Lance Armstrong has officially been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, according to the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI, the sport's governing body. For Armstrong's die-hard fans, and even some donators to the Livestrong foundation who now say they want their money back, this is devastating and shocking news. Isn't stripping him of all his titles a little drastic?
Photo courtesy of abcnews.com.
Armstrong had staunchly refused to cooperate with the USADA, who reported earlier in October that the cyclist and his U.S. Postal Serviced team "ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen." Armstrong maintains that he never used steroids even after the "damning" report from U.S. officials that determined he cheated throughout his career, which includes testimony from several of his former teammates. He also said that the USADA system's attacks on him were akin to a "witch hunt."
So, what does this mean for Lance Armstrong and his legacy in cycling history? He will, essentially, be erased from the record books, and those years will have no official winner. It's actually really sad that the 41-year-old has essentially been told that his career has meant nothing. He has done a lot to raise awareness for cancer, and immortalized those yellow Livestrong bands, so hopefully that organization won't lose all of its credibility either. Do you think they are treating him too harshly, or did he get what he deserved?