But…but we still have a drawer full of Live Strong bracelets we were planning to wear! We couldn’t have been the only ones shocked to hear Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency today over his alleged use of illegal performance enhancers, right? Or the fact that Lance was also banned from the sport of cycling forever. “I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999,” Armstrong wrote on his site last night. “Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by [an] unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense. ” Us Weekly notes that while Lance has never been convicted of doping, he has allegedly done steroids during his career, an accusation that several of his teammates testified about to the agency. So…is this a case of “if there’s smoke, there’s fire”? Or is the smoke just burning rubber billowing off Lance’s bike as he blows past his competitors? We don’t know what to think!
In case you weren’t sure how to react to the Armstrong bombshell either (suggested emotion: bummed either way), Ryan Lochte has a few thoughts on the subject. “If Lance is innocent, it’s a sad time in sports history,” the Olympic swimmer told Celebuzz.“I know that it would be awful to go through all of that. I don’t have first hand knowledge of all the facts in the situation [and] I don’t like making assumptions based on what the media reports. None of us will know, so ultimately none of us should judge…. There’s always two sides to the story. I do feel that there should be zero tolerance for anything that artificially enhances performance. But it should not take years after seven wins for this to be so heavily investigated and debated.” Declared Armstrong on this site,”I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together.” Now that Armstrong is out of the game, we guess we’ll just have to turn our eyes to another cycling great for guidance. People like…um…oh, what’s his name…and the other man…the one with the thing…oh yikes. Lance, wait! Come back!
[Photo: Getty Images]