TOPICS > Nation

Lance Armstrong’s Fall From Grace Is Not Unique Among Modern Athletes

October 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
LISTEN SEE PODCASTS

TRANSCRIPT

GWEN IFILL: Next, a fall from grace for Lance Armstrong and an end to the historic records he set.

Ray Suarez has the story.

RAY SUAREZ: In a single stroke today, Lance Armstrong’s name was wiped from the record books.

PAT MCQUAID, International Cycling Union: Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.

RAY SUAREZ: The president of the International Cycling Union announced Armstrong is banned from professional cycling for life, and he’s being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005.

The victories will not go to anyone else because 20 of the 21 also-rans during that period were also linked to doping.

It all follows the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s report that Armstrong led the most sweeping doping effort in any sport ever.

PAT MCQUAID: As a cyclist and somebody coming from a cycling background, I was sickened by what I read in the USADA report.

RAY SUAREZ: Armstrong has repeatedly denied the charges, but sponsors such as Nike and Anheuser-Busch dropped him last week. And he stepped down as chairman of his cancer awareness LIVESTRONG Foundation.

He spoke yesterday at a LIVESTRONG event in Texas.

LANCE ARMSTRONG, former professional cyclist: People ask me a lot, how are you doing? And I tell them, I say, well, I have been better. But I have also been worse.

RAY SUAREZ: Armstrong’s fall from grace is hardly unique.

SPORTS ANNOUNCER: And Bonds hits one hard.

RAY SUAREZ: Last December, all-time home run king Barry Bonds got two years’ probation for lying to a federal grand jury about steroid use. Similar scandals also tainted the home run heroic of sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

In track, Olympic star Marion Jones admitted in 2007 that she too lied to federal investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs.

For some athletes, the trouble starts off the field, rather than on it. And many manage to bounce back.
Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault in 2003, after winning three NBA championships. The charge was eventually dropped and he won two more titles. Then Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick spent two years in prison for dogfighting. He joined the Philadelphia Eagles after he was released from prison in 2009.

And Tiger Woods was engulfed in a sex scandal, but returned to play and won his 74th tournament last summer.