– Lucie Henson contributed to this report.
Up until now it was unquestionable that the American sportsman, Lance Armstrong was one of the most influential professional cyclists in the world. However, after allegations of cheating, could his reputation be forever destroyed?
A report has arisen from the US Anti-Doping Agency, containing evidence that Armstrong was using banned drugs and underwent a blood transfusion in order to aid his performance throughout his lifelong career.
Armstrong denied the allegations, claiming the whole process has been “unfair.”
This has seemingly come at a huge cost for Armstrong, who is being dropped from many of his multimillion sponsors including Nike, Anheuser, Trek and 24 Hour Fitness. The dropping that comes as the most shocking is Nike, a brand name well known for sticking by athletes through hard times.
There is currently an ongoing discussion among the IOC (International Olympic Committee), with regard to the bronze medal Armstrong was awarded in the Sydney 2000 Olympics, on whether or not he should be stripped of his title and the medal.
The report claims to have evidence that Armstrong was using the illegal substances before 2000 and thus the argument is he should have been banned before Sydney 2000.
A decision should be made by the body within the next 21 days, while another 14 titles are also being investigated as to whether he should have them stripped.
As a result of the drug scandal, Armstrong has also stepped down as chairman from the charity. “Livestrong,” of which he founded in 1997, after Armstrong himself survived the testicular cancer of which spread to his lungs and brain.
The charity has achieved great things in areas of awareness and support for people and families affected by cancer and, although it is undeniable the amount of work Armstrong has devoted into the charity, the disappointing conclusions made from the report are a huge blow to all supporters and fans of sport as a whole.
Many are arguing the charity, as a cause, is much greater than the revelations of drug-use and that he remain chairman. A statement he released stated how deeply he felt for the charity, however it would appear the strict views on cheating are too big to overturn., with Jeff Garvey taking over the role of chairman of the charity.
It will, however, not affect the level of commitment he has for the charity, as he still holds the same leadership role and will continue with the work he has engaged in, such as speeches and the like.
Questions are being asked at how badly this may affect the charity, after people involved have had time to digest the allegations Armstrong faces, with hope that people still trust in the organization regardless.
It was hoped that Olympic medal winners would become the new role models to the younger generation, after endless media attention on the bad behaviour of our favourite footballing heroes.
News of the misleading career Armstrong lived is deeply upsetting to many, and leaves us questioning our trust for all sports people and the control over drugs used in sports.Tweet