as his “sixth child,” reportedly has raised nearly $500 million dollars to fight the disease, in part by the charities yellow Livestrong wristbands. Armstrong is a survivor of testicular cancer competed between 1999 and 2005, retired then made a comeback in 2009.
Since confessing to using steroids, he has been banned from the sport of professional cycling and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. He may possibly lose his bronze metal. Armstrong stated that he viewed him taking performance enhancing drugs as a leveling the playing field,
and that he “deserves to compete again.”
The US Anti Doping Agency “USADA” stated that they are releasing more than 1,000 pages of “overwhelming” evidence that as a professional cyclist of the U.S. Postal Service Sponsored Team, Lance Armstrong was a part of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that the sport has ever seen." The Report includes "direct documentary evidence including financial payments, e-mails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs used by Lance Armstrong.
The USADA reports goes to the professional cyclists governing body, “International Cycling Union, UCI, Union Cycliste Internationale” its French name, the “World Anti-Doping Agency” and the “World Triathlon Corporation”, which runs Ironman competitions. UCI, is to recoup millions in prize money won by Armstrong.
Pat McQuaid UCI Union President stated that he was“sickened” by the report, but that "Cycling has a future.” He writes "today's young riders do not deserve to be branded or tarnished by the past or to pay the price for the Armstrong era."
For years Armstrong denied that he used performance enhancing drugs and relentlessly attacked his fellow team mates and anyone that spoke out about his drug use. In 2010 ex-team mate, Floyd Landis tested positive for synthetic testosterone, and was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France Title. He accused other cyclists of using performance enhancing drugs including Armstrong. Armstrong’s attorneys said that Landis was desperately seeking money and attention.
Their have been others that have spoke out about Armstrong, including Tyler Hamilton. According to ESPN, Armstrong ran into Hamilton at a restaurant and threated to make his life a “living hell,” if he testified against him in court, regarding the doping allegations of U.S. postal team members.
In a lawsuit against the USADA, Lance Armstrong named head CEO Travis Tygart as a defendant, stating Tygart was on a “witch hunt and out to get him.” Emma O’Reilly Armstrong’s former personal assistant and team massage therapist said that she was in the room when Armstrong and two other team mates planned to backdate a prescription for cortiscosteroids, to explain a positive steroid test during the 1999 Tour de France.
Armstrong went after her calling her a prostitute, alcoholic and a trader. Once good friends of Armstrong, fellow cyclist and his wife Franky and Betsy Andreu stated that they were with Armstrong, when a doctor told him that he had taken EPO, Testosterone,cortisone, growth hormone, and steroids.
Betsy Andreu also said that her then fiance Franky was fired from the team because he refused Armstrong’s request to see Michelle Ferrari an Italian doctor who treated Armstrong and team mate Landis. Ferrarri publicly defended EPO , stating that the drug is not dangerous. Armstrong has accused Andreu of bitterness, jealousy and hatred.” Armstrong told Oprah that he was sorry for the pain he caused by his need to win at all costs.
Ex-team mate John Eustice told CNN that he believes that Armstrong admitted to doping because he wants to compete again. In order to do that he has to cooperate with USADA on certain details. He says that Armstrong called the shots and encouraged team mates to blood dope. Stating that that in order make the team and ultimately win the Tour de France you have to perform at a certain level. If you do not blood dope you are not going to perform at the level.
So the question is taking performance drugs par for the course if the majority of the cyclists are blood doping? Do you compete without using drugs and risk not performing as well as those that are? Or, do you join them, especially if you can’t beat them any other way?