A triathlon champion by age 16, Lance Armstrong burst onto the cycling scene in 1992, when he joined the Motorola professional cycling team and won the World Championship in 1993. He scored a number of victories in Europe during the early 1990s, including the stage to Limoges in the Tour de France.
In 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. He underwent several treatments, including brain and testicular surgeries and extensive chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free by 1997. In 1998, he resumed serious cycling again.
He signed a racing contract with the U.S. Postal Service and was a member of the U.S. Postal/Discovery team between 1998 and 2005. In 1999, he won his first Tour de France. Here, he's seen presenting a replica of his jersey to then-President Bill Clinton.
Armstrong went on to win a record seven Tour de France titles that have now been stripped due to doping allegations. Here, he's seen following his 2000 victory over six-year rival Jan Ulrich.
In 2001, Armstrong became the first American to win three consecutive Tours de France.
Here, he's seen celebrating his 2002 victory with ex-wife Kristin and their three children.
In 2003, the familiar pattern of Armstrong first and Ullrich second continued, this time despite Armstrong being knocked off on the descent during Stage 15. Ullrich waited for Armstrong, earning him fair play honors.
In his 2004 Tour victory, Armstrong won a personal-best five individual stages, plus the team time trial. He became the first biker since Gino Bartaliin 1948 to win three consecutive mountain stages; 15, 16 and 17.
Armstrong wins his seventh consecutive Tour de France title in 2005 and retired afterward. He later un-retired in 2008 and would compete in two more Tour de France competitions, finishing third in 2009 and 23rd place in 2010.
In August 2005, Armstrong was invited to ride with then-President George W. Bush at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Doping allegations had dogged Armstrong through much of his career, but he always denied using performance-enhancing drugs and never failed a drug test. But in 2010, federal prosecutors began pursuing the allegations and accusations of doping began trickling out from former teammates.
In June 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused Armstrong of doping and trafficking of drugs based on blood samples from 2009 and 2010, and testimonies from witnesses including former teammates. He was suspended from competitive cycling and stripped of any and all titles from August 1998 to the present. Armstrong was defiant until the end, tweeting this picture just a few months ago of himself lying on the couch under his Tour de France jerseys.
Armstrong eventually decided not to challenge the USADA sanctions, and in January 2013 apologized to his Lifestrong Foundation staff prior to an interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he's expected to admit to using performance-enhancing drugs.
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