Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling Monday, Oct. 22, after being implicated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in an intricate and sprawling system of performance enhancement during his career. Last week, Nike, Anheuser-Busch and other sponsors dropped Armstrong from their payrolls, and the cyclist voluntarily stepped down from Livestrong, the cancer charity he founded that are responsible for the ubiquitous yell wristbands.
This has been the culmination of a downward spiral for Armstrong that started slowly in August when the USADA accused him of having a history of doping in an arbitration hearing. The spiral reached freefall earlier this month when the anti-doping agency released the details of its case, which included damning testimony from Armstrong's fellow team cyclists that claimed he was involved in a massive system that avoided testing while he used performance enhancers.
Unlike Roger Clemens, the Major League Baseball pitcher accused of using human growth hormone but fought those claims in a court of law and won, Armstrong said he wouldn't stand up to the charges, while at the same proclaiming his innocence.
The evidence comes as a blow to many fans and supporters of Armstrong, who has become a role model not simply because he was a successful athlete, but because he achieved so much after winning a battle over testicular cancer. The backlash, in fact, already has begun: According to the Huffington Post, some Livestrong donors want their money back, claiming the charity was founded on a lie.
While these claims certainly destroy his standing as athlete, do they also taint the work he's done raising money for cancer research? Or the inspiration he's provided for many by overcoming a deadly illness?
YOUR TURN: Have these doping charges changed your opinion of Lance Armstrong? Do you think he's someone who should still be admired? Will you stop wearing your yellow Live strong bracelet? Share your thoughts in the comments section and take our poll.
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