Two weeks ago Lance Armstrong finished the Half Full Triathlon at Centennial Park in first place among cancer survivors.
At the time he was still a champion for their cause and a seven-time Tour de France Champion, despite a constant cloud of doping allegations hanging over him.
In just one month, Armstrong went from a nationwide hero to a disgraced sportsman. It was one of perhaps the quickest downfalls of any national icon in recent memory.
Here's how it happened:
Oct. 7, 2012 - Lance Armstrong races in the Rev3 Half Full Triathlon to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund. Controversy swirls before the race as organizers had to strip the event of its official sanctioning to allow Armstrong to compete. In August, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had banned him from competing in any events it sanctions. Race organizers are pleased to have Armstrong competing and say his presence has increased registrations for the event, which takes place to raise money to fight cancer. Armstrong won the race among non-professionals with a time of 4:10:55.
Oct. 10 - The USADA releases its opinion along with voluminous supporting documents stating that Armstrong had used banned performance enhancing drugs throughout his career and pressured teammates into using them as well. That day ESPN reporter Bonnie Ford wrote, "There is no other logical conclusion. After today, anyone who remains unconvinced simply doesn't want to know."
Oct. 17 - Armstrong steps down as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, also known as Livestrong. In a statement, he says, "Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship." The foundation's president and CEO, Doug Ulman, who is Howard County Executive Ken Ulman's brother, said, “Today, thanks to Lance’s leadership, that foundation has had the privilege of raising close to $500 million to serve people affected by cancer."
On the same day, Nike drops its sponsorship of Armstrong. In a terse statement, Nike says, "Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner."
Oct. 22 - Armstrong is stripped of seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling's governing body due to the evidence of doping against him. The International Cycling Union stated in its announcement that it agreed with USADA's decision. In Paris, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said on Monday, "Lance Armstrong is no longer the winner of the Tour de France from 1999-2005," according to CBS News. Prudhomme says the titles will remain vacant for those years, according to CBS.
- Lance Armstrong to Race in Howard County Oct. 7
- Armstrong's Appearance Stirs Controversy
- SPEAK OUT: Are Lance Armstrong Doping Charges Unfair?
- Lance Armstrong to Speak About Cancer Survivorship at Centennial High
What do you think, is Lance Armstrong still someone that should be looked-up to?