By the time Lance Armstrong won his seventh Tour de France title, he was already a living legend. Besides being a champion athlete, Armstrong fought a battle with cancer and his successful return to one of the most gruelling sports became a source of inspiration to millions across the globe. His book “It’s not about the Bike: My Journey Back to life” was a bestseller – a further proof of his popularity among the masses.
However, in 2004 a book by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester accused Armstrong, who was then aiming at his sixth Tour de France title, of doping. Two years later a French daily published report claiming Armstrong of being tested positive for banned substance during 1999 Tour. The cyclist vehemently denied the charges.
Later on, one after another, his teammates admitted to have been taking performance enhancing drugs together. In June 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said that it was conducting an investigation into allegations of doping against the cyclist. Later on, the agency officially charged him with doping and trafficking of drugs following which Armstrong filed a lawsuit against the agency. This was dismissed on the grounds of being polemic.
On August 23, Armstrong said that he won’t be contesting charges levelled against him by USADA. Following this, Travis Tygart, the chief of the agency announced that the disgraced cyclist will be stripped of all his titles and banned from cycling for life. His reputation tainted, Armstrong had to later step down from the chairmanship of his charity organisation `Livestrong`. The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed the ban imposed by USADA after receiving the evidences implicating Armstrong of cheating.
“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling," Pat McQuaid, the president of UCI, had said announcing the decision.
Armstrong still denies any wrongdoing.