Lance Armstrong was to receive a $5-million bonus from a Texas insurance company for winning the Tour de France. The company tried to avoid paying Armstrong this bonus because of a number of doping related chargers and accusations that Armstrong was facing. There was a trial and sworn testimony stating that Lance Armstrong had been a longtime user of performance enhancers, namely EPO (Erythropoitein).
When the company refused to pay the bonus Armstrong sued them in court. With a lack of hard evidence Armstrong and Tailwind Sports received $7.5-million to cover the $5-million bonus plus interest and lawyer fees. “It’s over. We won. They lost. I was yet again completely vindicated,” said Armstrong in a statement afterwards.
This is the kind of guy that we were all pulling for and were all duped by. The Livestrong bracelets that our kids wore, the story of overcoming adversity that we were all in awe of, was all the result of a cold-hearted, ruthless liar who is finally getting what he deserves. The Texas company is one of many that is seeking the return of their funds.
What are your thoughts on Armstrong after what we have learned? Will you watch the interview with Oprah? What do you expect to hear from him? What do you think he should say?
1992 – Armstrong competes in his first Olympic Games in Barcelona. He finished 14th in the men’s road race and leaves his amateur status behind.
1993 – Wins the CoreStates United States Professional Championship, the 1993 World Road Championship in Oslo, Norway and the USPRO Championship. Competes in first Tour de France.
1996 – Lance is now the top ranked cyclist in the world. Competes in the Olympic Games in Atlanta and finishes 6th in the men’s time trial and 12 in the men’s road race.
October 1996 – Diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his abdomen, brain and lungs. Armstrong underwent extensive chemotherapy, brain surgery and testicular surgery.
1996 – Frankie Andreu, a teammate of Armstrong and a successful cyclist, and his wife Betsy hear Armstrong tell doctors that he doped with EPO (Erythropoitein), growth hormone and steroids.
1997 – Declared cancer-free and founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation (later known as the Livestrong Foundation). He resumed his training as a cyclist.
1998 – Armstrong wins the Rheinland-Pfalz and the Cascade Classic. His first wins since coming back from the cancer treatment.
1999 – Lance wins his first Tour de France.
2000 – He wins his second Tour de France and wins a bronze medal in the men’s time trial at the Sydney Olympics. Publishes his book, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.
2001 – Armstrong wins his third consecutive Tour de France. Testing for EPO is now possible and being used.
2002 – Armstrong wins his fourth consecutive Tour de France.
2003 – Armstrong wins his fifth consecutive Tour de France and joins 4 others as the event’s only five-time winners. Publishes Every Second Counts.
2004 – L.A. Confidential is published by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, a book that accuses Armstrong of doping. Armstrong becomes a cycling legend by being the first person to win six consecutive Tour de France events.
2005 – Armstrong wins his seventh consecutive Tour de France and retires from cycling. French newspaper L’Equipe reports that Armstrong used EPO in 1999. The paper said that 6 of Armstrong’s urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France came back as positive in 2004 when retested.
2006 – Independent Dutch investigators clear Lance Armstrong of doping at the 1999 Tour de France. Frankie Andreu testifies that, in his presence in 1996, Armstrong told doctors that he was using EPO. Armstrong swore under oath that this never happened. Armstrong appears angry and irritated when answering questions about possible usage in an ESPN interview.
2008 – Armstrong announced that he would return to cycling and race in the 2009 Tour de France.
2009 – Armstrong finishes 3rd in the Tour de France. AFLD (France’s anti-doping agency) accuses Armstrong of not cooperating with a drug tester.
2010 – The specter of doping is intensifying. Floyd Landis admits doping and points his finger at fellow teammates, including Armstrong, for doing the same. Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service racing team are investigated for fraud and conspiracy. Armstrong finished 23 in the Tour de France.
2011 – Armstrong retires for a second time. Pressure and accusations continue to build as Armstrong is at the center of an inquiry from a federal grand jury into whether he led a doping ring on the U.S. Postal Service racing team.
- Sports Illustrated publishes an article in which former teammate Stephen Swart mentions that Armstrong instigated and encouraged the use of EPO to teammates in 1995.
- Former teammate Tyler Hamilton tells 60 Minutes that he witnessed Armstrong injecting EPO.
February 2012 – Federal prosecutors drop their two-year investigation of Armstrong and do not charge him.
June 2012 – Armstrong is formally charged with doping and trafficking performance-enhancing drungs by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
October 2012 – USADA sends over 1,000 pages of evidence to the International Cycling Union. The International Cycling Union upholds USADA’s findings and sanctions Armstrong and strips him of his seven Tour de France wins and places a lifetime ban against him. Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Oakley and Trek pull out as sponsors of Armstrong and the disgraced cyclist steps down from the board of directors at Livestrong.
2013 – Armstrong admits to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. He went to the Livestrong headquarters and apologizes to staff. The interview is expected to air at 9 p.m. ET on OWN Thursday and Friday nights. Part two of the interview is expected to air tomorrow night.
Armstrong undoubtedly did a lot of good by raising millions upon millions for his Livestrong Foundation and I thank him for that. Bad people are capable of doing good things. The same guy who raised all of that money sat in multiple court rooms and pointed his finger at multiple accusers and called them liars.
Armstrong has ruined people careers by slandering them and keeping them from getting jobs and basically forcing them from the sport of cycling. Using performance enhancers to cheat is one thing. Looking us, judges, lawyers and innocent people in the eyes and lying to them repeatedly is another.
I hope that my family, your family and the millions of cancer sufferers and survivors out there can continue to live strong, but not with the help of people like that. As for Lance…thanks for raising that money for cancer, but to steal a line from Goodfellas, now I’ve gotta turn my back on you.