The road racing cyclist announced yesterday that he will not fight charges brought by the agency, which has claimed that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He now faces the prospect of being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and being banned from competition for life.
Here are the latest developments on the story.
1. The jury’s still out. While the Anti-Doping Agency seems determined to ban Armstrong from the sport and strip him of his titles, jurisdiction remains in question — and Armstrong has not officially been stripped yet. According to CNN.com, “there’s a question whether the USADA has authority in the case and whether international agencies might have to weigh in before Armstrong would face the prospect of losing his titles.”
2. Goodbye Anti-Doping Agency, hello cancer foundation. In his two-page statement released late Thursday, the athlete said he would give up the fight against the Anti-Doping Agency and focus instead on Livestrong, his foundation for cancer patients. “I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances,” Armstrong wrote. “We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause.”
3. Sheryl Crow is keeping mum.Celebuzz reached out to the singer/songwriter (who was engaged to Armstrong from September 2005 to February 2006), but she declined to comment on the news. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, meanwhile, has also chosen to not comment on the matter.
4. Supporters rally in defense of Armstrong. Someone who is commenting on the story is former road bicycle racer, Johan Bruyneel. A longtime supporter of Armstrong’s, Bruyneel wrote the following on his blogthis morning: “Today, I’m disappointed for Lance and for cycling in general that things have reached a stage where Lance feels that he has had enough and is no longer willing to participate in USADA’s campaign against him. Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been.”
5. It may be time for a movie. Sony Pictures has been developing a Lance Armstrong biopic for years (Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal was even interested in playing Armstrong on the big screen), but after years of doping whispers and rumors, the film was never made. In light of this new incriminating evidence, Deadline’s Nikki Finke is asking, “Did Hollywood miss its chance to tell a fascinating hero’s story? Or is there now an even more complex and interesting saga?” Celebuzzers, what do you think?
6. Some say it doesn’t matter if Armstrong cheated. While most media outlets are concerned with whether or not Armstrong did in fact use performance-enhancing drugs, some believe it doesn’t matter.Forbes.com, for one, asks “Was it all a lie? Who cares? Cheater or not, has any athlete done more with their fame than Lance Armstrong to help people?” The site goes on to explain that Armstrong’s foundation has raised $470 million since 1997 to help people in the fight against cancer.
7. Armstrong is putting family (and fitness) first. Another priority for Armstrong, he says, is putting his family first. “Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids,” he said. “And attempting to be the fittest 40-year-old on the planet.”
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