Lance Armstrong

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lance Armstrong Road cycling
Lance Armstrong 2010
Lance Armstrong 2010
To person
Date of birth 18th September 1971 (age 48)
nation United StatesUnited States United States
discipline Street
End of career 2011
August 1, 1998 (life ban) various systematic doping
Team (s)
US Postal
Discovery Channel
Most important successes
Rainbow jersey Road World Champion 1993
Denied successes
Yellow jersey Tour de France 1999 , 2000 , 2001 , 2002 , 2003 , 2004 , 2005
bronze Olympic time trial 2000
Last updated: July 31, 2018

Lance Edward Armstrong (* 18th September 1971 in Plano , Texas , as Lance Edward Gunderson ) is a retired American cyclist and triathlete .

At the age of 21, he won the professional road world championship in Oslo in 1993 , making him the youngest professional road world champion to date. He fell ill with testicular cancer in 1996, returned to professional cycling after his recovery in 1998 and won the Tour de France seven times between 1999 and 2005 . These victories were later revoked because of doping . After his seventh Tour de France victory, he announced his retirement from cycling, but resumed his career in 2009 without being able to build on his old successes. His cycling career finally ended in 2011. He then successfully participated in triathlon competitions until 2012. At times, the prominent athlete and folk hero in the USA was also under discussion for a political career. He also used his biography and his sporting successes successfully in a foundation and political initiatives, for example for a central cancer research center in his home state of Texas.

His career has always been accompanied by doping rumors , which grew after several of his former teammates admitted doping and cooperated with the authorities. Investigations by the US attorney's office against Armstrong were discontinued in early 2012, but resulted in a sports - related lawsuit by the US anti-doping agency , which Armstrong ultimately banned for life from August 1, 1998. This suspension was taken over by the World Cycling Federation UCI in its decision of October 22, 2012, so that Armstrong lost all titles won after August 1, 1998, including the overall victories at the Tour de France. Armstrong, who had previously denied doping, confessed to doping abuse as a cyclist on January 13, 2013 on the US talk show Oprah's Next Chapter .

Life and career

Youth and amateur time

Lance Armstrong grew up in Plano , a suburb of Dallas , Texas . His birth father left the family when Lance was two years old - the two have never met personally since then. His mother, Linda Mooneyham, married Terry Armstrong three years after Lance was born, who adopted him in 1974. The relationship between stepfather and stepson was bad, according to Armstrong. He was not only "brought up" by his stepfather to be tough, but also to be violent. Sport was a way to stay away from him.

Armstrong began his athletic career as a triathlete at the age of 13 and competed in his first race in the adult category at the age of 16. In 1988 he was third in the national championship on the short distance triathlon in Wilkes-Barre (1.5 km swimming, 40 km cycling and 10 km running). In 1989 and 1990 he became national champion on the triathlon sprint distance.

At 17 he received an invitation to a six-week training camp for the junior cycling team.
In 1991 Lance Armstrong won the US road race championship as an amateur ; In 1992 he finished 14th in the road race at the Olympic Games in Barcelona . On August 8, 1992, he turned pro with Team Motorola .

First phase of professional career: 1993–1996

In his second race in Europe, the prestigious championship in Zurich , Armstrong took second place. When he first took part in the Tour de France in 1993 , he won a stage, but gave up during the tour. In the same year in Oslo, at the age of 21, he became the youngest driver ever to become professional road world champion . In 1995 he finished the tour for the first time and won another stage. At the finish line, he stretched out his arms and pointed his finger towards the sky to remember his team-mate Fabio Casartelli, who had been killed in an accident three days earlier . The American was now considered one of the best specialists in one-day races . For example, he won the Clásica San Sebastián in 1995 and the Flèche Wallone in 1996. However, he was in no way traded as a climber or a potential winner of the Tour de France.


On October 2, 1996, shortly after signing the contract with Equipe Cofidis , Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. Lymph node metastases had already formed in the abdomen and in the lungs and two tumors in the brain. Two operations and four cycles of chemotherapy followed and the cancer was finally treated successfully. The right testicle had to be surgically removed. If Armstrong had chosen the usual chemotherapy PEB ( cisplatin , etoposide and bleomycin ), a continuation of his cycling career would have been unthinkable, as one of the active ingredients can cause a reduction in lung capacity. For this reason, Armstrong decided on the chemotherapy VIP ( vincristine , ifosfamide and cisplatin), which was much more stressful during the treatment period , but had no negative effects on his long-term performance.

Second phase of professional career: 1998–2005

Tour 2004: Lance Armstrong together with the later tour third * Ivan Basso (left) approx. 500 m before the finish at the mountain arrival in La Mongie
Lance Armstrong at the 2004 Tour de France prologue

In the spring of 1998 Armstrong returned to cycling. Meanwhile under contract with the American team US Postal Service , the first few months were unsuccessful before the first successes came in autumn 1998. After winning the Tour of Luxembourg, he sensationally finished the Vuelta a España in fourth place, which was the best placement of the former classic specialist in a major tour to date . The placement in the Tour of Spain was later, like all other placements Armstrong after August 1, 1998, revoked.

Armstrong won the Tour de France for the first time in July 1999 , where he also won four stages. On the mountain stages and especially in the individual time trial , he expanded his lead. Armstrong's victory was hailed worldwide as the "comeback of the century".

Armstrong also won the tour in 2000 , 2001 , 2002 , 2003 , 2004 and 2005 . As part of his tour preparation, Armstrong won a number of renowned preparatory races, such as the Tour de Suisse 2001 and the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré in 2002 and 2003.

His published in 2000 autobiography, It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life (German: Tour of Life ) was a bestseller. He dedicated it above all to his fight against cancer.

In 2004 he won the Tour de France for the sixth time in a row. He surpassed the previous record holder, the five-time Tour de France winner Jacques Anquetil , Eddy Merckx , Bernard Hinault and Miguel Induráin . Induráin was the only driver to have achieved five consecutive wins (from 1991 to 1995) before Armstrong. Armstrong dominated the race: he won a total of five stages (three of them in a row) and was more than six minutes ahead of second, Andreas Klöden . The way he fought for victory at every stage, as well as his superiority, earned him comparisons with Eddy Merckx.

His behavior in the race was criticized: At the Tour de France 2004, for example, Armstrong repeatedly prevented the escape attempts by driver Filippo Simeoni , who was completely harmless to him in the overall classification , who had testified in the doping process against the doctor who treated both drivers, Michele Ferrari . Armstrong accused Simeoni of lying; both faced each other in defamation and witness intimidation proceedings, which were discontinued.

At the end of 2004, the US Postal Service withdrew from professional sport after criticizing its sponsorship activities. The sponsorship was taken over by Discovery Communications and named it Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team . Armstrong won the tour for the seventh time in July 2005. After the award ceremony, he gave a speech at the end of his career in which he thanked everyone who had made his victories possible. He also thanked Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich , who stood next to him on the podium, and said he would remain a fan of cycling forever. Armstrong's sporting success and his tour record were inextricably linked with his sporting director Johan Bruyneel and his coach Chris Carmichael .

Third phase of professional career: 2009–2011

In September 2008 Armstrong announced that he would be returning to professional road cycling from the current 2009 season. He announced in a video message that he would drive his first Giro d'Italia in 2009. He rejected the allegations that this was merely a preparation for the Tour de France . The participation in his first comeback race, the Tour Down Under 2009 , caused controversy in retrospect due to the non-participation in the UCI test pool (→ role of the World Cycling Federation ) and the payment of high entry fees (→ revelations for the Tour Down Under 2009 ).

During the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León on March 23, Armstrong was involved in a mass fall. He broke his collarbone . Although many experts had suspected that Lance Armstrong would not be able to contest the Giro d'Italia 2009 due to his broken collarbone, he finished the Tour of Italy, which has been held for 100 years, in twelfth place overall, 15 minutes behind the overall winner. The 96th Tour de France ended Armstrong in third place with a gap of 5:24 minutes on his Spanish team-mate and captain Alberto Contador .

In 2010 Armstrong finished third in the Tour of Luxembourg for the last time in a professional race on the podium. At the 97th Tour de France he was 23rd, 39:20 minutes behind the winner, Alberto Contador, who was later disqualified for doping.

On January 23, 2011, he finished his career in the Tour Down Under with 67th place overall. This was Armstrong's last professional race outside of the US.

Triathlon career 2011–2012

United StatesUnited States 0 Lance Armstrong
Personal information
Date of birth 18th September 1971 (age 48)
place of birth Plano (Texas), USA
size 177 cm
Weight 71 kg
2012 2 × winners Ironman 70.3

After finishing his professional cycling career, Lance Armstrong started on October 23, 2011 in the Xterra World Championship in cross triathlon and finished 23rd (1.5 km swimming, 29.5 km mountain bike and 9.8 km cross-country running). In February 2012 Armstrong announced the start of several triathlon races (Ironman and half-distance). He obtained a professional license and took second place at his first start in the Ironman series at Ironman 70.3 Panama (half the Ironman distance: 1.9 km swimming, 90 km cycling and 21.1 km running). In April 2012 he reached seventh place at the Ironman 70.3 Texas after he was still in the lead after the bike course, in St. Croix he reached third place and at the Ironman 70.3 Florida in May with a new course record of 3:45 : 38 h the first victory. At Ironman 70.3 Hawaii , Armstrong celebrated his second victory on June 2, 2012 in 3:50:55 h.

Armstrong's goal was, according to him, to qualify for the Ironman World Championship ( Ironman Hawaii ). His first start over the Ironman distance (3.86 km swim, 180.2 km bike and 42.195 km run) was actually planned for Ironman France in June 2012, however, due to the ongoing investigation by the USADA , Armstrong was not eligible for the start authorized.


First allegations

Armstrong's cycling career was strained early on by doping allegations, particularly in the French press. Even before the publication of the positive B-samples by L'Équipe in 2005, Armstrong had to deal with the allegation that he was deliberately using illegal means to increase performance, or that he was misusing his previous cancer to increase the use of drugs, namely testosterone . In 2000, Armstrong admitted that he had been advised by the well-known doping specialist Michele Ferrari since 1995 . Immediately before the Tour de France 2004, the book L. A. Confidentiel: Les secrets de Lance Armstrong appeared on this topic (in German about L. A. confidential: The secrets of Lance Armstrong ), in which serious allegations were made against him. The French sports daily L'Équipe reported in 2005 that the doping agent EPO (erythropoietin) had been detected in doping tests by Armstrong from the year of his first tour success in 1999 using new methods . Armstrong was subsequently exonerated by the UCI, but the report is now considered accurate.

Detection and suspension

As of 2010, former teammates at US Postal such as Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton admitted to having doped with Armstrong. There was also a criminal investigation. On June 13, 2012, Armstrong was officially charged with doping by the USADA and immediately banned from all races, including triathlon competitions. Armstrong denied all allegations on the same day and affirmed that he had never doped. On August 24, 2012, the USADA decided to revoke Armstrong's competition results from August 1, 1998 (including the Tour de France victories) and to ban him for life after he had previously announced that he would no longer stand before an arbitration court against the Wanting to fight back doping allegations of the USADA.

On October 10, 2012, the US anti-doping agency USADA published its report on Lance Armstrong's doping practices and submitted it to the UCI, the World Cycling Federation . The central statements of the report were that the successes of the US Postal team and Lance Armstrong had been achieved with massive use of doping substances, which had never been detected on this scale in the history of sports . More than a dozen former companions confirmed under oath that Armstrong had used doping from the beginning to the end of his career. After four years of research, the USADA came to the conclusion that Armstrong had operated the "most sophisticated, professional and successful doping program that the sports world has ever seen" (see also The Program - At Any Price ). In the wake of the revelations about the doping practices of his former team, more and more sponsors ended their ongoing contracts with Armstrong, including the sporting goods manufacturer Nike and the bicycle manufacturer Trek .

On October 22, 2012, the UCI Armstrong recognized all titles since August 1, 1998, including his seven victories in the Tour de France and pronounced a life ban against the American. Since then, Armstrong has been considered one of the "greatest cheats in sports history".

In a previously recorded interview on the show Oprah's Next Chapter broadcast on January 17, 2013 , Armstrong admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had been taking performance-enhancing substances for years, including a. for the time of all his Tour de France victories. This had already been reported by news agencies on January 15th.

On January 17, 2013, the International Olympic Committee Armstrong recognized the bronze medal from 2000 (see list of revoked Olympic medals ). He had finished third in the individual time trial.

Role of the World Cycling Federation

According to a report published in March 2015 by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission set up by the UCI , Armstrong was favored by the UCI during the tenure of the UCI Presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, contrary to the anti-doping regulations and against good governance principles. In particular, the CIRC criticized the practice of the UCI, contrary to its own set of rules, subsequent approvals for the exceptionally permissible use of restricted preparations, Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) , after an already existing positive doping test, in the case of Armstrong's positive cortisone results at the Tour de France 1999 . Furthermore, reference was made to a temporal connection between an exemption for Lance Armstrong, who should not have started the Tour Down Under 2009 due to insufficient time in the UCI test pool according to the regulations , and his commitment to start the Tour of Ireland , which by Pat McQuaid's brother Darach was organized. In addition, Lance Armstrong was informed about the testing procedure for EPO by a pharmacologist on the initiative of the world association on the occasion of two doping tests that were not “positive” but “very suspicious” at the 2001 Tour de Suisse . The UCI had accepted Armstrong's cash payments declared as donations in the amount of 125,000 dollars, although there was no evidence that these payments were in connection with the cover-up of doping tests. The UCI had influenced the report of the Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman in favor of Armstrong, who was supposed to evaluate the positive follow-up tests for EPO during the 1999 tour and also took Armstrong's side against the World Anti-Doping Agency .

Revelations for the 2009 Tour Down Under

In March 2019 it was announced that Lance Armstrong had received 1.5 million Australian dollars (the equivalent of 950,000 euros) from the government of the state of South Australia for his start at the Tour Down Under 2009 , apart from the assumption of flight and hotel costs and others Expenditure. It had been agreed to keep this agreement secret. This was announced by Treasury Secretary Rob Lucas , who had already tried in the past to publicize the previous government's deal. A ten-year confidentiality clause prevented the figures from being disclosed. After the lifelong ban for doping in 2012, the money was not reclaimed from Armstrong.

Armstrong was also paid for his launches in 2010 and 2011, but the numbers are not known. Today's Minister of Tourism, Leon Bignell, defended these expenses: Armstrong was then considered the "greatest cyclist in the world" and his starts helped to raise the race to a higher level.

Private life

Lance Armstrong at the 2006 NYC Marathon

Armstrong has a son and two daughters with his ex-wife Kristin Richard . After Armstrong's cancer and subsequent chemotherapy, the children were conceived through artificial insemination. That marriage ended in divorce in 2004. He and his girlfriend Anna Hansen have two children who were born in 2009 and 2010. Relationships with rock singer Sheryl Crow and actress Ashley Olsen became known . In addition to cycling, Armstrong is also interested in other areas. In 2004 he played himself in the film Voll auf die Nüsse (with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, among others ). He topped the bestseller list with his book It's Not About the Bike ( German  Tour of Life ). He also successfully participated in the New York City Marathon and the Leadville Trail 100, one of the toughest mountain bike races in the USA. He is committed to accompanying and supporting people who are suffering from cancer or who have already been cured, as well as cancer prevention and cancer research. To this end, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation or Livestrong .

Armstrong's tour victories in connection with his successful fight against cancer were due to his years of prominence and role as an advertising medium. The memory of his friend Stacy Pounds, who died of cancer, was also discussed. Armstrong wore a necklace with a silver crucifix and a medallion from his former wife Kristin with a passage from the Bible: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept faith ”( 2 Tim 4,7  LUT ) He was at times under discussion for a political career, among other things as governor of Texas. In 2007, together with former President George HW Bush, he got involved in a legislative initiative that, following a successful referendum that was heavily supported by Armstrong, established a cancer research center in Texas with funding of 3 billion US dollars . However, financing through an increase in the tobacco tax in California by one US dollar failed.

Film producer Frank Marshall was planning a film adaptation of Lance Armstrong's biography, Tour of Life . Gary Ross was hired as a screenwriter .

In December 2012, in nominated Dallas published newspaper Morning News Lance Armstrong for the title "Texan of the Year". As a reason for this nomination, the newspaper stated that the uncovering of his machinations had shown the dangers of "blind hero worship".

Lance Armstrong has been running a podcast ("The Forward") since 2016, in which he regularly interviews prominent guests about how they deal with breaks and setbacks in their résumé. In the format "The Move" he mainly discusses cycling-specific topics.

Livestrong and the Lance Armstrong Foundation

In the summer of 2004, Nike designed the Livestrong bracelet for Armstrong . The bracelet was part of the “Wear Yellow Live Strong” campaign, which aims to support cancer sufferers and cancer survivors and to raise awareness about the disease. In collaboration with Nike, more than 70 million US dollars were raised for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). By July 2007, over 70 million Livestrong bracelets had been sold. All proceeds from Nike's Livestrong collection will go in full to the foundation. Armstrong also launched a new label. This cycling apparel line bears the two numbers ten and two as a reminder of the day Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer, October 2nd. Much of the income goes to the LAF.

Nike ended their collaboration with Armstrong in October 2012. The US brewery Anheuser-Busch announced that it would not renew its contract with Armstrong, which expired in 2012. The organization Livestrong should continue to be supported.

Armstrong resigned in October 2012 after five years as chairman of his cancer foundation in order to "spare the foundation any negative effects".


One day race

Round trips

Stage victories in tours


Denied successes

Round trips

Stage victories in tours

Olympic games

Time trial



Web links

Commons : Lance Armstrong  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

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  43. ^ Project Mr. Nice Guy , Spiegel Online from June 29, 2009
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  45. ^ The Forward Podcast
  46. ^ The Move Podcast
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