Lance Armstrong Ends Fight Against Doping Claims, Could Lose Titles


"We think it's around 300 separate tests that he's undergone and he has never had a positive test," his lawyer, Tim Herman, told "Nightline" in 2010. "The proof is really, as we say in Texas, the proof's in the pudding. ... Look at the pudding. There are 300 tests and there's not a single positive."

Armstrong retired after that. Yet, just two years later, in court filings, his attorneys had doubled the number, saying he'd faced, "500 to 600 drug tests without a single positive."

In declining to fight the USADA, Armstrong again cited his many negative drug tests.

"Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims," Armstrong said. "The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?"

One of the earliest bits of doping evidence reportedly came in a hospital room in 1996 when he was recovering from cancer. A former teammate's wife, Betsy Andreau, testified under oath that Armstrong told doctors he'd used drugs on the bike.

"Lance, holding his IV, looking down, rattled off EPO, testosterone, steroids, growth hormone, cortisone -- and that was my introduction to performance enhancing drugs in the sport of cycling," Andreau said.

The hospital room story would become a sore spot for Armstrong, wrapped up in litigation in a civil case by a company that sought to avoid paying him a bonus by accusing him of cheating.

"How could it have taken place when I've never taken performance enhancing drugs? How could that have happened" Armstrong asked in a video deposition. "I've never taken drugs … Incidents like that could never have happened."

The anti-doping agency also claimed Armstrong used "fear, intimidation and coercion in an attempt to enforce of code of silence, or omerta."

To that point, investigators reportedly seized upon a recorded phone conversation from 2004, made by former Tour de France winner Greg Lemond as he talked to Armstrong's Oakley eyewear liaison and former friend, Stephanie McIlvain.

"So many people protect him it's just sickening," McIlvain said on the recording.

McIlvain, while publicly defending Armstrong, privately inferred to Lemond that Armstrong wasn't clean.

"The part that pisses me off about the whole thing, even if we were close right now, is how many people he's given false hope to," McIlvain said. "I think that is the most disgusting thing ever."

For some in the cancer community -- which benefitted greatly from Armstrong's battle against testicular cancer and the work done fighting cancer by his foundation -- cheating on the bike is outweighed by good done in the real world.

In the sport of cycling, Armstrong's fall is just another headache. Since his reign, so many close rivals have been caught up in doping scandals that nobody can figure out who gets the Tour de France wins that Armstrong may now have to forfeit.

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