Lance Edward Armstrong
(born Lance Edward Gunderson, September 18, 1971)
is an American former professional road racing cyclist. In 2012 he was banned for life and disqualified from all his results since August 1998, for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs. Before being stripped of the titles, he was best known for winning the Tour de France seven consecutive times, from 1999 to 2005, after having testicular cancer.
At 16, Armstrong began competing as a triathlete and became a national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990. In 1992, Armstrong began his career as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. He had notable success between 1993 and 1996, including the 1993 World Championship, ClÃ¡sica de San SebastiÃ¡n in 1995, an overall victory in the penultimate Tour DuPont and a handful of stage victories in Europe, including the stage to Limoges in the Tour de France.
In October 1996, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. His last chemotherapy treatment was received on December 13, 1996. In February 1997, he was declared cancer-free and the same year he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer support. By January 1998, Armstrong had renewed serious cycling training, having signed a new racing contract with US Postal. He was a member of the US Postal/Discovery team between 1998 and 2005. On July 24, 2005, Armstrong retired from racing at the end of the 2005 Tour de France, but returned to competitive cycling with the Astana team in January 2009 and finished third in the 2009 Tour de France. Between 2010 and 2011, he raced with the UCI ProTeam he helped found, Team Radio Shack.
On February 16, 2011, he announced his retirement from competitive cycling, while facing a US federal investigation into doping allegations. In February 2012, he returned to triathlon, competing as a professional in several events. In June 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charged Armstrong with having used illicit performance-enhancing drugs, and in August they announced a lifetime ban from competition, which applies in all sports which follow the World Anti Doping Agency code, as well as the stripping of all titles won since August 1998. The USADA report called Armstrong a "serial cheat who led the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen". On October 22, 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport's governing body, endorsed USADA's verdict and confirmed both the lifetime ban and the stripping of titles.