Armstrong Comes Clean, Detailed Timeline of Events

Armstrong admits to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The interview is expected to air at 9 p.m. ET on OWN tonight and tomorrow night


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.

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Issy January 17, 2013 at 06:26 PM
It was always very clear that he was taking doping, practically all professional cyclists were because that is the way the rules are written by the UCI the governing body of cycling. Lance is both a victim and a perpetrator of a corrupt system that encourage illegal methods.
Liz Claire January 17, 2013 at 11:14 PM
I don't understand the outrage. Why are cyclists singled out? How many football players, basketball players, baseball players do the same without being singled out for ignominy? You can't tell me Barry Bonds was the only person in the sports world to take drugs. This is all media hype and false outrage. Embrace live strong. He's done a great thing. Do you have any idea how many hospitals in the world have been funded with more things you could be morally outraged about? Wake up. Morality is grey but the media tries to make it black and white. The world is a complicated place.
James Adnaraf January 18, 2013 at 02:28 AM
We all have the ability to comparmentalize and rationalize. Lance Armstrong certainly has done that. He is far from pure evil, but when you head down the wrong direction, and then deny it, when you finally come clean, after years of denying it, most of your bridges have been burned.
stephany January 18, 2013 at 06:38 AM
what does live strong have to do with him being a liar and a cheat..he needs to ride off into the sunset and concentrate on live strong. google "no inductees" if you think he is being singled out, because he is not..he is just another liar and cheat who got caught and had to come clean due to overwhelming evidence . this is 100% self serving he did fail many tests BTW, but had them hushed up, because he was Lance Armstrong. gimme a break Liz. this dude is looking to get back into cycling in one way or the other and he was forced into this admission--if you can call it that.
stephany January 18, 2013 at 06:50 AM
granted he is not evil personified, and truth be told, i believe they were all doing it, but he was winning so he got scrutinized and chose to lie about it. he did the drugs for the same reason he lied about it, too much to lo$e.Some people, like him, also eat the fame and glory up and start to believe their own lies to an extent.. I am sure he knew all the top cyclists were doping so why not me. That damn winning will get you every time. I can't help but think live strong was started in anticipation of the truth coming out to garner sympathy
NoName January 18, 2013 at 01:44 PM
I agree with Liz. Why all the phony outrage and disbelief. We have professional baseball players who lied about using steroids, etc and they are up for the Hall of Fame? They say it wasnt Illegal at the time. SO why lie then?? Please give me a break. Just look at photos of Barry Bonds from when he started in Pro BB and when he finished. He was double his original size. Read the book, "Game of Shadows" that will give you a real perspective as to what Barry Bonds and the others were all about. Especially Bonds. You will hate him by the end I assure you.
SRT January 18, 2013 at 02:47 PM
A liar, cheat and a bully. He repeatedly sued people for telling the truth.
RealTimeRufus January 18, 2013 at 03:37 PM
I think we need to allow some latitude for those dudes who have had one or more testicles lopped off. Do you have any idea how hard it is to ride a bike if you're lopsided? This man was very courageous in battling cancer of about twelve different organs. If you're walking around with one ball, much less participating in competitive cycling, I say you're allowed to dope to balance the playing field. Barry Bonds, on the other hand, should be in jail.
Kevin Zawacki (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 04:22 PM
There's the adage, "any press is good press," but I can't imagine this helps the sport of cycling in any way.
Ryan Buncher (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 04:45 PM
And that is the only reason Barry Bonds did not get voted into the Hall of Fame. The same holds true for Roger Clemens. Even players who were simply suspected of PED use, without any real evidence, seemed to get fewer votes than they should have based on what they did on the field. That's why nobody was voted in by the writers this year.
MitchP January 18, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Here are the lessons I've learned over the last few years: 1) If everyone is getting rich in the stock market, buying boats and second homes there's a bubble about to pop 2) If people are suddenly performing regular, consistent, incredible acts in the world of sports, they're doping.
JM January 18, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Ordinary people cannot be extraordinary without a little help.... anymore. And those of us who refuse to comply with these social norms, or simply strive to survive by being ''ordinary,'' get left in the dust. We aren't team players. This is as much the same for biking, batting balls, swimming and golfing as it is with pills to enhance the bedroom experience and CV embellishment for the boardroom (or just to secure a dead-end secretarial job). That is what this story, along with many other successful-by-any-means-necessary plot lines, really speaks to me about the U.S. Lance is and always was just an ordinary guy who used any and all help at his disposal. I never have -- and am pretty worthless for having made that decision. Even if Lance loses $100 million in lawsuits following his admission, he'll still have $10 million cash to sit on ($10M more than I have for living a life of honesty) so, playing the odds clearly paid off for him no matter how his doubters shake him down.
Chris January 18, 2013 at 09:08 PM
God bless Ricky Williams!
Dennis January 19, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Sorry Liz that you do not understand the outrage on the largest fraud in sports history. We need to demonstrate to our children that people like Lance Armstrong are con artist's that deserve no more recognition!
Robert Heinemann January 19, 2013 at 06:24 AM
Bond's issue was addressed in this blog a few weeks ago. He too should be remembered for bad decisions...unfortunately. Here is the link: http://nyack.patch.com/articles/nyse-fire-rex-bonds-clemens-in-hall-of-fame-nets-are-best-in-ny I have not felt a bit of "outrage" over this but I have felt disappointment. Nothing more, nothing less. But hey, he didn't sue me under false pretenses like he did to so many that he couldn't even recall them all when Oprah asked him about them. I remember youngsters wearing those bracelets and being proud to wear them. Proud of Lance and all he had overcome and proud of the country he represented. It's disappointing to hear the truth, no matter how obvious and unrealistic it may have been.


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