Lance Armstrong: Ex-inspiration

puliarf from Flickr

Lance Armstrong cycling at the 2009 Tour of California.

Sabiha Viswanathan

Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France cycling competition, was recently stripped of his titles and banned from cycling competition for life because of evidence of steroid use.

Armstrong, who had denied using steroid for years, has been accused of using the blood booster EPO, blood transfusions, and testosterone, in what was known to be a doping scheme.

The investigation of Armstrong’s steroid use had been progressing for years, as Armstrong repeatedly denied the accusations and claimed to have taken multiple drug tests. Finally, after all the years, the USADA sent an over 1000 page document to the International Cycling Union, which included a report from twenty six witnesses, 11 of whom were Armstrong’s former teammates.

Armstrong’s cancer foundation, Livestrong, has also been damaged because of the recent allegations.

A long-time contributor to Livestrong told CNN, “The charity was established and publicized and got their funds based on a fraud.”

Not only was his foundation damaged, but Armstrong also lost longtime sponsers such as Oakley sunglasses.

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, wants Armstrong to repay any prize money for his championships, and wants the record books to be wiped clean, without any competitors winning the races that Armstrong won.

Armstrong’s alleged doping began in 1998, therefore before his seven wins, and was accomplished through several discrete tactics to trick drug testers, including methods of a fraudulent prescription, hiding behind locked doors, self-testing blood, and paying large sums of money for doctors to direct a doping plan.

President Pat McQuaid of the International Cycling Union stated that “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling…he deserves to be forgotten”.

With Armstrong’s hero status destroyed, the strength of drug testing for sports in our nation has come into question.

Many companies such as Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), who are responsible for distributing these steriods to famous sports figures such as Barry Bonds, claim that the blame falls on the inadequate drug testing of sports companies.

Victor Conte, the mastermind of BALCO, believes that the sports industry does not have enough of a sophisticated Carbon Isotope Ratio test to test the levels of testosterone in one’s body.

According to Conte, the most potent drug for power and speed is testosterone. The cunning ways in which Armstrong avoided prosecution for so many years brings into questions whether or not these tests are strong or effective enough.

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3 Responses to “Lance Armstrong: Ex-inspiration”

  1. egrose on November 15th, 2012 3:54 pm

    It’s so sad to see that yet another sports hero was, in reality, using drugs to aid in their feats. It’s especially disappointing to see that this will hurt the cancer association Livestrong. I think that if Armstrong had returned to cycling without the use of drugs after his battle with cancer, he would have still been an incredibly admirable figure in the sports world, whether or not he had won the Tour de France.

  2. Tyler Finn on November 20th, 2012 4:08 pm

    It is so sad to see Lance have such a fall from grace. He had an incredible story, and no one can ever take away his victory over cancer, or the work the Livestrong foundation has done for so many. But the allegation that he doped is yet another case of an star athlete putting him(or her)self before the rules of the sport. The question that comes first to my mind is: how do great athletes justify winning through cheating, knowing that if it ever come out their legacy and the reputation of the sport will be in shambles.

  3. sparish on December 6th, 2012 6:14 pm

    It’s really too bad to see this happen. And he is so prominent in today’s world. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Livestrong.