Armstrong, Lance, 1971–, American cyclist, b. Dallas, Tex. He won (1991) the U.S. amateur cycling championship, turned professional (1992), and by the mid-1990s had won the Tour DuPont twice and was being hailed as the finest U.S. cyclist. In 1996, however, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had spread extensively. After undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, he returned (1998) to cycling and reached the pinnacle of the sport with seven consecutive victories (1999–2005) in the Tour de France. He also won a bronze medal in the time trial at the 2000 Olympics. Armstrong retired in 2005, resumed his career in 2009, and retired again in 2011.
Accusations in 2005 that he had engaged in blood doping in 1999 were denied by Armstrong and disputed in 2006 by an International Cycling Union (ICU) investigation, which found no evidence to support the charges. Subsequently, additional accusations were made regarding Armstrong and his team, but he denied doping until 2013. In 2012, after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said it had clear evidence of doping and released a detailed and extensive report covering the years of his Tour de France victories, the ICU agreed with USADA's decision to strip Armstrong of his results since 1998 and bar him from the sport for life. In 2013 he was stripped of his Olympic medal.
See his memoirs (2000, 2003); D. Coyles, Lance Armstrong's War (2005).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.