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What happened to Lance Armstrong after his doping scandal?

·3 min read
A photo illustration shows a man watching a TV showing disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on January 17, 2013 in  Kensington, Maryland. Armstrong said in the interview that he was
Lance Armstrong eventually apologised in a tell-all interview in January 2013 - three months after sponsors Nike announced they were cutting all ties with him on 17 October, 2012. (Getty)

This article is part of Yahoo's 'On This Day' series

He was one of the most famous men in sporting history, but on this day in 2012 cyclist Lance Armstrong's fall from grace was clear, as Nike cut all ties with him after he was revealed as a drugs cheat. 

Rumours had swirled for years that Armstrong had cheated his way to his seven Tour de France titles while he was lead cyclist with his US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams.

In October 2012 an extensive report by the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) eventually found that the athlete was part of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

This photo taken on February 28, 2011 shows then seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong attending a press conference in Los Angeles to announce he will serve as co-chair for a campaign seeking to raise more than 600 million USD annually for cancer research in California. - Lance Armstrong has agreed to pay $5 million in order to settle his looming federal fraud case stemming from his use of performance-enhancing drugs during the Tour de France, US media reported on April 19, 2018. The former cycling superstar was due to face a trial next month over claims that he defrauded the US government when he doped while racing for his United States Postal Service-sponsored team. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
Lance Armstrong had denied allegations of cheating for years, before the Usada report provided "insurmountable evidence" in October 2012. (Getty)

Armstrong strongly denied the allegations but said the process of fighting the Usada report was unfair.

But the report proved impossible to dismiss, forcing Armstrong to stand down as chairman of the cancer charity he had founded, Livestrong, and then on 17 October being told that Nike was severing its connections with him. 

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The company had initially suggested it would stand by the cyclist, but said in a statement on 17 October, 2012 that it had been misled by Armstrong.

The statement said: "Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner."

US former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong stands as he prepares to ride with Dubai cyclists at the al-Qudra Cycling Tracks in Dubai desert on October 6, 2020 during for a four-day work trip to the Emirates. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP) (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images)
The effects of the report were catastrophic for Armstrong, forcing him to apologise, to step down from his own cancer charity, and costing him financially in sponsorship and legal action. (Getty)

The company said it planned to continue to support Livestrong - a move made possible by the fact Armstrong had stood down.

Armstrong finally admitted publicly that he had cheated to win all seven of his Tour de France titles in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

During the interview, Armstrong said it would not have been possible to win the titles without cheating, such was the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport at the time.

But he denied threatening other team-mates to do the same, and denied taking drugs during his comeback in 2009 and 2010.

Regardless of his apology, the scandal has continued to dog Armstrong and affected what would have been an astonishing legacy.

As a cancer survivor, having to walk away from the charity he formed was undoubtedly difficult. 

Armstrong was also stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 after the investigation and his own admissions. 

The financial impact also continues nearly a decade after his sponsors walked away from him, with Armstrong settling a civil lawsuit with the US Department of Justice in April 2018 and agreeing to pay $5 million to the US government following whistleblower proceedings brought by former team member Floyd Landis.

Watch: Oprah Winfrey on interviewing Lance Armstrong

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