Didn’t he almost have it all?
Lance Armstrong — the man who made a brand out of his last name (LIVESTRONG) and broke all expectations when he powered through his testicular cancer diagnosis in 1996 and went on to win seven Tour de France titles — is being disgraced after he decided to give up his appeal of charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, according to reports.
Armstrong announced he was giving up the fight in an official statement that he released on Thursday night, which means he will be stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles and his Olympic bronze medal.
He has also been banned from cycling for life.
Here are the words straight from the horse’s mouth:
There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – ?nished with this nonsense.
I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and de?ciencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could
USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.
Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop ?ghting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my ?ve beautiful (and energetic) kids, ?ghting cancer, and attempting to be the ?ttest 40-year old on the planet.
Lance alleges that the USADA’s allegations are nothing more than a “witch hunt” and he believes that even if he were to fight the allegations further, that he wouldn’t get a fair shake anyway.
As it stands now, since Lance is essentially giving in to the charges, Armstrong could face a backlash from sponsors and organizations who have supported him over the past two decades.
It’s hard to know who to side with in this case. Armstrong’s decision to give in kind of implies guilt. But you can also certainly understand how a 40-year-old man would get tired of fighting the same battles over and over again.
Armstrong doesn’t seem guilty, but then again, none of the doping athletes ever do. There’s no denying the irreparable damage and stain this will leave on his legacy, so we have to believe that his decision was made with careful thought and analysis.
But quick question: Is he gonna give out refunds on those little yellow wristbands too, while he’s at it?
Cause a lot of folks bought that with the impression that he was, you know, a champion.