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Lance Armstrong is a professional American cyclist and testicular cancer survivor who, in 2012, was stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005 due to evidence of performance-enhancing drug use.
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The retail chain will also sponsor Armstrong as a runner and triathlete.
For nearly a decade, Armstrong has been under intense speculation that he had used performance-enhancing drugs from 1999 to 2005 (he won the Tour de France seven consecutive times during this period), but in June 2012, the U.S Anti-Doping Agency brought formal charges against him, threatening to strip the famous cyclist of his Tour titles. The case heated up in July 2012, when some media outlets reported that five of Armstrong's former teammates, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde—all of whom were on the 2012 Tour de France—were planning to testify against Armstrong.
Over the past several years, Armstrong has vehemently denied using illegal drugs to boost his performance, and the 2012 USADA charges were no exception: He disparaged the new allegations, calling them "baseless." On August 23, 2012, Armstrong publicly announced that he was giving up his fight with the USADA's recent charges, and that he had declined to enter arbitration with the agency because he was tired of dealing with the case, along with the stress the case has created for his family and recent work.
"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 an online statement around this time. "I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. 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."
The following day, on August 24, 2012, the USADA announced that Armstrong would be stripped of his seven Tour titles—as well as other honors he received from 1999 to 2005—and banned from cycling for life. The agency concluded in its report that Armstrong had used banned performance-enhancing substances. On October 10, 2012, the USADA released its evidence against Armstrong, which included documents such as laboratory tests, emails and monetary payments. "The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that the sport had ever seen," Travis Tygart, chief executive of the USADA, said in a statement.
The USADA evidence against Armstrong also contained testimony from 26 people. Several former members of Armstrong's cycling team were among those who claimed that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and served as a type of a ringleader for the team's doping efforts. According to The New York Times, one teammate told the agency that "Lance called the shots on the team" and "what Lance said went."
Armstrong disputed the USADA's findings. His attorney, Tim Herman, called the USADA's case against Armstrong "a one-sided hatchet job" featuring "old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories," according to USA Today.
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For some athletes, the risk of losing—or even being less than the best—is worse than the many consequences of doping in professional sports, and for decades, performance-enhancing drug controversies have made headlines around the world. Other athletes have garnered media attention, criminal charges and sporting suspensions for their recreational drug use. Biography.com examines some of the world's greatest athletes to ever fall from fame, whose names have been tarnished by drugs scandals, including Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Marion Jones, Andre Agassi, Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong.
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