Photo: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Nike terminated Lance Armstrong’s contract in the face of “insurmountable evidence” that he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.Even though it seems like Armstrong’s world has only recently come crashing down, the fact is he has been fighting cheating allegations since his first Tour de France in 1999.
It has been a long, long downfall.
We took a look back at this past decade or so to see trajectory of Armstrong’s fall, from the failed drug test in 1999 to Nike’s termination last week.
In the early '90s he wasn't yet a contender for the Tour de France title. He won a stage in 1995, but that was as far as his success went
He parlayed that fame and universal goodwill into his cancer-fighting charity, Livestrong. The foundation has raised $480 million to date
All the while he continued to dominate, winning seven-straight Tours de France before retiring 2005. But it was about to come crashing down
During his 1999 Tour win, he tested positive for corticosteroids. But it was dropped because he had a doctor's note for saddles sores
In 2005, the French magazine l'Equipe claimed that Armstrong's blood tests from 1999 retroactively tested positive for EPO
The allegations came to a fever pitch when Armstrong's former teammates came out against him. In 2010, Floyd Landis accused Lance of cheating with him
In August, Armstrong announced that he would not defend himself against USADA charges that he doped. As a result, the USADA recommended that he be stripped of all titles
In October, the USADA released a mountain of evidence against Armstrong, claiming he was the driving force behind the most sophisticated doping conspiracy ever
The witnesses in the report also alleged that he threatened his teammates into using more intense doping programs
Overall, the USADA presented a case that Armstrong was doping with a variety of drugs and methods during all of his Tour de France wins
Nike terminated its contract with Armstrong. He joined Mike Vick as the only athletes to ever get fired by Nike
More sadly for Lance, he had to step down as chairman of the beloved Livestrong charity that he founded
Today, seven years after winning his seventh Tour, he has lost his main sponsor, his charity, and (likely) all his cycling records
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