From Cancer survivor to American icon to…
Retired professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong disengages from controversial accusations against him.
At age 40, former professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong faced testicular cancer. Following this obstacle in his life, he was able to consecutively win the Tour de France, which is an annual multiple-stage bicycling race seven times. He also founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support those who also battle cancer.
Fighting cancer hasn’t been the only battle Armstrong has faced. Over a year had passed since Armstrong retired from professional cycling when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency pressed numerous charges against him.
Armstrong was accused of using, possessing, trafficking and giving to others performance-enhancing drugs, as well as denying the doping violations. Armstrong has described himself as one of United States “most tested athletes,” however, he has always denied any involvement with performance enhancement drugs and has never tested positive for banned substances.
Although the charges against Armstrong have not yet been proved, the suspicions brought upon him are reasonable. He received blood transfusions which would have created false or inaccurate drug test results, making all who question Armstrong even more skeptical about whether his outstanding athletic performance was fair and natural.
What if the athlete that you look up to was charged for doping? Would you still respect them as an athlete?
Although it does not make doping acceptable, Armstrong was not the only professional athlete to use PEDs. Because Armstrong was such a successful athlete, the USADA primarily focused on accusing Armstrong, which is unfair. It is not appropriate to victimize someone for being successful at what they do and not addressing the fact that many others are doing the same thing without being noticed.
In 2010, Spanish professional cyclist Alberto Contador was stripped of his three Tour de France titles after court found the cyclist guilty of doping. Contador claimed that the reason he had tested positive for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat on a 2010 Tour rest day. The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed the appeals from the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency and choose to exonerate Contador from the charges. He was then eligible to return to competition.
“The presence of clenbuterol was more likely caused by the ingestion of a contaminated food supplement,” the CAS said in its ruling in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The accusations brought upon Armstrong were never proved to be true, however in Contador’s situation, it seems like he minorly faced any consequences, even though he tested positive for clenbuterol, which is a performance enhancement drug.
Armstrong has not admitted to using PEDs, however he has given up fighting the charges. By doing so, his seven Tour de France titles have been revoked.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Lance Armstrong said in a written statement released on Aug. 23.
Since Armstrong has retired from cycling, he has taken up his next endurance events: triathlon competitions.
“Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet,” Armstrong also said in the written statement.
More from Gabrielle Saupe
Front page image courtesy of The Inquisitr.