Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal

|
9
Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal

Lance Armstrong takes a stop during a training ride back in 2008. Will he continue wearing the Livestrong shirt now that he's off the board of the foundation that he created?

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The cycling world was shocked in October 2012 when seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was accused of not only using performance-enhancing drugs, but also bullying teammates into doing the same [source: Suarez].

There had long been rumors that Armstrong was doping, but until the summer of 2012, he fought the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on the charges. The allegations were that Armstrong took drugs and pressured teammates to take them during the years that he was leading the U.S. Tour de France team from 1999-2005.

Armstrong has never failed a drug test, but -- as Bill Strickland of Bicycling magazine pointed out in an interview with PBS's Ray Suarez -- neither did one of his teammates who testified to doping and to personally seeing Armstrong take steroids [source: Suarez]. There are reports saying the real story there is that he had failed drug tests in the past but successfully covered them up.

There are mixed reactions in the bicycling community about the Armstrong doping scandal. Cyclist Mike Cavendish told The Independent that Armstrong's behavior back then taints the sport's reputation now. But a poll from late October 2012 -- after the scandal broke- - showed that only 36 percent of respondents had a negative view of Lance Armstrong, even after reading stories on the doping scandal [source: O'Keeffe].

The scandal hit Armstrong hard. The International Cycling Union stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. Sponsors, like Nike and Anheuser-Busch, dropped him which meant a lot of lost revenue [source: Macur]. He also had to resign from Livestrong, the charitable organization he founded, aimed at fighting cancer [source: Associated Press]. The organization will continue its fundraising and awareness-raising efforts without him.

|