When it comes to drug doping, one of the most recent names to be mentioned is Lance Armstrong.Â While Lance is well known for launching Livestrong, which is a foundation to provide support to those suffering from cancer; he is now being talked about as someone who has potentially been involved with drug doping.
Recently, George Hincapie, who is part of Armstrongâ€™s inner circle, told authorities that he had seen Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs.Â This came just after a former member of Armstrongâ€™s team, Tyler Hamilton, told â€œ60 Minutesâ€ that he had used these drugs with Armstrong.Â Â Just a year ago, Armstrong was in the media after Floyd Landis lost his 2006 tour title for the use of steroids and claiming that he and Armstrong had used these drugs while members of the US Postal team.
While there are many accusations out there against Armstrong, so far he has been tested and always came up clean.Â Many may also be willing to overlook these allegations due to the organization he has started and the work that it has done in helping those suffering from cancer.Â His organization started with the yellow bracelets that quickly became fashionable and has distributed over 80 million of them.Â He has also helped Livestrong raise more than $400 million so far.Â Some of this money comes through things such as concerts, food tastings, golf tournaments and other fundraisers and private contributions.
While doping allegations can hurt many athletes, for someone like Armstrong, it may just be a small blip in the radar.Â It would hurl the cycling community and his reputation as a cyclist, but Armstrong would still be well known and respected for everything that he has done in order to help those with cancer.Â He is also an inspiration for many who have been diagnosed with cancer in that they know Armstrong was able to overcome it and continue on with his life, so therefore they should also be able to.
The UCI insists that it has never hidden or altered any positive test results, and that Armstrong has never been notified of having a positive result.Â They are deeply shocked by the allegations that were made on â€œ60 Minutesâ€ stating that the allegations are unfounded. Tyler Hamilton stated in an interview that Armstrong used a blood-boosting hormone called EPO (erythropoietin) to help prepare for the 2001 tour which he ultimately won.Â Armstrong is alleged to have told Hamilton about the UCI helping to cover up a positive test result at the warm-up event.Â Â The UCI is not happy about the allegations made by Hamilton as he has tested positive twice in the past which is an abuse of the trust of other cyclists.Â The UCI feels that Hamilton is trying to harm them as he is now reporting these events 10 years later and to the media, instead of to the organization.
In 2002, Armstrong donated $25,000 to the Swiss-based organization anti-doping program and then another $100,000 to purchase a Sysmex machine which is used to analyze blood. Â According to the interview with Tyler Hamilton on 60 minutes, these donations to an anti-doping agency have raised some eyebrows as being unprecedented for a competitive athlete.
One of Lance Armstrongs other former teammates,Â Viatcheslav Ekimov, has come to Armstrong’s aid claiming that Hamilton is a liar who has ulterior motives (financial.) Â Ekimov rode with Armstrong from 2000-5 as a teammate in the Tour de France and has stated that he’s never seen Armstrong use performance-enhancing drugs.
What do you think, did Lance Armstrong use performance enhancing drugs?