Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

Lance Edward Armstrong (born September 18, 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. Armstrong is the 1993 professional world champion, and won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. However, in 2012, he was banned from sanctioned Olympic sports for life as a result of long-term doping offenses. As part of those sanctions, all results going back to August 1998, including his seven Tour wins, were voided.

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Read more about Lance Armstrong on Wikipedia.

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.

I have no magic potion, although there are some who think I do.

He's conservative, but when he needs to be competitive he's a killer. He has an amazing engine.

My son Luke thinks it's cool that his dad quit his job

no desire to thank him for anything.

I think it's better we downplay our chances. I think we should cherish this role as the underdog because it's the perfect way to ride this race.

If you dominate a world sport you will always have questions and doubts. Perhaps at the end of the day we were too successful. When you win the Tour once twice seven times it is just too hard to believe.

There is no way I can go back there (France). I would be crazy, so why don't we all just say I am not going back.

[But the strongest reason he gave for discounting the results of the B-sample tests from France was heartfelt and honest and totally typical of the iconic cancer survivor.] A guy who comes back from arguably you know a death sentence ... Why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again? That's crazy. I would never do that. No. No way.

I started fast and hard it was difficult with a hard climb and long downhill with headwind. It was a 100 percent effort all the way but that's OK

My role is pretty much unchanged.

It has been an honor for me to call Austin home. It is my pleasure to say thanks to my fellow residents for their continued support.

We started out at a very young age setting goals ... Lance wasn't a follower he was a leader. All his friends went off to college and Lance said all he wanted to do was ride his bike.

Were ethical codes violated? Absolutely.

It really meant a lot and for a number of different reasons

Yeah. Sheryl and I are very happy. To me when you have a relationship you're happy and in love children are a natural part of the equation

The Tour de France is not the only bike race in the world but it is the biggest so the possibility could still exist to do a Tour of Italy a Tour of Spain.

[Not as long as Armstrong is riding. Asked at the end of the second week whether he thought he was] too much of a force for the Tour's own good ... I don't know. But I know that I love the race. I love everything that it stands for. It is what they pay me to do. This is my job. They say 'Lance we want you to win the Tour de France.' That's what the team wants what the sponsors want what cycling fans in America want what cancer survivors around the world want.

Dave cut one out the shape of a saddle with just the beads and said 'Here I thought you might like this.' ... But the two together like the seat and this (basket) I might come back for No. 8.

Ivan was the strongest today. I didn't give it to him

Most folks want to believe in Armstrong in the credibility of his courage in the veracity of his inspiration in the purity of his Tour de France titles. Most want to believe but does everyone dare? We've been suckers for hearts-and-flowers icons before.

Jan is completely different from other years. I have known him for seven eight or nine years and he clearly has a new motivation and a new perspective. I think he will win.

He deserves to win.

never taken performance-enhancing drugs.

When I got off the bike at the end of the Tour it was finished

I don't want to denigrate the race and say it is just a preparation race because I don't feel bad about the training I have done

I mean having the speedometer in the front windshield was something I've never experienced before and that took some getting used to. The power was there and every red light was a temptation.

something to be modeled around the country.

He's training and will evaluate (whether to participate) when the time comes

But I know Johan. Seven years in a row he's driven into Paris in car No. 1 and he doesn't want to drive in car No. 3 or 5 or 10.

What's so great about the kid is that he absolutely doesn't know the word quit. He gave us a real lift today and you had to be impressed with how our team set him up at the end.

A guy like him - I'm not blowing smoke - could be the future of cycling.

I'm looking forward to it ... You sit there and tell your side of it.

I'm thinking about it ... I'm thinking it's the best way to piss [the French] off.

For me the biggest surprise was that Ullrich and Hamilton lost time I didn't expect that

I know that I'm here today and I'm alive today and I've been blessed to have this life and this sport and I want to win the 2004 Tour de France.

I think it's better that way. I'm happy with the way my career went and ended and I'm not coming back.

I look forward to achieving my goal of a seventh Tour de France (victory)

I Got the Blues

That's a question of Texas contract law ... What's the deal? Pay the money.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute or an hour or a day or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit however it lasts forever.

I had a hard time because of the heat. It was a really hard day but I felt strong

The interrogations the French and everything going on hasn't set too well with him

Then the first day I put the bike clothes back on Luke was like 'What are you doing? I thought you quit your job.' Then I came back an hour later all bloody and he thought that was the coolest thing.

Birthdays don't really matter much anymore ... for me I sort of have a new birthday and that's October 2nd the day I was diagnosed ... the day we all sort of look to and mark these milestones by one year two year five year 10 year. Hopefully I have a 50 year.

Sitting here today dealing with all this stuff again knowing if I were to go back there's no way I could get a fair shake on the roadside in doping control or the labs.

I know people who have ridden with him. I can tell you he's one very competitive guy. Very competitive there's no talking. A few minutes of warm-up time a little chitchat then you go.

I'm pleased the UCI is investigating this entire matter thoroughly because any professional investigation will reveal that the allegations made by a French sports tabloid have no basis because I never used any performance-enhancing drugs

I go on 'Larry King Live.'

The last week looks really tough the toughest we have ever done. It will be much better to have a stronger second half than a strong first half.

Winning is about heart not just legs. It's got to be in the right place.

I think we have fielded our strongest team ever with this formation

Lance always has been motivated by people who don't believe him or doubt him.

Protocol wasn't followed and there is no back-up sample to confirm what they say is a positive test

Those are motivating moments for me. That's the way I can give back to someone who is in the same position I was.

If you consider my situation: a guy who comes back from arguably you know a death sentence why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again? That's crazy. I would never do that. No. No way.

The fact is that cycling in France is in the process of going through one of its toughest periods ... They haven't won for twenty years now so naturally it's harder for them to accept.

I'm not saying that spending on wars and terrorism is a bad thing ... This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

I got the impression he understood my position

It's a dream scenario for me.

I felt like today might be the day when the jersey would be given away and it turned out it was

What scares me is (the re-testing procedure) would create a full-blown witch hunt. This would give them another year to sabotage the system again and that's not a good thought. I love my sport. I love racing. I feel I have accomplished enough.

I can beat him on a f**king mountain bike with knobbies.

Yet again a European newspaper has reported that I have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs

We were better ... That's good going into the rest day: regroup and get ready for the big climbs.

I will return to Spain to rest up and be back on the bike in a couple of days.

So it was a good field but the most important thing was that the team came up with a very difficult plan for me. Lance helped me a lot and having an idol a mentor like that to come up with a plan and for me to put the icing on the cake was a huge accomplishment. It taught me that if I believe in myself I can push my own limits. I hope to achieve that here next year even more and hopefully arrive at the top eventually.

This is the guy (Ullrich) that has challenged me and our team

For the head of the agency to say he actually doesn't believe in the code .... if your career is riding on the line wouldn't you want a B sample?. The French have been after [me] forever and 'whoops!' there's no B sample? The stakes are too high.

I also did this at the Tour of California which was pretty cool. Today we helped out when necessary, but a lot of what I did was talk business with Johan.

Four or five anti-doping experts around the world that have gone on the record and said this is crazy.

All I can say is that when we got a phone call to ask if I was interested in driving the Pace Car at Indy it was a very short conversation. It was like 'Are you kidding? Of course.' It's a huge honor and something that I am very excited to do. Hopefully I cannot mess things up if that's possible.

Too light is when it is out of the rules. There are weight limits in place.

Just trying to stay retired dude.

Matt's somebody I've known for a few years and is willing to play the part. He can dig into it on the athletic side and the illness side but he'll also look and ride and feel like a professional cyclist.

He's going to win.

I'm thinking it's the best way ... I'm exercising every day.

not happy because Lance did them in front of their own birds.

The latter part of the year with the rumor that was a nightmare. Fortunately sports fans see through it.

There are other countries in Europe

It hurts to start and it's difficult to be consistent.

Nowadays we all want clean sport. And fortunately an organization called WADA has come along and has really governed the world of anti-doping. They have set about a protocol and a code that everybody has to live by. And [the lab] violated the code several times.

Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance but you have to believe and you have to fight.

There's a setup here and I'm stuck in the middle of it

I'm happy with the way my career ended. I'm not going back

But if you ride your bike a mile away she is not gonna find you.

I know people that have ridden with him. And I can tell you he's one competitive dude.

It was a hard climb. Maybe I was still a little bit heavy for a climb like that. The difficult days are a month away and we're still on schedule. There's no stress.

It's a strange climb ... long but not very steep so you can keep 30 40 50 guys and they can take shots at you from the back.

Jan's not finished. He starts slow and he's a tough guy who doesn't give up. He might have taken one on the chin today but he always comes back and is strong in the last week.

I realized that the Tour is the one race that makes me tick ... It's the one that wakes me up early. And it's the one when I'm suffering like a dog in training that makes me dig that much deeper. Nothing compares.

I had finally adjusted to the jet lag of the trip, but woke up this morning with a sore throat that seemed to get worse all day.

If you've started treatment and you miss a week or two weeks it's potentially fatal. For me and the foundation we just looked at that and asked not just what can we do but how does it fit into our mission?

For Jean-Marie to say that was a shock to me ... I actually spoke to him that very same day for about 30 minutes on the telephone. I called him at his house in Paris and he didn't say any of those things to me. In fact he was just sort of hemmed and hawed and said 'I'm surprised.' I said 'Yes I'm surprised too. I think we're all surprised.'

The system has seriously failed. And when the system fails you have to go to the head. And he won't answer the questions.

It was a great day especially with the weather. First the heat then the thunder then the sun again. For the overall standings it is great.

I sit around some nights and I wonder what it would be like to be retired

I opened it back up because in my heart it seemed like the right answer. But now I know I couldn't go to France and get a fair shake on the road in doping control or the hotels.

I'm sorry for you ... I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles.

The question is not about me but about the process and the ethics

This is one of the few years where they have not had more money. As a survivor I think we would be better spending money on an illness like cancer

Never has an athlete's retirement been so welcome.

Based on the translation I read of the press release I'm pleased that the UCI seems to be asking many of the right questions.

We're two people with separate busy lives and we've defied the odds

Once again I'm reminded of just how pervasive this illness is as it has now touched someone I love deeply. Based on my contact in recent days with Sheryl her doctor and her family I am confident that she will have a full and complete recovery and the world will be a better place for it.

I am sick and tired of people talking about doping and I didn't cheat and I know am clean. I'll take on anyone who questions that.

Once again I'm reminded of just how pervasive this illness is as it has now touched someone I love deeply.

She's hot. I saw that!

But this thing stinks. It's not good for me. And the unfortunate thing is that you potentially dealt with something that you have to face for the rest of your life. And like I said the protocol wasn't followed and there is no backup sample to confirm what they say is a positive test.

I'm working and everything's fine.

You only want shares in good companies. And these are shares I'm happy to have 'cos this is one hell of a good company

It's a great feeling when someone like Bernard Hinault comes up to you on the podium to say 'Welcome to the club

I don't have trust in that system

Right now ... we're considering all our options.

I did not consume any food drink or product from any of the hotels for fear of sabotage. The cooler was full of incredibly top-secret and potentially illegal water cereals jams bread salt pepper butter etc.

Wattage is a true indication of what your body is doing.

If you worried about falling off the bike you

Perhaps we were a little too active in the race worked a little too much ... Maybe the guys are tired.

It's a dream scenario for me ... Now that President Bush doesn't run anymore he rides his mountain bike fanatically. People wonder why he's stays at the ranch so long it might be the mountain bike trails.

I personally felt unbelievable. This was the best Team Time Trial I've ever had.

How can you prosecute a guy when there have been what must be violations of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code? ... The code says when there is just one sample available that sample must always be anonymous. Second that sample can't be used without permission. These are serious violations.

Vive le Tour forever.

We've always had parties or celebrations on that day. It was just a way to do something for a city that has done a lot of things for me. We're basically saying thank you for all the support.

You try to take all of that in. It will have been almost a year since I have heard that as a sportsman. It will be neat to get a little of that back.

[Cancer] is a big big problem. It's an old problem and people have sort of gotten used to it ... Let's make it a priority again. Let's put it out there. Let's fix the problem.

We as parents have to lead by example. Showing our kids what it's like to have healthy lifestyles and what it's like to eat right and exercise is so important.

[It got worse. In the brick-oven heat of stage 12 Armstrong miscalculated the amount of water he would need--] Dumb ... That's as close as I've come to just getting off the bike and quitting.

Armstrong threatens to come back

Unfortunately the witch hunt continues and tomorrow's article is nothing short of tabloid journalism ... I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs.

We don't need the yellow jersey ... We don't need to keep it in the Alps we need to have it at the end.

Andre's been doing this for 20 years at the highest level and you just can't argue with that

The recent smear campaign out of France has awoken my competitive side.

EPO is a powerful drug ... Some say it makes you 10 percent faster. Let's say I took EPO in 1999 and didn't take it from 2000 to 2005. My performance never dropped off. Obviously I'm not saying I did. But I only got faster.

You have to live with the crashes and hope you don't get into one

It doesn't surprise me at all that they have samples ... Clearly they've tested all of my samples since then to the highest degree. But when I gave those samples there was not EPO in those samples. I guarantee that.

To all the cynics I'm sorry for you ... I'm sorry you can't believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event and hard work wins it.

I'm a little disappointed. I wouldn't say it was great. I wouldn't even say it was good.

It gave me a chance to re-evaluate my life and my career. Cancer certainly gives things a new perspective. I would not have won the Tour de France if I had not had cancer. It gave me new strength and focus.

It's nice to win. I'll never win again. I may have to take up golf -- take on Tiger.

The tables will be turned in six months when I'll be on a tour bus supporting her.

That old boy can go ... I didn't think he would punish himself that much but he did.

Without the illness I would never have been forced to re-evaluate my life and my career. I know if I had not had cancer I would not have won the Tour de France.

A boo is a lot louder than a cheer. If you have 10 people cheering and one person booing all you hear is the booing.

the first rule of biking.

Dealing with all this stuff again knowing if I were to go back there's no way I could get a fair shake - on the roadside in doping control or the labs

I just have to watch what happens in the press and see how it plays out. You know it's always interesting reading, you just watch that stuff and never know how it's going to play out. It's not the first time it's happened.

This thing stinks

He's the most recognizable American rider in the sport today. At the races men women and children crowd around the Discovery bus to see George. He's the leader of this team.

I have to say I was surprised when I saw that announcement.

I don't really miss competing as much as I thought I would. Being out there reminds me how much I enjoyed spending time with my teammates

He has the best condition. Tomorrow he is the favorite. I have insider information

There is no way I could go to France and get a fair shake on the roads in doping control or in the labs ... There's no way I could go back there. I would be crazy.

I was not trying to say that Dick was bad guy or a crook ... but I might want to say that today. He's trying to divert attention from the serious ethical issues involving WADA and himself.

If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options medically and emotionally: give up or Fight Like Hell.

Where to start? ... This has been a long love-hate relationship between myself and the French.

I feel good I feel strong and I've had a high quality three weeks since my last race

While I'm absolutely enjoying my time as a retired athlete with Sheryl and the kids the recent smear campaign out of France has awoken my competitive side. I'm not willing to put a percentage on the chances but I will no longer rule it out.

I figure the faster I pedal the faster I can retire.

We were looking at the Chicago Marathon, but a conflict arose with the date and New York seems to fit our schedule better. I've been training some, but I wouldn't call it serious. It's just something to fill a void in my life after I quit competing as a professional cyclist.

If I step off the bike it does not mean I'm not involved in the team. I want to develop another American Tour de France winner.

We plan on having a long future together.

I actually spoke to him for about 30 minutes and he didn't say any of that stuff to me personally ... But to say that I've 'fooled' the fans is preposterous. I've been doing this a long time. We have not just one year of only 'B' samples, we have seven years of 'A' and 'B' samples. They've all been negative.

For me, it was always a simple passion.

We'll start to see the start of the real race. There are a few days that are not so selective but then we have the mountains and the start of the real Tour.

We have seven years of 'A' and 'B' samples. They've all been negative.

For cycling and the community it's a big step. This would be a great way to bring kids into the sport and have them around coaches that are constantly observing them. I hope it happens.

It's great to beat your goals -- and it's not that sports goals are bad but this one was much better ... This combines my two main passions in life outside of my children.

That's a new shirt ... He put that on my credit card. That reminds me I've got to get my card back.

What else can it be? ... Do you think I'm going to trust some guy in a French lab to open my samples and say they're positive and announce that to the world and not give me the chance to defend myself? That's ludicrous. There is no way you can do that.

George is a nice guy no doubt. He's learned that he can be a gentleman and still have a killer instinct. Me I'm the opposite. I'm a jerk who has to work at being a gentleman. I've always loved to put the hurt on people.

It's arguably one of the most famous sporting events in the world. Every year there can only be one guy to drive the pace car. For me to be selected and asked to come it's a huge honor.

We love you too

I am happy with the way my career went and I am happy with the way it ended.

I look forward to leading this team and attempting to give the great folks at Discovery a yellow jersey. I'm more motivated than ever.

Luckily the fans saw through these (doping) allegations.

It was fairly serious but I didn't realize how much play it would get. My fault. In hindsight I shouldn't have done it.

We're both old guys huh?

but I don't know if I want to spend $1.5 million and two years of my life pursuing this. I have better things to do.

I can get up in the morning and look myself in the mirror and my family can look at me too, and that's all that matters.

I'm not willing to put a percentage on the chances but I will no longer rule it out.

I didn't know... I had no idea... maybe bike related, maybe I hit it somehow, maybe sex related! But I said 'This is ridiculous' and the pain just wouldn't go away.

I think the race has everything. I think it has difficulty it has joy it has excitement it even has death.

I'm sick of this

I'm not going to roll out with the yellow jersey

I made a mistake to go after him that day. I thought it was too important but I never said the things he said I did.

[Meanwhile the former pro rider defended cycling which in his opinion the same rules weren't applied as in other sports.] I can understand why a journalist publishes the information ... But I have my doubts on the lab. And I ask myself: Why only Armstrong and not the other ones? Why only cycling and not the urine samples of the French soccer players in the 1998 World Championships?

Georgia was a great race last year and very tough in terms of its route ... I hope to defend there, although I think it will be tougher this year.