Lance Armstrong Celebrity LifeLance Armstrong was born in Plano, Texas, on the 18th of September 1971. He went on to take up cycling as a career and gained great popularity after becoming the only man to ever win seven Tour De France cups from the year 1999-2005. However, his fame and accolades were not to last long as it was soon discovered that he was part of a doping conspiracy and all of his titles were stripped from Lance.
Lance Armstrong was an athlete through and through and entered the world of sports at an early age, being excellent at both the sports of cycling and swimming. By the time Lance reached his teenage years, he was constantly participating in swimming competitions and triathlons, and he became part of the U.S Cycling Federation’s Junior National Team even before having graduated from high school.
During the Junior World Championship held in Moscow, Armstrong was part of the US team and went on to win the US Amateur Championships in the year 1990.
Tryst with Cancer
During the 1996 Tour de France, Lance started to feel very sick and soon the diagnosis by the doctors revealed that he was suffering from testicular cancer. The Cancer had by that time spread to Armstrong’s brains and lungs and surgery and chemotherapy were the only options left for him if he hoped to survive.
He underwent many months of therapy and treatment before attempting to come back into the physically demanding sport of cycling and even his doctors were apprehensive about whether he would be able to handle the stress that a rigorous and lengthy race like the Tour de France demanded.
However, Lance was not to be daunted and won his first major race after being diagnosed with cancer, the Tour de Luxembourg in the year 1998. In the later part of the same year, he also finished fourth in the Vuelta an España, which lasts for almost three weeks, and began changing his training regime to get himself in shape for participating in the upcoming Tour de France.
Lance Armstrong became the second American ever and the first American team ever to win the Tour de France in the year 1999, when he participated in the race with the US Postal Service team and won the race by a margin of 7minutes and 37 seconds.
However, the French media did not let Armstrong go that easily, constantly criticizing him of having doped. To vindicate himself Armstrong went on to win the Tour de France in the year 2000 as well and continued the same in the years 2001 and 2002, using his superior strength to overcome the mountain climbs.
Despite being ill and having crashed multiple times in the year 2003, Armstrong won the Tour de France for the fifth time consecutively, going on to win his sixth and seventh in the years 2004 and 2005.
During April of the year 2010, Floyd Landis, a fellow cyclist, and teammate of Lance Armstrong sent an email of an official of the US Cycling Federation that many of his teammates, including Armstrong, had been guilty of doping. This email was followed by a grand jury investigation that closed in 2012 with no criminal charges being filed against Lance Armstrong.
However, the very same year, the USADA accused Armstrong of being part of a doping conspiracy, along with five associates of his, whereby they would indulge in performance enhancement drugs like human growth hormones, erythropoietin, and the likes and even distributing the same to other cyclists.
He was also accused by the USADA of having undergone injections for testosterone and blood transfusions during his career and this situation has been ongoing since the mid-1990s until early 2000. Although Lance maintained that he was innocent, the evidence collated by the USADA against him was overwhelming, forcing the UCI to accept the findings of the USADA and stripping Lance Armstrong of all his competitive titles that he won since the August of 1998, including the seven Tour de France titles.
He was further banned from cycling or even participating in any sport that followed the World Anti-Doping Code. Armstrong took a complete retirement from cycling in the year 2011 and even admitted to being guilty of having used performance-enhancing drugs during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in the year 2013.
Other than cycling, Armstrong is also known for having created the Lance Armstrong Foundation, one of the largest organizations that funds and supports cancer research in the US. He is also known for writing the books ‘Every Second Count’ and ‘It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life’, both of which had been co-authored by Sally Jenkins.
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