Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor, is swimming in allegations claiming the athlete cheated the system by using performance-enhancing drugs. Rather than fight to preserve his reputation, Armstrong is taking a different route.
This is not the first time the professional cyclist has been accused of doping. However, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) says it has blood samples from previous years proving the athlete used performance-enhancing drugs and is pushing hard for an investigation.
Where does this leave the legend?
From a public relations perspective, Armstrong had two options including fighting the USADA and losing in a painful finish, or surrendering early and still losing. Armstrong has already picked his poison in this likely lose-lose scenario.
Armstrong has chosen the latter, and stands strong by saying “enough is enough.”
In a statement released last week, Armstrong said:
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. 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.”
This move likely means Armstrong will be stripped of his seven titles and banned from the sport. This move, also, should help salvage his $100 million foundation, Livestrong, which has helped 2.3 million cancer survivors.
The public has been outraged. The hot topic #Armstrong was even trending on Twitter, with comments ranging from loyalty to backlash. Fans inspired by Armstrong’s achievements maintain his innocence. But even more interesting are comments like this particular tweet which reads, “What a break for those guys who finished second who were also doping.”
How do you feel about Lance Armstrong’s decision?
Image 1 via KSTP
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