Since becoming a hero to all and sunder when at the age of 25 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer; another battle that he found completely surmountable, Lance Armstrong has gone on to win the Tour de France numerous times and has been hailed as a true hero.
But he has now fallen from grace after it has been revealed that he was leading one of the largest rigging systems in sport.
Armstrong’s team have been found to have used drugs to enhance their performances in competitions, Armstrong himself part-taking of substances too. It seems he took the ‘win at any cost’ philosophy just a little bit too far.
The repercussions of his actions will have far reaching effects. Not only has he shaken the faith that an adoring public showered him with, left fellow sportsmen and women feeling thoroughly cheated and his reputation in tatters, but he now faces a financial backlash from promoters who also feel cheated by the cyclist’s endeavours.
Initially Armstrong faces the possibility of having to pay back $12.5m to various promoters and race organizers who are currently monitoring the situation.
SCA, a Texan investment company, were set to pay Armstrong $5m after he won the 2004 Tour de France, but when allegations over doping arose they refused to pay. The allegations were contested and SCA eventually settled, adding £2.5m in legal costs to the bill.
On top of that the French Federation, who pay the prize money for the Tour de France, are seeking to recoup $3.5m and the British Sunday Times are considering a lawsuit to the tune of $1m to claim back the money they spent on a out-of-court settlement over defamation charges.
Furthermore, Armstrong now faces the possibility of perjury charges after it appears he lied under oath during investigations into the SCA affair.
On the plus side at least Lance can rely on sponsorship from Nike who have quickly come to his support. They clearly see his current, mass-hysteria publicity as a good opportunity to sell more slave trade shoes.