Lance Armstrong puts Doping Controversy in the Past
As much as 14 years of recognition has been erased from the cycling career of Lance Armstrong this last week as USADA striped Armstrong of 7 Tour de France titles and bans the athlete from cycling competition.
Doping controversy has followed Armstrong closely nearly his entire professional cycling career. Despite passing numerous drug tests requiring blood and urine samples, Armstrong has been punished by the US Anti-Doping Agency with a life-long ban. The agency hopes that other cycling organizations will follow suit, however the international cycling union cautiously requested a full report on why Armstrong should relinquish his Tour titles from 1999-2005.
The Amaury Sport Organization, which puts on the famous cycling race, made things clear that no action would be taken until the organization heard from both the UCI and USADA. The ASO is bound by contract with the USADA to take back titles Armstrong won in the event he was doping during this period.
Travis Tygart, a USADA chief executive, is on a crusade against the “win-at-all-costs culture” stating, “Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion as was done in this case.” Tygart went on to say that the UCI was “bound to recognize our decision and impose it.” Adding further that, “They have no choice but to strip the titles under the code”.
The USADA claims its evidence comes from those individuals directly observing or directly involved in Armstrong and his teammates’ doping activities in the past. Witnesses said they were told directly by Armstrong that he “used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone” up until 2005, and that he had previously used EPO, testosterone and Human Growth Hormone in the mid-nineties.
Armstrong has been battling allegations for more than a decade and has finally given up the pursuit of clearing his name. Now Armstrong is in a much happier place he attests, recently competing in a 36-mile mountain bike race in Colorado where he was bested by a 16-year-old who overshadowed Armstrong’s time by more than 5 minutes.