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Lance Armstrong began his athletic career as a triathlete winning his first race at the age of 13. At 16, Lance Armstrong became a professional triathlete and became national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990 at 18 and 19, respectively.
In 1993 Armstrong focused his attention on cycling and became a decorated cyclist before being diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer at the age of 25. The cancer spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. He had a 20% chance of living. He had surgery removing his diseased testicle and began chemotherapy. He also had brain surgery to remove the tumors on his brain.
After successfully defeating cancer Armstrong went on to win a record 7 consecutive Tour De France titles. With this unrivaled success he mainstreamed cycling in the United States, and used his celebrity and prestige to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for Livestrong and touching an unmeasurable amount of lives in the process.
After retiring from cycling he returned to triathlon in February, 2012 at Ironman 70.3 Panama finishing 2nd overall. He also entered half-Ironman distance races in Texas (7th) and St. Croix (3rd) before breaking through with victories at Ironman 70.3 Florida and Ironman 70.3 Hawaii setting a course record.
In recent weeks his Tour De France titles have been stripped, and he has been banned from cycling and all other sports governed by the US Anti-Doping Agency based on insurmountable evidence that he used performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career. It is yet to be seen whether the titles will go to the second place finishers of those years. Note that the 2nd and 3rd place finishers of all 7 years that Armstrong won his titles have at one point in their careers been suspended for the use of performance enhancing drugs.
The US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) is chartered to:
To be the guardian of the values and life lessons learned through true sport. We hold the public trust to:
Preserve the Integrity of Competition — We preserve the value and integrity of athletic competition through just initiatives that prevent, deter and detect violations of true sport.
Inspire True Sport — We inspire present and future generations of U.S. athletes through initiatives that impart the core principles of true sport — fair play, respect for one’s competitor and respect for the fundamental fairness of competition.
Protect the Rights of U.S. Athletes — We protect the right of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes to compete healthy and clean — to achieve their own personal victories as a result of unwavering commitment and hard work — to be celebrated as true heroes.
The USADA was given evidence of a long and broad systematic doping program, and are required to proceed by their charter to fully investigate this evidence.
The USADA sent a letter two five individuals advising them that the were being investigated, based on eye witness testimony, for Systematic doping, trafficking, distribution, administration, and conspiracy between 1996-2011. The complete letter can be read at: