We asked Cycling Weekly readers whether they think the 1999-2005 Tour de France titles should be reinstated to Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong continues to be a highly divisive character among fans of professional cycling. The Texan former pro rider was officially stripped of seven Tour de France victories (1999-2005) and handed a lifetime ban after admitting to doping throughout his career.

Armstrong may be divisive, but what is agreed is that he was not alone. His US Postal team operated a system of blood doping and use of banned performance-enhancing drugs but so, too, did a large number of other riders and teams in the same era.

Some feel that Armstrong’s position as one of the highest-profile cyclists in history had unfairly made him a scapegoat: his race victories were stripped, where others who have also admitted doping have kept theirs.

>>> WADA chief says Lance Armstrong’s lack of apology is ‘regrettable’

Others feel that it is precisely because of Armstrong’s high-profile position and the way that he went about lying, deceiving and covering up his doping that he should be made an example.

We recently asked Cycling Weekly readers whether they think Armstrong should get ‘his’ seven Tour titles back, and here are a selection of the responses we received.

Do you agree, or disagree? You can add you comment in the box below.

Look at the sport at the time. Lance did cheat, but so did everyone else. No one says anything about all the other riders. How much influence did one guy have on the sport? Huge. Look how many people cycle now thanks to Lance’s prominence. Give him the titles back.
Chris Cole

I’ve thought long and hard about it. No, I can’t think of a single reason. There is no place in sport for drugs. ‘Everyone else was doing it’ isn’t an excuse or a reason.
Alan Fretten

You give him his titles back you have to give every doped winner their titles back. Then, if you do that, what’s the point of testing if the rules are not enforced? It becomes a mockery.
Steve Hislop

UCI needs to show some consistency. Lifetime bans for all dopers. Otherwise the sport has no credibility.
Kris Newton

Biggest case for it: Astana still has its licence and titles. The industry needs to pick. Either we come down hard on all dopers, especially those caught, or we don’t care and allow it. The flip-flopping needs to stop.
Sam Sacalis

The guy ruined Dodgeball. For this he deserves to be removed from the history of sport.
Ross Woodward

He is an amazing athlete — with or without the dope. All the other dopers of the time could not achieve what he did. As to his character and his approach to the saga, that is disappointing.
Jason Davis

Am I right in thinking that if it was not for Lance, cycling would not be the international sport that it is today? I honestly did not know about cycle racing until Lance’s first win after cancer. I found that such a great story I started watching the TdF just to watch him.
Bree Christian

Stop the witchhunt. Draw a line and move on. My DVDs, books and memories from Tour visits to the high mountains recall Lance as the seven-time winner. A UCI ruling never changed history.
David Mason

Leave it… there is no case. Let’s look to the future not the dirt of past un-glories.
Steve Barlow

During that era, a vast majority doped. So in essence, they were all on a level playing field. Let him have his titles.
Daniel Curry

Why ask the question? The guy should not be given any more publicity.
Greg Wright

  • Sly

    He cheated, that’s why he won, anyone who won by using drugs should be stripped as well! For me Lance is not a winner but a loser all seven times!

  • Mike Austin

    Most defiantly still a champion of Champions

  • dragonsheart

    Watch The Armstrong Lie and then watch Stop at Nothing:The Lance Armstrong Story, THEN post if you’re still sure LA is ‘now realizing how to be a real man’. He is a clinical case study for a narcissistic sociopath….STILL. Man in motion is clearly much kinder than me in his response, in addition to being accurate as can be.

  • Bob

    So many people taking the moral high ground – to think it wasn’t rife among a big percentage of the peloton is plain naïve. no doubt he cheated, bullied etc, he admitted it (at last) and if you don’t like him fair do’s, but if you want consistency don’t just leave it at Lance who was stripped of his tours after the fact, take your moral stance and campaign for British hero’s like Tom Simpson to be stripped of his titles or certain other Brits I wont mention who were in Armstong’s camp who must have been complicit and knew what was going on yet ‘retired’ just as the proverbial was hitting, just don’t be hypocritical.

  • Diesel Cummins

    Let him stay where he is, a pariah of world cycling!

  • Chris

    Is the reason this subject is still in the public domain, that the No faction might get fed up with the question and go home? Well I am fed up with the question and the answer is still NO!!!!!!!!!!!! Once and for all please take this off the site!!!

  • ladyxx

    Might as well. Can’t give them to anybody else.

  • sam

    Read David Walsh’s book “My pursuit of LA” then tell me the guy should get his jerseys back. He used so many methods to continue to keep doping in cycling and force/encourage (you choose) others to dope.

    Irrespective of whether you think he was a horrible person (I do) or whether you think he helped raise a lot of money for Cancer charities (I do) his legacy is not good for the sport.

  • The level playing field is a myth, having written fairly extensively on this, it has been shown that the quality of the athlete underneath the substances makes a bit of a difference. However, the receptiveness of the athlete to the substances is the key. A study from the university of Sydney showed this to be the case.
    Should we give him back his title because he was lucky enough to be the most receptive to drugs? Erm, no.

  • Taken from WADA – Professional British cyclist David Millar once served a sanction for doping, before turning his career around to become one of the anti-doping community’s leading athlete voices.

  • Alex S

    Haha did you actually read my post? At what point did I say Contador should have them back? I was making the point that Contador is more hated than most but people aren’t asking if his should be reinstated. Understand? Yup? There we go

  • JCJ Bike

    The broader point on “everyone doing it” is less about a totally level playing field and more about illustrating the hypocrisy of cycling’s governing body for punishing Armstrong much worse than his competitors. I’m fine with Armstrong’s ban as long as everyone else gets the same punishment. Contador is still racing and won the Giro… He should have the lifetime ban Armstrong got and I’d like to hear any argument that explains why he shouldn’t receive the same ban.

    Frank Schleck had some loose connection to a doping doctor (sent him $7K) and then got nailed in 2012 and banned for one year. Why didn’t he get a lifetime ban?

    Effectively using EPO (effectively meaning… topping off your tank) does a great deal towards leveling the playing field. I’m not saying doping is right/fair/legal, but you are saying it wouldn’t level things.

    Nevermind there are numerous other factors in performance not the least of which is your mental aspect. How tough are you and how hard are you going to push with the skills you DO have?

    Does the racer have some degree of fear in the 60 mph descents that others don’t? Can he get intimidated by other racers?

  • JCJ Bike

    So… in your mind, Lance “bullying” people is the reason he should have his titles stripped but Contador was a nice guy so go ahead and let him keep his? “Yeah… they guy killed his rival, but he was REALLY sorry for it so… it’s ok.”
    They all “systematically” doped. Ullrich clearly doped his whole career and never got caught.
    No one badgers the guy who got 2nd place about how he doped so he isn’t put in a position to defend himself that strongly.

  • JCJ Bike

    Either take them all away from everyone (and give them the same ban Armstrong got) or give them back. Regardless of where you fall on doping in cycling, no credible argument can be made that he received fair/consistent punishment.

  • Steph Durant

    Lance had friends (for a time) in high places, including Congressmen and Bill Clinton.

    They even worked to get USADA to stop their work, but once the Reasoned Decision was released they disappeared, completely, on Lance. He was officially persona non gratta.

  • Þröstur Bjarnason

    Lance Armstrong is the best rider ever with or without drugs, I mean he did not win one or two tours, he did it seven times and also came back later and got third. Can you imagine how many riders have been using drugs those seven years he won the tour, trying to beat him. Let´s face the facts, he will be remembered as the best cyclist ever with or without HIS titles.

  • Michael

    That recent car accident where he ran away and tried to get his girlfriend to take the blame shows his character. It shows in spite of boo-hooing on TV, he hasn’t really changed.

    He’s a deceitful liar and treated people terribly during his career.

    He didn’t cheat because everyone else was. He did it because it’s the kind of person he is.

    I say we take his seven yellow jerseys, use them instead of toilet paper for a month and then say “Here you are Lance. Stick them on your wall”

    Lastly, let’s stop mentioning him all the time on cycling pages in media sites.

  • Cliff

    In what way did he “become a great advocate for clean cycling”? He only owned up once he was busted. Did he tell anyone in detail who gave him the drugs and how he managed to avoid positive tests? Did he give the money that he earned whilst cheating to charity? Would we be so forgiving if he wasn’t British and if he hadn’t stopped boycotting Cycling Weekly?

  • iris

    yes he should, he was not the only cheater

  • jamessrq

    This is a great point – if you or I committed perjury we would be in jail. Martha Stewart, a billionaire, went to jail for lying to a Federal Grand Jury.

  • jamessrq

    May I assume you think the same about Floyd Landis?

  • jamessrq

    I am not absolving others who have doped. I am simply saying that Mr. Armstrong is not the same as others as he got rid of teammates that would not dope and turned in to the UCI others who did the same as him. If that is not enough, he did not just take drugs, he also paid others to not compete. That is not a champion unless your arbitrator is Niccolo Machiavelli.

  • jamessrq

    Well stated and you got the key point – a hyper-responder will end up in a different league than another physiology.

  • Ron

    I believe this was nothing more than a witch hunt. The fact that he “outsmarted” and out maneuvered the officials only went to piss them off. In an era when everyone was using the same products to get ahead and most of them didn’t get more than a slap on the hand. Why does Lance have to pay the piper on this one?

  • Tim lewis

    I agree with trevor77 .. Level playing field is a myth.. Different people react to performance enhancing drugs in different ways.. The worse thing is Armstrong used cancer and the whole of the cancer community as an excuse for his behaviour.. A smoke screen to hide his other side. Remember Jimmy savile. He ran marathons for charity and look at what he was doing .. Maybe not the same thing but still deceiving everybody with cheating lying and hiding behind a smokescreen..

  • lnikj

    It is not just that he doped but the way he attempted to destroy anybody who questioned him. I’ve yet to see anything that suggests he has a conscience about this or is penitent in any way. Pantani paid with his life for his transgressions, but Armstrong would just like to carry on as if nothing had happened. ‘Everyone else was doing it’ is not a defence. His attitude stunk then, and it still stinks now.

  • Vincent Troncoso

    No such thing..Such is life…

  • Vincent Troncoso

    With you totally..all in the same big deal ..

  • Eric Newhuis

    Excellent summary.

  • Eric Newhuis

    I’m split. Maybe he should get back only 3.5 of his titles.

  • Zach Adams

    You are correct in pointing out that some athletes benefit more from taking performance-enhancing substances than others. Nevertheless, whether drugs are present in sport or not, it does not change the reality that there has never been a “level playing field” in sporting competition, even clean competition. People inherit certain advantages through genetics despite never having accomplished anything to receive those advantages (“hard work”). Some respond to “natural” training methods better than others because of inherited advantages. I’m not sure whether Armstrong should be given his titles back. However, I find it interesting that so many point out that the bodies of some riders respond better to drugs than others when that is already true of natural training as well. It will never be objectively fair.

  • FearUncertaintyDoubt

    No. Must we really cheapen Greg Lemond’s clean wins?

  • dragonsheart

    Your ‘logic’ is as laughable as it is flawed. SMH

  • dragonsheart

    Your opening line being either an unintended or purposeful direct quote of LA, illustrates your POV as bias, in addition to being patently self-servingly selective. So much for credibility eh? Time to cut back/lay off the LA koolaide. LMAO

  • dragonsheart

    SO true. Patriotism & loyalty to one’s countrymen is vastly different from the misguided & inflated sense of their own importance, value & contribution, that far too many uninformed, myopic ‘americans’ project. It’s downright embarassing.

  • dragonsheart

    ‘he was petty’ has to rank as one of the understatements of all times. You’re too kind. Vindictive, vicious, maniacal, pathological, arrogant….the list is ENDLESS. He’s the poster boy for a pathological psych class case study.

  • Steph Durant

    Sorry …. missed one. Lance was a sociopath and a thug.

    The drug cheating didn’t bother me anywhere near as much as the thuggery. Despicable stuff.

    One day, I hope we’ll all find out what happened to the Federal racketeering investigation into Lance and his cohorts. It was about to bring down a Grand Jury when the prosecutor was directed to abandon the investigation. Lance should be on his way to jail by now, on the racketeering, and also on perjury. What’s the point of perjury if there is statutes on it and/or no penalty?!?

    Kinda looking forward to Landis getting his 20% on the (whistleblower’s) suit he started; the one the Department of Justice now leads (they really had no choice; not since the USPS is an agency of the government and sponsored the cheating team).

  • Javelinaman

    That’s him pedaling uphill faster than everyone else! That’s how he won. I could take all the same drugs and still be back in the pack. He knew how to suffer, led a noble crusade to help cancer victims and is now realizing how to be a real man. Leave the dude alone.

  • Simonofthepiemans

    Bless you and your fertile, misguided imagination.

  • Simonofthepiemans

    At best I’d say he’s harmed the sport more than most. At least now we seem to be on track to becoming cleaner and maybe the high profile flogging of Lance was the catalyst needed.

  • Simonofthepiemans

    I always think of Millar when this debate comes round again, but maybe if a lifetime ban meant just that, then he wouldn’t have fallen foul in the first place knowing the real consequences.

  • jamessrq

    Mr. Armstrong did not actually win the ’99 Tour riding that bike. He was riding a Litespeed with paint and decals to match the Postal livery. That said, you are still right that it became a huge cash cow for Trek.

  • jamessrq

    If you or anyone else know more about David Millar, it would make a good addition. Granted, Mr. Millar did not come forward on his own but he at least took his suspension and said he did it. What I am not convinced about was Mr. Millar’s description of his own doping in his book. I read the book and came away with the perception that Mr. Millar wanted readers to see him as someone who had only doped for ‘special occasions’ and therefore was not a ‘hard core’ performance enhancing drug user. While I am in no position to say it is impossible, it still find it highly improbable that someone who saw the potential gains from doping would only do so from time to time.

  • jamessrq

    Nice quote selection. Another aspect of the original Olympic spirit was to leave politics alone. When an athlete gains so much power that he can (temporarily in 2012) get a US Federal investigation dropped, you know the sport has been corrupted.

  • jamessrq

    Thank you. Several clinically trained psychologists and psychiatrists have weighed in on this one and they all used the words ‘sociopath’ or ‘narcissistic’ in their assessments. The Oprah videos narrated by body language experts are highly interesting, if not an exact science.

  • PhillipRhodes

    Yes, he should be reinstated immediately… you can’t rewrite history. Lance is an amazing athletes, with or without drugs and deserves to be recognized for what he accomplished.

  • Ian Leitch

    GW I dont disagree with what you’ve said at all however the fact is the UCI are showing massive inconsistency in their approach to dopers and the only way to resolve this once and for all is to set clear unambiguous rules and apply then to all. If Armstrong is banned for life and stripped fine but be consistent and apply those rules to everyone.

  • NitroFan

    “Stop the witchhunt”. Priceless!

  • Steph Durant

    Agree on 1 to 5 — all.

    In summary, Lance Armstrong was and is a sociopath. All that matters to him is glory in competition, accolades and money. How he gets them is HIS business, and is to be accepted by all others.

  • Steph Durant

    Some people think that a sport isn’t international unless the USA plays it enjoys it and dominates it. I hate to burst their bubble, but ….. no sport needs the USA. Well, except for American football. No one else plays the thing (well, except maybe Canada, a little tiny bit).

    I agree — Lance ruined Dodgeball — his legacy is that.

  • todd h

    No they shouldn’t, even though he is still going to be seen as the one that won those tours. They can’t give the title to anyone else, which would be nice, as everyone that stood on the podium for the seven years are convicted dopers. But at least in 100 years if someone looks back and wonders why no one won the tour for 7 straight years, they will still find out his name but they will also see why.

  • Mike South

    Politicians get by with cheating!

  • trifexta

    As Bob Costas has said with Baseball hall of fame, put the dopers in from the doping era, put an asterisk next to their name, so no one ever forgets where they came from. Give Lance back the titles as the king of the doping era so the history reminds us of our future. It happened you cannot re-write the history books but you can learn from it.

  • DJktgrrl3000

    Lance should never get any of his titles back because in addition to lying, cheating and bullying he also out-doped everyone else. He crafted a myth that attracted mega sponsors then used the funds to assemble the best team of co-conspirators money could buy. Even in doping, you could argue others didn’t stand a chance.

  • Sean Hancock

    Yes I think he should be reinstated. To dop on that scale required more than just Lance to come up with the idea. They were a USA backed team so why are people not investigation the USA backers.

  • Mike Bland

    I’m afraid so Cliff. Although to Millars credit he held his hands up and did become a great advocate for clean cycling..

  • Chris

    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. Can we now consign this story to the dustbin of history?
    5. Thank you.

  • John

    Current bike is a boardman carbonio. Thing is, this lie has grown in Lance’s balls they had to be cut out; this is a reference to Lance Armstrong having a testicle amputated due to cancer.

  • Man in motion

    I believe the amount is 50, or at least the popular amount.

  • Man in motion

    Agreed. The “look what he did for cycling” is a rather US-centric view similar to the US traveller who, when say in Europe, is told by someone in the street that there are still 50 k to drive and he asks with a straight face “How many miles is that?” expecting the rest of the world to adhere to its view.

  • Man in motion

    The premise is incorrect on, at least, two accounts. The first it that it assumes that everyone was on drugs and there could be a few there who didn’t and we don’t know about because they didn’t place high enough on account of being clean or that some may have won without the PEDs. The second is more important, as it assumes that a drug has the same effect on every rider, and we know that a headache medicine that works well for your wife may not work for you and viceversa. So the winner is the one whose body reacts best to the PEDs, not the best athlete. Armstrong’s results in the Tour without PEDs (assuming as much) were 36th and DNFs and a duck in the climbs. Not much of a rider without them.

  • elan

    Yes he should get the ban lifted.Now that football is so corrupt lets see the media leave him alone.Lets see the sponsors leave them in the ditch.You cant give someone a lifetime ban because you don’t like them,or they have lots of money.There was so much doping in this sport,including some who run an American cycling team.I bet other sports are just as bad.Alberto Contador is an amazing athlete lets support him,just because he does not ride for Sky it makes no difference.

  • eminusx

    Words to live by!

  • dragonsheart

    IMO….the quote below applies to sport in general, not just the Olympics…
    The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.
    As quoted in The Olympian (1984) by Peter L. Dixon

  • dragonsheart

    Sure, mein feuhrer, like history lists Hitler as a good catholic….SPARE ME!

  • Mike Prytherch

    If he now comes clean about what went on, helped the UCI in its fight on doping then yes he should, also the ban should be lifted, every top cyclist in that era was doping, was it a level playing field, no because Armstrong had the people and the money to do it better than anybody else, but so what if he was the best, he still committed the same crime as everybody else and therefore if he cooperates like everybody else he should get the same punishment, the fact that he is hated should not make any difference to his sentence, also the UCI need to be consistent, why does Riis still have his title, its all bullshit and badly handled.

  • No… it’s about more than just the doping… he’s bullied and lied his way constantly through this sordid tale.

  • whatever_dude

    Don’t be such a whiny baby. The French don’t give a sh*t that an American won the tour–they love LeMond.

  • steveg

    And merckx got busted three times

  • eminusx

    Totally agree with points 2 & 3!
    In my eyes the fact that his behaviour was so unsporting makes all the difference.

    This is probably an old fashioned view to some, but to many people sport isn’t just about ‘first over the line’, it’s about overcoming adversity and a show of human spirit, yes the winner gets their name at the top of the list, but sport isn’t just about facts and figures, look at all the tour heroes who never actually won a tour, it’s proof that sport is about human endeavour too, and LAs disgraceful behaviour towards others is the reason he shouldn’t get his titles back. He has great athletic prowess sure, but he isn’t a sportsman, call me old fashioned but a ‘sportsman’ is someone people can aspire to, mentally as well as physically. Does this mean that those who doped just to keep pace with other doping riders are excused, not entirely, but their decision was both understandable and unfortunate.

    I’m not excusing David Millars doping, but at least he tried to make amends after his own ‘private’ troubles, additionally his mistake was a personal one to desperately maintain a career in which many were doing the same thing, so although I sympathise with his situation and understand his reasons i don’t condone his actions. Armstrongs behaviour was very different as it involved the malicious, intentional ruin of others for his own personal gain, not to mention the lies and deceit.

  • Man in motion

    Some people (giving opinions) seem to forget a common occurrence. You and a friend go to the doctor with the same illness. The doctor gives you both the same medicine but, for some reason, you react better to it that your friend. You get well within a couple of days while your friend lingers in bed. That’s the nature of drugs, different people react differently to them. Without the drugs, or the right drugs, Armstrong’s results in the Tour were far from spectacular (36th and DNFs). The drugs made people who react better to them into winners, over those who are better without them, so it was not a “levelled playing field” as some claim. It was the drugs winning. As a clean athlete he didn’t amount to much, as a person (even if that’s not the question) he was petty. He deserves no awards.

  • Mitch Friedman

    NO he should never get his titles back he disgraced the sport of cycling and lied about it and never said he was sorry. He still thinks he is above it all and did NO Wrong. The press should not give him any print but you keep him alive WHY Stop printing about him and maybe he will just go away, before he brings the sport down any more!

  • Joe Mazzari

    I agree he sewed up. So did others. Let him be an athlete again

  • Unfrickingbelievable

    Sorry, Lance, but that was an ignorant response.

  • Unfrickingbelievable

    Stupid question, but to answer it, “Hell No” is the only appropriate response.

  • dragonsheart

    ITA! Standing ovation.

  • Mark Wynn

    The riders he beat … especially all the ones who also doped … know he earned the victories. He was pursued far beyond all other suspected riders because the French hated that an American won the tour seven times … and a US prosecutor seeking fame.

  • DNS

    Ur kidding right? It was not just the cheating, it was the bullying, the threats, the intimidation tactics. Other riders doped, for sure, but Lance took it to a new level, and he tried to destroy everyone in his way…..with Lance the so-called ‘Omerta’ broke down…even with nothing much to gain, people were lining up around the block to testify against him!!! Tells you something about the kind of man he was/is. I want him to go away…to leave us alone. He’s just not relevant any more. Nobody really cares that much any more. And that is the biggest punishment of all for him! To become irrelevant and to disappear……

  • jamessrq

    Thank you Rob – you got it right. The mythology that ‘everyone is doing it’ then makes it a level playing field is a view for the uninformed. Doping changes the equation from genetics and training to how the body responds to the drug. Some athletes are deemed ‘hyper-responders’ and their bodies metamorphosize before one’s eyes while others need higher dosages even to get moderate results. The ‘sport’ then has a large amount determined by whose physiology best responds to the drugs.

  • RM Saguil

    Definitely.
    The UCI & TdF owners benefited immensely from his popularity which
    brought professional cycling & the TdF to a new high in the US. But
    when they have no more use for him, they pilloried him & acted as
    though they didn’t knew all along that a majority of the whole
    professional peloton is juiced-up.

  • jamessrq

    There is more than one issue at hand. Please read all if you wish to respond as these are points to consider and also note that I am stating criteria for discussion rather than advancing one view.

    1) Officially, Lance Armstrong lost his titles for doping but most people who are familiar with cycling understand that while doping is illegal and therefore cheating, this is NOT a situation where Mr. Armstrong denied clean riders from being on the podium. Every other rider who was on the TdF podium in the years 1999-2005 has either been busted for doping or linked to it by a preponderance of the evidence. If Mr. Armstrong gets his titles back, so should Floyd Landis get his 2006 win reinstated and Alberto Contador get his 2010 win. Also, Tyler Hamilton should get his Olympic gold medal back as well if you are going to restore Mr. Armstrong. If you believe the UCI will give back Mr. Landis’ title, then I have some beachfront property in Siberia to sell you.

    2) If there is something to set Mr. Armstrong’s situation apart from others who used drugs, there is no other athlete who has to the same degree attempted to obstruct justice by paying off people to lie for him or to keep quiet. He has sued everyone he could in hopes of bankrupting them into silence. He has ruined careers like Frankie Andreau, Christophe Bassons and Philippo Simeoni and destroyed businesses like Greg LeMond’s. Mr. Armstrong demonstrated the lowest level of personal conduct when instructing members of his team to spit on riders who were critical of him or people he likes such as Dr. Michele Ferrari. And let us not forget Mike Anderson who was Mr. Armstrong’s personal assistant until his discovered performance enhancing drugs in Mr. Armstrong’s home in Girona, Spain. Mr. Armstrong caused him so much harassment that he relocated to New Zealand to get away from it.

    3) Another issue here is the utter hypocrisy of Mr. Armstrong himself using drugs but calling the UCI to try to get other riders busted for doping. He called the UCI on Tyler Hamilton and Iban Mayo because he would rather they be removed from competition than have him lose. Anyone who would rather win by ‘outing’ opponents who did the same that he did is not a true champion in character despite his unquestionable physical and mental achievements.

    4) People who spout off about how much cycling has increased in popularity (particularly in the USA) since Mr. Armstrong try to excuse certain things by saying that there were other things about this career that ‘benefited the sport’. This might sound noble at first but this is no different from saying that it is perfectly fine to ruin lives and careers if it helps Oakley, Giro, Trek, FRS and others to make billions. Take some of those companies assets that came from their supporting what was happening even while the KNEW it was done through doping and give some money to Mr. and Mrs. Andreau and Mr. and Mrs. LeMond or Emma O’Reilly if you really want to consider ALL the ‘benefits’ that Mr. Armstrong’s gravy train brought them.

    5) Restoration (or lack there of) has NOTHING to do with fighting cancer. Stay on the subject of cycling if you want to discuss this one.

  • dave

    I think the people who answer yes suffer from a serious case of Doublethink!

    “It has always seemed strange to me…The things
    we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty,
    understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our
    system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness,
    meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And
    while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the
    second.”

  • Julius

    No. Sadly some, or all of those victories, were won on the strength of performance enhancing drugs. Although many professional cyclists were equally guilty of using them during that era, to reinstate his victories would be an insult to those cyclists who stayed ‘clean’ and send entirely the wrong message about performance enhancing drugs being acceptable, despite the dangerous side-effects.

  • Bob Smith

    yes….

  • Chris Jacko

    No Matter if his name doesn’t show up in the history books if you Google Lance Armstrong it’s all there.
    Punishment fitting the crime now that’s the ??? UCI has pie on their face so they made an example of him then dropped the ball again
    I’m Sure LA doesn’t care about the titles but the fact that he is prevented from making a living with a life time ban hanging over his head.
    Live Strong we can’t change the past even if we try to alter it.
    hope the company who did the testing went out of Business too !!

  • GW

    You’re naïve. Is it a “level playing field” when athletes with a lower natural hematocrit get a bigger boost from EPO or other blood doping methods? Is it “level” when one rider has access to more and better drugs, better doping doctors, better team doping, even Motoman delivery to Tour stops across France? Please spare us your tired and false arguments. And as far as “asshole” is concerned, that’s an understatement. He ruined businesses, careers, families, threatened riders, their wives, sued everybody in sight, perjured himself in court, lied to cancer survivors and then hid behind them and his charity as the coward he is. I don’t know of ANY other pro cyclist who ever did that. Lifetime ban, lifetime stripping of his titles. He did not lose his World Championship.

  • aThingOrTwo

    Apparently he has been already (at least according to Oliver Bridgewood).

    …when Armstrong won his first Tour de France, this relatively new American company received world wide publicity…

    …Armstrong won the 1999 Tour on a Trek OCLV 5200 and it quickly became one of the fastest selling bikes in the USA.…

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/tech/the-top-10-game-changing-road-bikes-172711#0hk4WiFbcoomVmtr.99

  • GW

    Wow, that’s BS, completely. Merckx was a far better cyclist, even Armstrong would agree. Go back to sleep.

  • GW

    The issue is not at all what you say. The issue is (and was) that Armstrong failed to cooperate with USADA after given several opportunities. If you understand the procedures that had to occur for him to get those titles stripped, you would understand why they CANNOT be given back. Armstrong blew it, completely. He is a narcissist, bordering on sociopath. He ruined families, careers, lives, businesses. There was consistency in the USADA ruling. He has no one to blame but himself.

  • GW

    Here’s Armstrong’s level playing field:

  • Virginia fuehrer

    With or without drugs, Lance Armstrong worked harder and maybe even more importantly worked smarter then anyone else is the peloton from. 1999 to 2005. No amount of drugs will win the TDF without the work and smarts. History will always show that he won

  • Elias

    But you are still reading their articles.

  • Elias

    Lance did everything he could to win. He was definitely way more juiced up that the rest of the peloton.

  • Victor Norris

    No way at all !

  • Elias

    You Brits should know about the rule of law.

  • rdodev

    Absolutely and positively never. He *knowingly* cheated, he systematically hid it, he intimidated the squeaky wheels, he lied about cheating. He’s a shame to the sport (and sports in general).

    That said, he should be allowed to enter competition in the masters/veterans division (with heightened PED monitoring, of course).

  • RE

    It used actually to be a good publication, about 30 years ago.

  • Oddity

    bye

  • RE

    No it doesn’t. It means he broke the rules. What other riders may or may not have done is totally irrelevant.

  • Oddity

    Give him the titles back.

  • Katsu Nakamura

    Nice alias Lance but we all know this is you.

  • Katsu Nakamura

    Why doesn’t Cycling Weekly find a more reputable way to make money ? Have you tried selling heroin to schoolkids or making puppy torture pay-per-view ?

  • Douglas1978

    yes give them back

  • zero

    He had no class or style. Not something you can regulate against, but you can sure take the opportunity to rub his nose in it.

  • Andrei Parau

    With this title Cycling weekly just lost a reader!

  • dragonsheart

    It fascinates me how many shades of grey exist within people’s minds when confronted with clear right or wrong. Whether it’s called ‘moral relativism’, rationalization, justification, you name it, in contested events, like sports, going against the rules is wrong. At least that’s what is the ‘norm’. Occam’s razor applies…the simplest answer is usually the correct one. Failure to accept one’s personal choice to do wrong, minimizing and/or justifying it because ‘everyone’ else is also doing wrong is an immature, childish response to getting caught & unwillingness to accept personal responsibility or accountability. Just recruit enough people to do the wrong thing in order to validate doing the wrong thing….REALLY? Live YOUR life held to a standard without the benefit of sliding ‘the line’ back & forth to suit yourself based on the failings/weaknesses of others. People willing to accept lower standards diminish the legitimate accomplishments of those who do not. Life isn’t fair. Fighting to hold a tainted achievement, to me, demonstrates a mindset of winning by any means necessary, remaining the driving force in the individual involved. That was, is, always will be SICK. JMO

  • Cliff

    Including David Millar?

  • Michael

    I think you covered it perfectly with the simple statement “others who have also admitted doping have kept theirs”. We will never know who was the best during that period because as we all know there were so many others doping.
    For what it is worth I think he should get them back until they strip every other title that was won by someone that has subsequently being caught.
    Apology or not he has still done more for the sport than many before and after him.

  • mamaknees

    Lance doped…he won 7 times….everyone doped at the same time…..why then didn’t they win…1-2-3-4-5-6-or 7 times???????? Either ban all of the entire teams from that time for life and strip them of their winning stages etc. ….or reinstate Lance Armstrong and all those who were also punished.

  • barry davies

    CW is going from a poor publication to a crap one – Next you will be asking whether Hitler was a nice guy !!!!!!1

  • Mike Bland

    I’m inclined to agree with Kris. Lifetime ban for dopers. Otherwise our sport loses its credibility.

  • A mí no me pagan por opinar

    1. He made United States got interested in cycling, that’s a fact, but no: he did not make cycling the international sport that is today. He did that just for the U.S. There have been plenty of great cyclists over the world and over the time, and Armstrong was just one of them.
    2. With that in mind, it’s not right that even if he cheated he can recover “his” titles. Not because of what he did or how great he is even without drugs: he became a model for another cyclists. Giving “his” titles back would be like telling to another cyclists: “if you use drugs enough and cheat, you can win and everything will be fine!”. And that’s not what sports are about. That’s not what life is about.
    3. I agree on that one: UCI needs to show consistency. They should take action on all who had cheated.

    4. Sorry for my bad english!

  • Mike

    Cheating means gaining an unfair advantage. If everyone is using PEDs, then you you do not gain an unfair advantage by using them. Yes, return the titles, he earned them. if we took/kept titles from people because they are assholes (there is little debate that he is in fact a bit of an asshole), then we’d be missing many champions in many sports.

  • Terry

    Absolutely not, ever!

  • Edward Willson

    Yes, if he had not won someone else on drugs would have.

  • dominic1998

    100% yes! Although he was a horrible person and a chea. It couldn’t be more obvious that everyone (vast majority) were doping, you have to be very naive to think Otherwise. There are countless accounts of pro cyclists saying it was impossible to have a livelihood in the pro tour without the use of PEDs. For gods sake the man trained by doing 8 hour turbo sessions. Regardless of him being a cheat he still has to be recognised as physicaly and incredible athlete.

  • Simon Moorhouse

    Look for the first 100 years of the tdf every single winner cheated so yes give him his titles back and put an end to this charade

  • Lance Peterson

    Give them to him. He deserved them. The best rider in history.. No one else who was close has come forth demanding the wins.. Because they might have done worse.

  • As cycling fan, all I ever wanted was the truth. Now we have that.

    More important than any individual PED case, however, is the fact that it’s time for the governing bodies to act consistently and even-handedly…all the time, no mater what.

    The surgical (read: selective) approach to discipline has made this, and many other PED cases, insanely complicated.

    LA’s victories should appear in the record books with an asterisk. The same should apply for all others who did not test positive in competition, but were later caught or confessed.

    If not, how are we read to the record book, a document rife with less aggresses transgressions? In the same overly-complicated fashion we do today. Therefore, striking LA accomplishes nothing.

  • Ian Leitch

    The issue here is not whether he should get his titles back or even the fact they were stripped from him in the first place. It’s simply consistency.
    If the UCI adopt this approach (and that’s fine with me) then strip the titles from any and all self confessed (or caught) dopers and have done.
    You can’t strip Armstrong of his titles but still leave Dopers like Rjis and Pantani (and I love Marco Pantani) on the books – Christ watch the footage of the year Rjis won he was clearly juiced up to the eyeballs.
    Simply be consistent then we al know where we stand.

  • RobTM

    Shame on Cycling Weekly for basically trolling on the LA issue, which has got very very tedious and boring.
    EPO dosing benefitted different riders unequally depending on their
    natural haemocrit levels. So even if ALL cheated equally effectively,
    it changes the results; and no winner is the result and it’s going to stand. Internet polls won’t change a thing.

  • Mutlu Başdaş

    He definitely is the scapegoat. It’s a little bit sad. But the kept lying and bossing people around. Even though he is a huge influence and the reason many people started riding bikes, his attitude with the dope is not forgivable. So, my answer is no.

  • Alex S

    Nope, the everyone else was doing it nonsense doesn’t cut it. I mean Contador is hated by many fans due to a dodgy reading and lost two titles. Not high level systematic doping through bullying and fear.

  • trevor77

    No. He cheated. Level playing field is a myth.