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Lance Armstrong: A disgrace to cycling, sport, his family and himself
By Kenneth Quillinan
Kyungpook Nat'l Univ. Professor
Lance Armstrong

He will go down in history as the most notorious drug cheat that has ever graced the sporting world, and rightly so. Finally, this saga has come to an end with Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour De France titles. Seven titles that never should have been in his possession, seven titles he stole away from his competitors, seven titles that will now go unclaimed, seven titles that so many people had dedicated their lives to try and win in an honest manner.

Union Cycliste Internationale President Pat McQuaid announced on Monday that the federation accepted the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report on Armstrong and would not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The decision clears the way for Tour de France organizers to officially remove Armstrong's name from the record books, erasing his consecutive victories from 1999-2005. Tour director Christian Prudhomme has said the race would go along with whatever cycling's governing body decides and will have no official winners for those years.

Armstrong had been regarded as an inspiration to all after overcoming testicular cancer and fighting his way back into the sport of cycling, but now he will be remembered as nothing more than a shameful drug using disgrace. The recent lifetime ban and stripping of all his titles will no doubt leave many of his fans in disbelief, and for them to continue to support this man would be unquestionable. There is no excuse for taking performance enhancing drugs and nothing can be done to rectify this.

Away from cycling, Armstrong set up a non-profit organization known as LIVESTRONG in 1997 to provide support to people affected by cancer. Its motto is, ‘’to inspire and empower’’ cancer survivors and their families. On October 17, Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the foundation. It is hard to portray the influence and hope this man’s achievements had provided to so many people. Now all this hope has turned to despair and his followers will find it difficult to put so much trust in any other so called figures of inspiration in the future.

Armstrong has raised millions of dollars for cancer research, which has to be applauded but money is not everything. There are certain morals that a human being must adhere to if they expect to be respected by their peers, but unfortunately he has chosen to ignore these and now he just has to accept that the decision he made to cheat was one he will regret for the rest of his life.

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Kenneth Quillinan, who serves as a contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a visiting professor of English and Academic Writing at Kyungpook National University in Daegu. He also contributes his articles to Yonhap News, Daegu Newspaper, Daegu Compass Magazine, and others. His Email is






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