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Lance Armstrong’s controversial career


A legend before the fall

Lance Armstrong battled back from life-threatening cancer to become a cycling legend, winning seven Tour de France titles. However, allegations of performance-enhancing drug use followed him throughout his career, and in 2012, he was stripped of all seven of his Tour titles after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released evidence of use and distribution the substances.

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Lance Armstrong 17 year old professional triathlete

An early champion

Armstrong began his professional racing career in triathlon. At age 17, he competed in the Jeep Triathlon Grand Prix in May 1988. He was the national sprint-course champion in 1989 and 1990.

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Lance Armstrong

Shift in focus

In 1992, Armstrong turned his focus completely to cycling and joined the Motorola team.

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Early Tour success

Armstrong raises his arms as crosses the finish line to win the 8th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Chalons-sur-Marne and Verdun, France on July 11, 1993. He won a several individual stages of the race what would define his career before being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996.

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Lance Armstrong, Cancer Recovery Photos

Ultimate fight

Armstrong lies in a bed during treatment for testicular cancer at Indiana University School of Medicine Hospital lying in Indianapolis in November 1996. He was diagnosed at age 25 at stage three, an advanced stage of the disease, and was given less than a 40 percent chance of survival. By the time he began treatment, the cancer had spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. After several surgeries and months of chemotherapy, he was declare cancer-free in February 1997.

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(FILES) - Picture shows American rider o

Maillot jaune

Armstrong puts on the Maillot jaune -- the yellow jersey -- after winning the prologue of the 1999 Tour de France. He would go on to win three more stages before claiming the overall title. He beat the second-place finisher, Alex Zulle, by seven minutes and 37 seconds.

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Overall leader Lance Armstrong of the U.S., left in yellow, and the rest of the pack climb Tamie pass during the ninth stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Le Grand-Bornand, French Alps, and Sestrieres in the Italian Alps Tuesday, July 13, 1999. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

Overall leader Lance Armstrong, left in yellow, and the rest of the pack climb Tamie pass during the ninth stage of the 1999 Tour de France. Armstrong won the stage, and eventually the race.

Laurent Rebours / AP


Armstrong exits the doping control area after being tested for performance-enhancing drugs on July 4, 1999. Speculation about possible substance use began to surface in 1999.

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The winner of the 1999 Tour de France American Lan


Armstrong carried the U.S. flag as he took his victory lap on the Champs Elysees in Paris after winning the Tour de France on July 25, 1999.

Patrick Kovarik / AFP

A presidential gift

President Clinton picks up a light-weight racing bicycle presented to him as a gift by Armstrong in the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday, August 10, 1999.

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The cyclists of the US Postal team ride togetherle

U.S. Postal team

The U.S. Postal team, with Armstrong at the lead, competes in the fourth stage of the 2000 Tour de France, a team time trial between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire. Armstrong joined the team in 1997 during this recovery from testicular cancer treatment.

Patrick Kovarik / AFP

Family celebration

Armstrong holds his son Luke as his then-wife Kristin looks after the cyclist won the Tour de France on July 23, 2000. He beat rival Jan Ullrich by six minutes and two seconds.

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Lance Armstrong

Ahead of the field

Between 1999 and 2005, Lance Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles.

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Lance Armstrong

Lone star

Armstrong flew the Texas state flag as he rode up the Champs Elysees to win the 2001 Tour, beating Jan Ullrich by six minutes, 44 seconds.

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Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong carries th

Riding for a cause

Armstrong carries the Olympic flame while riding with a group of cancer survivors in Austin, Texas, on Dec. 11, 2001, during the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Torch Relay.

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US President George W. Bush (R), joined by four-ti


President Bush was joined by Armstrong as he spoke about cancer and increased research spending on Sept. 18, 2002, at the White House.

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Armstrong Wins Fourth Tour De France

No. 4

Armstrong holds up the winners tropy after winning the 2002 Tour De France on July 28 in Paris.

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US Lance Armstrong (US Postal/USA) takes

Dodging disaster

Armstrong takes his bike in the grass to continue the race after avoiding Spaniard Joseba Beloki, who fell down at the end of the ninth stage of the 2003 Tour de France between Bourg d'Oisans and Gap.

Joel Saget / AFP

Jan Ullrich of Germany, right, evades Iban Mayo of Spain, center, and overall leader Lance Armstrong after Armstrong and Mayo fell in the final ascent towards Luz-Ardiden, during the 15th stage of the 2003 Tour de France. Armstrong won the stage, Ullrich finished in third place.

Bernard Papon / L'EQUIPE
Image: (FILE PHOTO) Nike Terminate Sponsorship Contract With Lance Armstrong


In May 2004, Nike and the Lance Armstrong Foundation joined forces and created the bracelet campaign. Each of the bright yellow wristbands cost $1 each, with all proceeds going to the foundation. Nike agreed to donate an additional $1 million to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

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US Lance Armstrong (US Postal/USA) kisse

Something to Crow about

Armstrong kisses girlfriend Sheryl Crow after he put on the yellow jersey as overall leader at the end of the 15th stage of the 2004 Tour de France. Armstrong won a five individual stages of the race, as well as the team time trial. He won the race, beating Andreas Kloden by six minutes, 19 seconds.

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Image: Lance Armstrong during the Tour de France in Paris.

A record day

Armstrong, still riding for the U.S. Postal team, became the first six-time winner of the Tour de France on July 25, 2004.

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US Lance Armstrong waves a paper reading

Final victory

Armstrong waves a paper reading "7" before the 21st stage of the Tour de France on July 24, 2005. At age 33, Armstrong won his seventh title, beating Ivan Basso by four minutes, 40 seconds. He had announced earlier that he was retiring from cycling.

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The overall winner US Lance Armstrong ce

Family affair

Armstrong celebrates his seventh Tour victory with his three children -- Luke, Grace and Isabelle -- on the winners' podium on July 24, 2005.

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Lance Armstrong Lobbies For More Resources To Battle Cancer

New focus

Armstrong speaks as cancer survivors look on during a news conference on May 17, 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington. One hundred cancer survivors from all 50 states joined Armstrong to call on the Congress to invest in resources, treatment and services for cancer patients.

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Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance A


Armstrong competed in the 2006 New York City Marathon, finishing with a time of two hours, 59 minutes and 36 seconds and helped to raise more than $600,000 for his Livestrong charity.

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Meet The Press

Media pitch

Armstrong speaks with the late Tim Russert, right, during a taping of "Meet the Press" on Aug. 24, 2007 at the NBC studios in Washington. Armstrong spoke about continuing efforts to help battle cancer and encourage funding and development to combat the disease.

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Lance Armstrong, founder and chairman of

Return to cycling

Armstrong announced that he would return to competitive cycling at the Clinton Global Initiative on Sept. 24, 2008 in New York.

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Image: Lance Armstrong is cheered by fans

Armstrong, riding for the Astana team, is cheered by fans as he rides on July 22, 2009 in the 17th stage of the Tour de France. He finished the race in third place, five minutes and 24 seconds behind the overall winner, teammate Alberto Contador.

Joel Saget / AFP
Le Tour 2010 - Stage Sixteen

New team

Armstrong rides in a breakaway during stage 16 of the Tour de France on July 20, 2010 in Pau, France. Armstrong joined Team RadioShack in 2010, and was named the team leader.

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Le Tour 2010 - Stage Eight

Armstrong speaks to the media following the end of 8th stage of the 2010 Tour de France. During the stage, he crashed twice and lost 11 minutes to the leading group. Despite helping Team RadioShack claim the team competition, Armstrong finished in 23rd place in his final Tour de France.

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Image: Lance Armstrong, Isabella Armstrong, Grace Armstrong

Return to triathlon

Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 triathlon with his 10-year-old twin daughters Grace, left, and Isabelle, right, on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event, which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

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Image: Cycling Body Strips Lance Armstrong Of Tour de France Wins

Final statement

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) President Pat McQuaid leaves a press conference on Oct. 22, 2012, after announcing that the UCI would accept the U.S. Anti-Doping Association's recommended sanctions, which called for a lifetime ban and stripped him of his Tour de France titles. At the briefing, McQuaid said: "Armstrong has no place in cycling. He deserves to be forgotten."

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Image: Lance Armstrong makes an appearance at the LIVESTRONG's 15th anniversary gala in Austin

Stepping down

Lance Armstrong makes an appearance at the Livestrong's 15th anniversary gala on Oct. 19, 2012. Two days earlier, he resigned as director of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

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Image: Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey interviews cyclist Lance Armstrong during taping for the show "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive" in Austin, Texas.

"I think the entire interview was difficult" for Armstrong, Winfrey said. “He was pretty forthcoming.”

The two-part episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" will air nationally Thursday and Friday, Jan. 17-18.

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