Our kids don’t have that many soild famous role models to choose from, and now they apparently have one less in their selection. Late on Thursday it was announced that Lance Armstrong will be be stripped of his seven stunning Tour de France title wins. He is considered to be one of the best cyclists ever and his legacy, not just as an athlete and a cancer survivor but as an icon, makes him one of the most recognizable names in America. From yellow plastic bracelets saying “Livesatrong” to just the sight of him, Lance Armstrong has been a pillar of society – until now.
Throughout the years there have been accusations that he was “doping,” basically cheating to win his string of record setting titles. Although Armstrong has denied the charges, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that he would be stripped of his Tour de France titles and also placed a lifetime ban from competition. Armstrong retired last year, so denying him from competing doesn’t mean much, but taking away all his wins? That will sting. However, Armstrong has apparently tired of fighting the claims.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said in a statement to the Associated Press. Armstrong also referred to the USADA investigation an “unconstitutional witch hunt.”
“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999,” he said. “The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.”
While he defends his decision of not fighting their accusations because “enough is enough,” the USADA sees this more as “Armstrong’s decision as an admission of guilt.” But after hundreds of drug tests and years of defending himself, Armstrong will focus on other things.
“Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities,” Armstrong said.
They can strip away his titles, but thankfully can’t strip his charitable work. And really, isn’t that more important and role model worthy than riding a bike?
Are your children Lance Armstrong fans? Will you tell them about his titles being stripped?
Photos: PR Photos