In what can easily be called a heartbreaking outcome for the cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong faces losing his seven Tour de France titles, as well as a likely ban from the sport of cycling indefinitely.
Armstrong apparently dropped his countersuit against the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Thursday night: the allegations against him being that he took "performance-enhancing drugs" to win the cycling titles from 1999-2005.
Though Armstrong has been accused of doping in the past, he has always emerged victorious from drug testing to prove that he was clean. Now, however, with the charges being put into place retroactively, Armstrong is left nearly defenseless against the claims.
As for the claims themselves, USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart has appeared to have a vendetta against Lance Armstrong and his cycling successes, citing a doping conspiracy in the 1990's and little evidence as to why they have launched the full-on assault against Armstrong at this time.
Armstrong issued a statement Thursday night, directly before the midnight deadline for his decision regarding whether or not he would challenge the arbitration:
"USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles.
"I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours.
"We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not (USADA chief executive) Travis Tygart."
What do you think about the charges against Lance Armstrong? Do you think that he was doping, or that he is simply an exceptional athlete that out-trained and outperformed his competition? Would you like to see him stripped of his titles and banned from cycling? Or do you think that these charges are without merit, and are simply the vendetta to make Armstrong the posterboy for the USADA?