Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, here speaking to U.S. troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2010, was stripped of his titles after accusations of using performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong later admitted to using the banned substances.
Photograph by CPL Robert Thaler, U.S. Army

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  • On October 22, 2012, American cyclist Lance Armstrong was formally stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles after being charged with using performance-enhancing drugs. Cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), also banned Armstrong from competing in any of its events for the rest of his life.

    Armstrong was arguably the most well-known cyclist in the world. His aggressive, competitive style helped lead him through the Tour’s grueling course, which includes treks over the Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges, long stretches of open road, and city biking through the streets of Paris. Armstrong famously battled cancer with the same grit and determination he showed on the Tour, and raised millions of dollars for cancer survivors through his nonprofit organization, Livestrong.

    For years, Armstrong had consistently denied using any performance-enhancing drugs. In 2013, he finally admitted to using several banned substances since early in his career.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    aggressive Adjective

    forceful or offensive.

    ban Verb

    to prohibit, or not allow.

    cancer Noun

    growth of abnormal cells in the body.

    city Noun

    large settlement with a high population density.

    grit Noun

    courageous and tough character.

    grueling Adjective

    physically difficult.

    mountain range Noun

    series or chain of mountains that are close together.

    nonprofit organization Noun

    business that uses surplus funds to pursue its goals, not to make money.

    trek Noun

    journey, especially across difficult terrain.