He was once the most revered and admired cyclist in the world. He beat cancer and came back to win the grueling Tour de France seven times.
But that untarnished legacy has slowing been unraveling. Yesterday, Armstrong opted out of taking U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charges to arbitration. That decision triggered the agency to forfeit all his race results from August 1, 1998 to the present. He will also be banned for life from all competitive cycling competitions.
Armstrong strongly denies the charges and says the USADA was on a “witch hunt” and has no physical evidence against him. One of Armstrong’s sponsors, Nike, says it will continue to support the athlete and his foundation for cancer survivors.
What does this mean for Armstrong legacy? How will this affect and change competitive cycling? What’s next for Armstrong and the USADA case?
Daniel M. Rosen, author of Dope: A History of Performance Enhancement in Sports from the Nineteenth Century to Today (Praeger)