I know most of you, ok 99.99999% of you don’t follow or care about cycling. Yet back during Lance Armstrong’s then record seven Tour De France victories you felt a bit of pride. You were in amazement on how he would just pull away from the field on the hardest stretches of the race. It was America sticking it to the Europeans that hated us via Armstrong’s victories.
Then came the allegations of doping. This just fueled America’s love for Armstrong, a cancer survivor. How dare they say our hero is a cheater, he survived cancer and you’re accusing him of cheating, what scum you are. This was America’s stance, Armstrong the innocent, his popularity soared. Livestrong took off like facebook and millions of yellow Livestrong bracelets were sold, yes I bought one myself, who doesn’t support cancer research?
Now all of that is gone, his own country found him guilty of cheating, the USADA released their report. He had to step down from the board of the Livestrong cancer fighting charity in which he founded in 1997. He was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and stricken from the record books from all his races since 1998. He has lost most of his sponsorship’s which were valued in the tens of millions. Though don’t feel bad for him he still has an estimated net worth of $100 million, so he can still put food on the table.
Armstrong is facing several lawsuit’s since the USADA report. The Sunday Times, a British newspaper is suing Armstrong to recover the $500,000 they had to pay to settle a libel lawsuit. He also faces whistle-blower charges filed by Floyd Landis, a former teammate, and an also stripped Tour de France winner (2006). The lawsuit accuses Armstrong of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Department of Justice has not yet joined the suit.
Rumors have been circulating that Armstrong would come clean to try to reduce his lifetime ban so he could compete in elite triathlon and running events. He does have a hiccup to overcome, the World Anti-Doping Agency rules state his lifetime ban can only be reduced to no fewer than eight years. Armstrong has to hope with his emission of guilt that the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Anti-Doping officials reduce it even further with this new information.
Whatever comes of this Lance Armstrong had fooled most of us. Had us supporting him when the Euro’s were saying cheating American. Cycling is a dirty sport, other prominent European names in the sport have been banned and stripped of titles also. Yet Armstrong stood above them all during a decade stretch. He was the cancer survivor that was out racing the best in the world. He was our American hero for so many years. Now he lives a life of shame. I hope he is coming clean to help clean up the tarnished name of Livestrong, which people, the organization did nothing wrong. The only fault Livestrong has is that it’s figure-head is apparently a liar and a cheat. I think I say this for all American’s, I want my dollar back Lance. By Steve Kish