Lance Armstrong‘s unparalleled legacy in cycling history and his personal status as one of sport’s great heroes has been undone as the only remaining sponsor Oakley Sunglasses dissolved its relationship with Armstrong yesterday as the International Cycling Union formally stripped the 41-year-old of his seven Tour de France titles.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme said that Armstrong’s titles would not be redistributed to other riders to serve as a reminder of a disgraceful period in the sport’s history. Prudhomme said, “We wish that there is no winner for this period. For us, very clearly, the titles should remain blank.”
Now it is being speculated as to whether Armstrong will have to reimburse insurance company bonuses he was paid out for winning the Tour de France. The insurance firm SCA Promotions is allegedly demanding the return of up to $12 million worth of bonuses paid out to the cyclist for his respective wins. A legal representative for SCA said, “Mr Armstrong is no longer the official winner of any Tour de France races and as a result it is inappropriate and improper for him to retain any bonus payments made by SCA.”
Now Armstrong could be facing financial ruin with the loss of his sponsors and a pending lawsuit from the SCA. What a sad shocking turn of events to have taken Armstrong from a status as one of the great sporting heroes and survivors – a living breathing bastion of how human strength can overcome obstacles in order to achieve what seem to be impossible goals; and now it is looking more and more as though his goals weren’t possible to – legitimately – achieve after all. Sometimes the truth can make you flinch.
Photo by Bryn Lennon for Getty Images