Lance Armstrong was one of the most celebrated athletes in history, having been crowned the winner of the Tour de France a whopping seven times. Over the years, he was frequently accused of doping, but he has always vehemently denied the allegations. His fans rallied behind him since, as a cancer survivor, he was not only an inspiration but his Livestrong foundation has done so much good for others.
When Armstrong was stripped of all of his titles and he distanced himself from LiveStrong, reality finally set in – maybe the accusations had been true all along. To finally address the situation, he agreed to sit down with Oprah and everyone is wondering what he’s going to say. When the interview was over (it taped on January 14 in Austin, Texas), Oprah tweeted: “Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!” It definitely sounds like Armstrong had a lot to say.
In case you need a recap, here’s a quick timeline of Lance Armstrong’s career:
This was a bittersweet year for Armstrong, who had finally begun celebrating major success in cycling. Not only did he win his second Tour DuPont but he was also the top-ranked cyclist in the world and even competed at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his lungs and abdomen. As if that wasn’t enough, he had to have two lesions removed from his brain and had chemotherapy.
No matter what happens with the doping allegations, it is very impressive that Armstrong returned to his training so quickly, leading to the creation of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which eventually became known as the Livestrong Foundation.
Armstrong returned to competing with vigor, winning the Tour of Luxembourg, the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt and the Cascade Classic.
He became the second American to win the Tour de France.
For a second consecutive year, Armstrong won the Tour de France. To solidify his position in the sport, he also took the bronze medal in the men’s time trial at the Sydney Olympics and wrote his book, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.
He won his third consecutive Tour de France.
Armstrong won his fourth consecutive Tour de France.
He won his fifth consecutive Tour de France and penned Every Second Counts.
Armstrong became the greatest cyclist in history after winning his sixth straight Tour de France. It was not without controversy, however, since he was accused of doping in the book, L.A. Confidentiel. Meanwhile, he partnered with Nike to create the super popular yellow Livestrong wristbands. The proceeds supported cancer research.
After winning his seventh straight Tour de France, Armstrong retired but his days of defending his victories were far from over. A French newspaper published a report accusing Armstrong of using the performance enhancer, EPO.
After much speculation, Armstong was cleared of any doping charges.
Three years after hanging up his jersey, Armstrong announced his return to professional cycling.
Armstrong finished third in the Tour de France after being accused of not cooperating with the drug testing but the matter was ultimately dropped.
Armstrong finished 23rd in the Tour de France. His teammate, Floyd Landis, admitted to doping and said that Armstrong was guilty of doing the same.
He officially retired for a second time amid incessant allegations including the accusation that he led a doping ring. Tyler Hamilton, who was also a former teammate, said that he saw Armstrong inject EPO during an interview on 60 Minutes.
The two-year federal investigation against Armstrong was dropped but he was officially charged with doping and trafficking drugs by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. He declined to appeal their findings and the USADA submitted more than 1,000 pages of evidence to the International Cycling Union (UCI), which resulted in Armstrong being banned from the sport for life. He was also stripped of his seven Tour de France wins.
He stepped down from the board of directors at Livestrong and lost his sponsorships with Nike, Oakley, Anheuser-Busch and Trek.
Tonight, we will hear Armstrong’s side of the story. In an interview airing on OWN, he will sit down with Oprah for a two-night event titled, Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive. The episodes will air Thursday, January 17, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET/PT and Friday, January 18, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.