everyone feels connected since we are all doing this event for the same reason.
The night before the ride there is a pasta dinner that is held for the top fundraisers. I have had the honor to attend this dinner a couple times. During the dinner there are multiple guest speakers who tell stories about how the Livestrong Foundation has helped them in their struggle against cancer. These stories are very touching and provide a powerful example of how the Livestrong Foundation helps families who have been touched by cancer.
Ever since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, the Livestrong Foundation has suffered tremendously. People are no longer willing to give money to this foundation since it was founded by a man whose image is ruined from doping. People have gone so far as to request their money back that they have donated in the past. Currently, there are multiple lawsuits against the foundation by angry donors. This doesn’t make any sense. The Livestrong foundation does nothing but good for families affected by cancer. It shouldn’t matter who created it. I never participated in the Livestrong Challenge because of Lance Armstrong, rather I had my own reasons – as did many other people. Therefore the popular disparagement of Livestrong as a result of Lance’s actions is unfair and unjust.
As a result of his confession, Armstrong realized that by being associated with this foundation, he was hurting the number of donations it was receiving. He was only creating problems for the foundation. Ultimately, he decided to remove himself entirely from the foundation and turn it over to someone else who would not hurt the image of Livestrong. Thankfully, most of the sponsors of the Livestrong Foundation, such as Nike and Nissan, have decided to stay with the foundation even though they dropped Armstrong personally.
With my involvement in the Livestrong Foundation, I have been able to see the effects that Lance Armstrong’s confession has had on the foundation. When I first started raising money for Livestrong, I was able to easily make multiple thousands of dollars each year. Now, I struggle to break one thousand dollars in a year. This is not the only effect that I have been able to witness. Even though most of the sponsors stayed with Livestrong after dropping Armstrong, they do not provide for the Foundation as much as they did in the past. During my first years participating in the Livestrong Challenge, the sponsors would hand out so much free stuff. The day before the ride, all the participants pick up their numbers at the Livestrong Village. In the village, all the sponsors have tents set up where they give away different marketing items. Some sponsors even have raffles where they give away bikes or cars. I was fortunate enough to win a fancy road bike one year at the Nissan Booth. Winning this bike is what allowed me to get involved in the sport of competitive road biking, and further my involvement in the Livestrong Challenge. This was all before the Lance Armstrong doping scandal became so serious. Now that Armstrong has confessed to doping, the sponsors give so much less for the foundation. Instead of being an energetic festival, the Livestrong Village is now more of a ghost town where the participants stand in line to get their numbers then leave right away. This causes less and less people to participate in the challenge and causes people to be less likely to participate again in future years.
There used to be around five thousand participants in the event that I raise money for every year. Last year, there were only nine hundred participants. This foundation is really suffering and I don’t think it is going to make it very much longer. This is a shame because I was able to witness first-hand the good that this foundation did for so many families affected by cancer before the Lance Armstrong doping controversy exploded.
Of course, there is no denying that this is Armstrong’s fault. It’s inevitable that anything associated with Lance’s name would suffer due to his confession. I believe, however, that if the USADA had decided not to destroy his reputation and make an example out of him, that the effects wouldn’t have gone this far and hurt his foundation as they did. It is sad to see such a good foundation be torn apart. In my mind, the USADA took the witch-hunt too far just to make an ineffective example out of one of the most successful athletes in the world.
How Exactly Did Lance Armstrong Cheat?
Long-distance cycling puts an immense amount of pressure on the human body, making the sport ripe for rampant PED abuse. When Armstrong was the subject of doping accusations just before the 2010 Tour De France, it wasn’t the first time.
Considering the source was a former teammate, Floyd Landis, who was previously stripped of a title for PED abuse, it wasn’t immediately cut and dry.
As the investigation expanded, it became apparent that Landis wasn’t just right — he might’ve actually low balled his accusations. He claimed that Armstrong kept his own blood available for transfusions, which he put back into his body mid-race. Landis claimed Armstrong also abused testosterone to aid recovery, according to Business Insider.
It turned out that Armstrong had a years-long, meticulously designed plan for doping. It wasn’t just personal; he browbeat his teammates into following suit, according to Bleacher Report. Armstrong even paid out bribes to keep positive tests under wraps.
He repeatedly insisted he was clean and accused his critics of unfairly smearing him. Within months, Armstrong went from an American sports hero to pop culture pariah. So, what is the doping method that Armstrong went to such lengths to conceal?
According to WebMD, blood doping refers to any illicit method of improving physical endurance and performance via boosting the athlete’s ability to oxygenate their muscles. The simplest method is to extract the athlete’s blood before an event, then transfuse it back during opportune moments before or in the middle of competition.
MedlinePlus notes that a hormone known as erythropoietin (EPO) can raise the body’s production of red blood cells. Synthetic oxygen carriers can also be injected for a similar effect.
Various blood doping therapies used in conjunction can have a compound effect, as well. Armstrong, for example, used human growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisone alongside his mid-race transfusion habit.
Other famous instances of blood doping in sports
Armstrong was far from the first to rely on blood doping to get an edge. In fact, it wasn’t even illegal in many sports for a long time. Cyclist Francesco Moser used blood transfusions throughout the ’80s to win events and break records, according to Cycling News.
Today, transfusions are explicitly banned. Track and field star Rashid Ramzi lost his 1,500-meter dash gold medal in 2008 after testing positive for EPO. It was his native Bahrain’s first medal; due to a failed blood doping strategy, the country has to settle for none. 2008 was a particularly rough year for doping gold medalists.
Austrian skier Max Hauke has probably the most dramatic blood doping tale. He wasn’t caught after the fact via testing, as most athletes are. He was caught almost literally red-handed, receiving a blood transfusion just as a police raid erupted. The embarrassed skier received a five-month sentence for his role in an illegal doping scheme.
n his heyday, Lance Armstrong seemed like the perfect athlete to embody grit, toughness, and the will to win, independent of the odds. That legacy, of course, wouldn’t last.
According to a timeline of Armstrong’s career in the Guardian, the cyclist faced doping allegations throughout his career. In 1999, he tested positive for corticosteroid triamcinolone but managed to provide “a back-dated doctor’s certificate claiming the substance is in a skin cream.” A 2005 report also alleged that Armstrong’s urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France contained a banned substance, but nothing came of those claims.
In 2012, however, something finally stuck. The US Anti-Doping Agency concluded that Armstong and his US Postal Service cycling team had “ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” While the cyclist vowed to fight the case, he was stripped of his Tour de France titles and eventually accepted the charges; the following year, he finally admitted that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.
Lance Armstrong: ‘I don’t deserve a life ban’
American cyclist Lance Armstrong says he should be allowed to compete at the top level again, despite admitting taking performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France victories.
The self-confessed drugs cheat told chat show host Oprah Winfrey he deserved to be punished, but “I’m not sure that I deserve a death penalty”.
In the second part of the interview Mr Armstrong, 41, spoke of how his sponsors began deserting him in droves following the publication of a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation last year, which he estimated cost him $ 75 million.
But he said the hardest moment was when Livestrong, the charity he founded in the mid-1990s after his battle with testicular cancer, asked him to step aside.
He said: “The foundation is like my sixth child and to make that decision, and to step aside, was big… It was the best thing for our organisation, but it hurt like hell. That was the lowest (moment).”
I also feel humbled. I feel ashamed. This is ugly stuff. Lance Armstrong
Mr Armstrong also spoke of the impact the allegations and revelations had on his family, saying his mother had been left “a wreck”.
He fought back tears as he described a conversation he had with his 13-year-old son Luke when he discovered he had been defending him at school.
Mr Armstrong said: “That’s when I knew I had to tell him. He’d never asked me. He’d never said, ‘Dad, is this true?’. He trusted me. He heard about it in the hallways.
“I said, ‘Don’t defend me anymore’. I said, ‘If anyone says anything to you, do not defend me. Just say my dad said he was sorry’.
“He said, ‘Look, I love you, you’re my dad, this won’t change that’.”
Desire to compete again
Mr Armstrong yesterday admitted for the first time that he had used a variety of methods to cheat during his career, including taking the blood-boosting agent EPO, human growth hormone and oxygen-boosting blood transfusions.
The Texan was stripped of all his Tour de France titles and was banned from sport for life by USADA after it found him to be a central figure in “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.
But Mr Armstrong questioned whether he deserved the lifetime ban from all sports handed to him last year, while former team-mates received six-month suspensions for providing evidence against him. And he spoke of his desperate desire to compete again, saying he would love to take part in the Chicago marathon when he is 50.
I deserve to be punished. I’m not sure that I deserve a death penalty.LANCE ARMSTRONG
Mr Armstrong said: “I can’t lie to you. I’d love the opportunity to be able to compete, but that isn’t the reason I’m doing this (the interview).
“Frankly, this might not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it (to be able to compete again).
“I deserve to be punished. I’m not sure that I deserve a death penalty.”
He added: “If you look at the situation, if you look at that culture, you look at the sport, you see the punishments. I could go back to that time… you’re trading my story for a six-month suspension. That’s what people got. What everybody got.
“I got a death penalty. I’m not saying that that’s unfair, necessarily, but I’m saying it’s different.” Mr Armstrong again apologised to his supporters for deceiving them, saying he felt disgraced.
“Of course, but I also feel humbled,” he said. “I feel ashamed. This is ugly stuff. It’s a process. And I think we’re at the beginning of the process.”
And he said he owed apologies to many of the people he admitted he had bullied and lied to, saying “I will spend as long as I have to to make amends.”
Life ban ‘appropriate’ says USADA
Mr Armstrong also denied claims made by USADA that he offered the body a substantial donation while he was under investigation by the organisation.
USADA’s inquiry led to Armstrong’s downfall and its chief executive Travis Tygart told 60 Minutes Sports last week that the Texan made the offer last year.
But Mr Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey: “I had no knowledge of that, but I’ve asked around. I think the claim was 250,000 dollars. That’s a lot of money. I would know. That is not true.”
A USADA spokesman told Press Association Sport: “We stand by the facts both in the reasoned decision and in the 60 Minutes interview.”
Michele Verroken, former director of ethics at UK Sport, told BBC Breakfast she believes a life ban is an “absolutely appropriate” punishment for Armstrong.
“Let’s not forget this was calculated, sophisticated, in its way of getting round the testing programme, so sometimes it’s important to say ‘enough is enough’, and a life ban should be applied,” she said.
“Investigation of any case is absolutely important, but in this case, surely, a life ban – and we can see the impact a life ban will have – a life ban is absolutely appropriate.”
Ms Verroken also suggested that Mr Armstrong did not show enough remorse for the sportsmen he had cheated out of victories.
“I have no doubt that he was showing how remorseful he was for his position, but we have to always understand there was going to be collateral damage.
“It just was interesting to see how much of it focused on him and his immediate family.
“But in actual fact he didn’t show the same level of remorse for all those other cyclists that he’d actually cheated out of their own achievements,” she said.
Lance Armstrong’s Ugly Detour From Road to Redemption
Lance Armstrong once told me that it would take maybe six months to a year for him to rebuild his reputation after he admitted lying to the world about his drug use.Don’t miss a moment at the Tokyo Olympics Sign up for our daily email update. Get it sent to your inbox.
He said his plan was to keep a low profile and quietly earn back public trust, partly by apologizing to the people he had stepped on or, in some cases, tried to destroy.
Armstrong, who in 2012 was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping, seemed proud of his blueprint to restore his image. He said it would show that he was a good person who had been forced to dope because everyone else was doing it.
The plan might have worked — if he had bothered to follow it.
How do I know he is not following it? A court filing on Monday in Dallas revealed $10 million worth of proof.
In the filing, the Dallas-based insurance company SCA Promotions, which gave Armstrong millions of dollars in bonuses for several of his Tour victories, asked a Texas state judge to force him to pay SCA $10 million. The company wants the judge to confirm an arbitration panel’s decision, made on Feb. 4 but announced on Monday, that Armstrong must pay the $10 million because he lied under oath in a previous arbitration involving SCA.
“Perjury must never be profitable,” the panel said, explaining that the case had presented “an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy” on Armstrong’s part.
The panel added that “it is almost certainly the most devious sustained deception ever perpetrated in world sporting history” and that “deception demands real, meaningful sanctions.”
I’d say $10 million is pretty real and meaningful, especially for Armstrong, whose wallet is getting lighter and lighter with each lawsuit he loses because of his decade-plus of doping and lying. And the payouts may keep coming.
“This is just a very good start to getting SCA full compensation,” said Jeff Tillotson, the lawyer for SCA. “Oh, no, we’re not finished with Mr. Armstrong yet.”
SCA is confident that the Texas court will rule that Armstrong must pay the $10 million. But it has also sued Armstrong in Texas civil court to see whether it can get an additional $5 million to $10 million back from him.
No matter how big the paycheck for SCA, this looks to be a sweet ending to a story that began in 2004, when Armstrong took his first swipe at the company. That was the year he sued SCA to get a $5 million bonus that SCA had withheld after its founder, Bob Hamman, read accusations of Armstrong’s doping. Armstrong and his management company, Tailwind Sports, were ruthless in their response. Tailwind placed a full-page ad in Sports Business Journal questioning SCA’s credibility, and SCA said it had lost customers because of it.
It was a battle that started ugly and, for years, stayed ugly.
By 2004, Hamman — a 12-time world bridge champion — had already paid Armstrong a $1.5 million bonus for his 2002 Tour victory and a $3 million bonus for winning the 2003 Tour.Milestones: Lance ArmstrongAn interactive timeline of Lance Armstrong’s life and career.
But before SCA forked over $5 million for Armstrong’s 2004 title, Hamman wanted proof that he was clean. So Armstrong sued. During arbitration, he testified that he would never dope. The case ended in 2006, with arbitrators awarding $7.5 million to Armstrong. It didn’t matter whether he had doped — SCA still had to pay the $5 million bonus, plus $2.5 million in fees, because Armstrong remained the official Tour winner and had a right to the money.
Hamman wouldn’t let it go. He made another push at getting his money back in 2013 after Armstrong was stripped of his Tour titles and subsequently admitted to doping. Hamman brought the case back to arbitrators, asking them to reconsider their decision because Armstrong had committed perjury when he lied to them about his doping in the first lawsuit.
Was it then that the new and improved Armstrong, the softer one who admits his wrongs, stepped forward to say, My bad? Did he apologize to Hamman and give back SCA’s millions?
No, it was typical Armstrong. He said: Too bad. A settlement (in 2006) is a settlement.
How’s that for contrition? Armstrong was so sorry about lying and taking millions of SCA’s bonus dollars that he kept the cash he had won because he doped — and then forced SCA to sue him to get that money back.
It all shows that Armstrong might have started out on a road to redemption two years ago, but that he took an early exit.
Truth is still not part of his daily vocabulary. This month, Armstrong received two traffic tickets in Aspen, Colo., on charges that he hit two parked cars and left the scene of an accident. But that was only after his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, had gotten those tickets. She initially told the police that she was driving on the night of the hit-and-run because Armstrong had been drinking, but she later admitted that she had lied because she didn’t want his name in the news.
So Armstrong’s great blueprint of winning back the public — tell the truth and reveal your goodness — wasn’t so great after all. After two years, has it faded so much that he can no longer make out the words? He continues to lie, and even had his girlfriend lie for him. And he is still fighting some of those people he tried to crush, like Hamman.
Last month, Armstrong told the BBC that he would dope again if he were back in his early career and his competitors were doing it, too.
That’s not the mark of a changed man. That’s the mark of a man who lacks self-perception. He remains so stubborn, so unwilling to admit failure, but no wonder. Those are two of the qualities that led him to be a champion.
Now his competition is more daunting. He could lose more than $100 million in a federal whistle-blower case in which the United States Postal Service contends that Armstrong defrauded it when it was sponsoring Armstrong’s team and demanded in its contract that Armstrong not dope. Armstrong could have settled that case many times, but he has refused because he still thinks he can win it.
The same way he thought he could beat SCA?
Tillotson, SCA’s lawyer, said Armstrong had offered money to SCA several times to settle the case, but nowhere near the $14.5 million-plus that Hamman had dished out in the matter over the years. That’s why Hamman is not backing down.
In going up against Hamman, who is 76, white-haired and stocky, Armstrong underestimated his competition. Hamman is, after all, perhaps one of the greatest bridge players ever. How did a champion like that celebrate winning $10 million from Armstrong?
“I didn’t do anything, really,” he said. “I just planned my next move.”
Hamman is someone who has carefully followed a blueprint of his own, without wavering from it, and has found success and happiness because of it.
Armstrong should follow suit.
I have posted the facts about Lance Armstrong, I will leave it up to the reader to come up with your own conclusions. I believe that all the evidence was circumstantial, and that he could have won the case. As far as I know he never had a positive test. There was a lot of here say from disgruntled competitors and team mates that were jealous of his accomplishments and single minded determination to win the most difficult race in the world. I believe he should have been fined and maybe banned, but not have his titles stripped away. After all, the entire tour was cheating. He just admitted to it. Let us briefly examine what he was accused of doing. None of these activities involved taking illegal substances. He reinfused his own blood prior to the race. Patients do this all the time as advanced surgical planning for non-emergent surgeries. He took injections of vitamin B and other totally legal drugs. So he is guilty of two things, one being stupid and the second thing is being arrogant.
bleacherreport.com, “Lance Armstrong: 5 Reasons Why Allegations Levied at Lance Are Baseless,” By Adam Wells; pinkbike.com, “Lance Armstrong’s Confession,” By Radek Burkat; espn.com, “Timeline of Lance Armstrong’s career successes, doping allegations and final collapse,” By Kelly Cohen; blogs.lt.vt.edu, “WHY LANCE ARMSTRONG DOESN’T DESERVE WHAT HE GOT;” channel4d.com, “Lance Armstrong: ‘I don’t deserve a life ban’: American cyclist Lance Armstrong says he should be allowed to compete at the top level again, despite admitting taking performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France victories;” sportscasting.com, “How Exactly Did Lance Armstrong Cheat?,” by Gus Mojica; nytimes.com, “Lance Armstrong’s Ugly Detour From Road to Redemption,” By Juliet Macur; “Up Close and Personal Comeback 2.0,” By Lance Armstrong;
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