The Lance Armstrong ruling has officially been announced, according to CNN. For his role in what is considered to be one of the biggest doping scandals in history, the cyclist has been stripped of his Tour De France titles. What’s more, the International Cycling Union has banned Armstrong from the sport for life.
“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” ICU President Pat McQuaid explained. “This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads and has had to begin anew. It will do so again with vigor.”
As a result of the investigation’s findings, a large portion of Armstrong’s career has been deleted from the record books. The ruling is the latest chunk of bad news brought about by the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, which has been described as “the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program.”
The announcement comes just days after Nike ended their endorsement deal with the embattled professional cyclist. Although the company originally stuck with Armstrong during the doping investigation, they ultimately decided that parting ways with the athlete was the best course of action.
“Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him,” Nike explained in a recent statement. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.”
The same day the shoe manufacturer ended their partnership with the cyclist, Lance Armstrong announced that he was stepping down from his role at the cancer-fighting charity LiveStrong. Despite starting the organization after his own struggle with life-threatening illness, the controversy surrounding the doping scandal has seemingly forced his hand.
“My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer,” Armstrong said.
In addition to Nike, Trek Bicycles, Anheuser-Busch, and several other companies have dropped the athlete, FOX News reports.
Reaction to the ICU ruling has caused quite a stir online. Armstrong supporters seem to feel that the professional cyclist has been unfairly stripped of his titles, while his detractors believe he is only reaping what he sowed. According to various reports, Armstrong might be forced to pay back over $12 million he earned as a result of his wins. For some, the punishment fits the crime.
A number of celebrities and regular Joes alike have taken to Twitter to discuss the consequences of Armstrong’s actions. Comedian Chris Rock was one of the first celebrities to weigh in on the subject, injecting his unique brand of comedy into what is sure to be a hotly-debated issue.
Although some are quick to poke fun at both the professional cyclist and the fallout from the doping scandal, some folks are treating this situation very seriously. Given that Lance Armstrong was a hero to a lot of people for several years, the fact that he cheated his way across the finish line of several Tour de France races hasn’t settled too well with many of his former fans.
“The stories of Lance Armstrong and Jimmy Saville are overwhelming,” one Twitter user wrote following the ICU announcement. “Proves a life lived as a lie can become worthless in a second.”
The USADA report claimed that Armstrong and members of his team used steroids, blood boosters, and blood transfusions to give them a leg up on their competition. Despite denying the allegations, the cyclist decided not to fight the rulings, citing that the process was completely biased against him. Of course, when you have 11 of your teammates testifying against you, getting people to believe that you’re telling the truth is decidedly difficult.
Do you think the Lance Armstrong ruling was appropriate?