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Lance Armstrong: A Fall from Grace?

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The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour De France titles. However, the USADA cannot take away his perseverance of surviving cancer and the inspiration he has provided cancer patients and survivors.

When athletes provide sports fans with record-breaking performances, there is always the question, were performance-enhancing drugs used?

This isn’t the first time a professional athlete has fallen from grace and had their performance has been questioned by the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Two examples come to mind. First, Barry Bonds was questioned when he broke Hank Aaron’s home run record. Second, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were questioned when they broke the home run record after the 1998 home run race.

Fans watch these stars and admire them for their accomplishments. Then, when athletes test positive or get accused of cheating, fans question them, and ask, are they really a role model?

That is exactly what people are going to ask about Lance Armstrong. More than likely his brand of Livestrong will be affected, but should it?

Back in August when Armstrong announced he wouldn’t fight charges anymore against doping allegations, people started wondering why? He hasn’t been proven guilty of the doping allegations, and for a man that fought a disease that can take lives; people asked how could this be?

It has been a tough last few months and days for Armstrong. Armstrong has lost his sponsorship with Nike, RadioShack, Trek, and Anhueser-Busch. He has stepped down from chairman of Livestrong. In the Dallas Morning News, Armstrong said that he is going to appear at all Livestrong connections this weekend and continue to play a role in his cancer-advocacy foundation. The question remains, will his foundation survive?

Armstrong didn’t just win seven Tour De France titles, but he has his own foundation, and has started Livestrong to provide awareness for cancer research. In fact, his Livestrong foundation has raised 470 million to inspire those that are affected by cancer.

Too many times when an athlete does something wrong, their positive influences get overlooked. If the allegations of Armstrong taking performance-enhancing drugs do come out true, his supporters shouldn’t go away. Yes, his integrity may be questioned, but look deeper and realize that he gave his heart for cycling. He fought cancer, and helped others affected by cancer defeat the disease.

For now, Armstrong will have to deal with the consequences of the allegations of performance-enhancing drugs. He has an upward battle to fight, and you have to imagine he won’t go down fighting.

So, if you own a yellow Livestrong bracelet, will you continue to wear it?

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