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Performance Enhancement Drugs and the Downfall of Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong has been celebrated for his amazing endurance and athletic abilities. For seven consecutive years (1999-2005) Armstrong was credited for leading his USPS team to win the Tour de France championships. As a result, Armstrong became the face of competitive cycling and received multi-million dollar sponsorship deals from various companies (e.g. Nike). Indeed, Lance was the man to beat and he proved unstoppable. Not even a battle with testicular cancer could hold this man down. However, suspicions regarding Armstrong’s athletic abilities began to arise after Floyd Landis admitted to drug doping and alleged that Armstrong was also doping. In 2010, a whistle blowing suit was filed against Lance Armstrong that accused him of engaging in a doping scheme with his USPS team. The suit argued that Armstrong and his USPS teammates used performance enhancements drugs and performed blood transfusions, which violated their USPS sponsorship contracts. Armstrong repeatedly denied the allegations that were made against him and his teammates. After several months, the case was eventually closed and it appeared Armstrong would not be facing any charges. However, this was far from the truth as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) decided to open up an investigation against Armstrong. In October 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released more than 1,000 pages of evidence against Armstrong and his teammates. The evidence included hundreds of affidavits that would prove that Armstrong engaged in drug doping practices during most of his athletic career. Indeed USADA went as far as stating that Armstrong’s doping scheme was one of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping programs" in cycling history. Shortly after USADA came out with the evidence, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from competing in professional sports for life by USADA. Slowly, it was becoming apparent that this was the beginning of the downfall of glorified man. The evidence was too hard to deny-Armstrong was a cheater. The very man that won over the hearts of millions of supports and fans; battled cancer and generated billions of dollars for cancer research had been living a lie. But one could only wonder how surprising could this evidence be considering the years of allegations against Armstrong? In order to find out whether people were surprised by USADA’s evidence, conducted a survey with 1,433 participants. According to the results, the majority of the participants were surprised that Armstrong engaged in performance enhancement drugs; whereas, 12% of participants stated that they always suspected that Armstrong was cheating. Interestingly, 11% of participants claimed that they did not mind that Armstrong cheated considering the pressure he was under. The remainder of the participants (46%) chose not to comment. Currently, Armstrong is facing a string of lawsuits that will have him paying back tens of millions of dollars. Even Nike, one of Armstrong’s biggest sponsors cut ties with the athlete; creating a rippling effect that would result in other companies to drop their multi-million dollar sponsorship deals. Despite all of his troubles, Armstrong states that he would like to continue competing in professional sport. Tellwut asked its participants whether they believe that the lifetime ban against Armstrong should be uplifted and the results indicated that the majority of participants (39%) believed that Armstrong should still be banned from professional sport. In contrast, 20% were more forgiving of Armstrong after he confessed, stating that he deserves a second chance. The remainder of the participants chose not to comment. Overall, Lance Armstrong will go down in history as a bully, liar and cheater. Although Armstrong is in a lot of trouble, there is something that we can all learn from his actions-winning does not always lead to success. In fact, sometimes it’s better to live an honest life, rather than living a constant lie, that will ultimately ruin your legacy and reputation.