Armstrong sends off riders as UCI ponders his fate
Hours before Lance Armstrong's fate and legacy face a moment of truth
in Europe, the doping-disgraced US cyclist cheered on 4,300 bikers
Sunday morning at a charity race in his hometown.
Embattled Armstrong spoke for about 90 seconds before the start of
the Livestrong Challenge, a 100-mile cycling event to benefit the
cancer-fighting foundation he created 15 years ago.
Armstrong stepped down as Livestrong chairman on Wednesday in the
wake of detailed revelations about his role at the heart of a doping
ring that helped him win seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005.
“I've been better, but I've also been worse,” Armstrong said.
“Obviously it has been an interesting and difficult couple of weeks.” A
record turnout of riders raised $1.7 million for Livestrong on the eve
of a decision by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on whether or not
it will follow through on punishments imposed by the US Anti-Doping
USADA released 1,000 pages of testimony and evidence 12 days ago
about why it imposed a life ban on Armstrong in August and stripped him
of his Tour de France victories and other results when he refused to
fight doping charges.
Since then, major sponsors distanced themselves from Armstrong, and
he stepped down from his leadership role at Livestrong in hopes it would
not be damaged by the controversy swirling around him.