The Associated Press announced Lance Armstrong dropped his lawsuit against U.S. Anti Doping Agency, and in turn the USADA has banned Lance Armstrong from the cycling for life and strips him of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles.
Armstrong has denied use of performance enhancing drugs throughout his entire professional cycling career. Armstrong had been credited with winning the Tour de France bike race from 1999-2005, an unprecedented accomplishment. Miguel Indurian of Spain won five consecutive Tour de France titles in the mid 1990′s,
An hour after Armstrong announced that he would no longer fight the charges of doping via USADA, they announced that Armstrong would receive a lifetime ban and would be stripped of all seven Tour de France victories.
Armstrong says that he is innocent of all charges but claims he has had enough of the endless witch hunt and will no longer fight the charges. Armstrong stated that his has taken a huge personal toll on himself and family and decided to turn the page in his life. The USADA took this as an omission of guilt and has laid down their punishment.
The USADA claims that Armstrong used EPO and steroids since 1996, which he denies. Ever since his miraculous survival and comeback from testicular cancer he has been accused of using banned substances.
Armstrong brought the sport of cycling to forefront of the American public after his first Tour de France title in 1999. The sport of cycling has been ruined by use of steroids, EPO and other banned substances. Armstrong is now the on the top of the list cyclists that have been stripped of titles from steroid use.
One has to question whether the USADA is after Armstrong and will do anything to hurt his legacy or has he just been lying the whole?
Armstrong claims to have passed hundreds of drug tests, while the USADA says have former teammates, personal trainers and others to testify to the contrary.
Armstrong says that even if the USADA strips him of his titles, that he will always consider himself the winner of those events, says his teammates and everyone who was in that race knows he won.
It is truly a sad day for cycling as it has lost its greatest champion ever and this will hang over the sport for generations to come.
Armstrong transcended cycling and into an international superstar, not just for his amazing athletic achievements, which are now forever tainted, but for his huge charitable work and founding of Live-strong. His organization has raised global awareness for cancer and has raised nearly $500 million dollars in cancer research since Livestrong’s was founded in 1997.
People all over the world wear the Livestrong bracelets and inspired thousands if not, millions to try and overcome the disease of cancer.
The International Cycling Union had backed Armstrong in his lawsuit that the USADA had no authority to rule on this matter, so their input on the whole situation is up in the air.
One thing is for sure; Friday will be a horrible mark on the sports world, as it will lose one of the greatest sources of inspiration of all-time.