No respite for disgraced cyclist, loses key to the city of adelaide

 

The woes of seven-time Tour de France winner and disgraced cyclist, Lance Armstrong, are increasing with every passing day. After being banned by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) and stripped of all his titles, the cyclist has just lost the key to the City of Adelaide.

Adelaide City Council, in an unprecedented move, voted to withdraw the honor for Armstrong less than a year after it decided to award the key. The council voted 6-1 for stripping the cyclist of the honor with Tony Williamson dissenting. With this, the cyclist becomes the first of 33 key recipients to lose the honor. A week back, Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said the cyclist would be retaining the key since he had raised the profile of the Tour Down Under and cancer research. However, the council is expected to remove the cyclist’s name from its honor board rather than physically retrieve the key. This move came after a vandal splattered red paint on the poster of the banned cyclist above the Nike shop in Rundle Mall.

In the last few weeks, Lance Armstrong has lost much of his legacy with major sponsors like Nike, and even some smaller ones like Anheuser-Busch and Trek bicycles dropping the cyclist. If that was not all, a previously unheard sworn deposition from New Zealand rider Stephen Swart in a 2006 American court case is back to haunt the cyclist. Swart alleged that Armstrong and members of his USPS team bribed him and his team to throw the final two legs of a series of races in 1993. It was alleged that the cyclist offered a bribe of $50,000 to Swart and his team to not “be aggressive and challenge,” in the last two races. Swart said that he could not understand why the cyclist made such an offer as he would have won anyway and added that they got their money a few weeks after his victory. It is believed that legendary Australian cyclist and former Armstrong mentor Phil Anderson were allegedly in the hotel room when the bribery deal was made between the two and Anderson said he could not recall such a deal but denied it happening either.

His ex-fiancee Sheryl Crow was also interviewed by federal agents in late 2011 after multiple witnesses encouraged them to press her for information about the cyclist and the doping program that propped up his Tour de France teams. This was after many witnesses said Crow would have been privy to details about the blood transfusions the cyclist is accused of orchestrating. The cyclist was even accused of encouraging teammates to use performance enhancing drugs and replacing cyclists who refused to use those drugs. Armstrong has still maintained his innocence but decided to abandon his legal challenge to the USADA while those who were made victims of his strong-arm tactics feel relieved and vindicated after the USADA report brought an end to the phony empire of wealth, adulation, and power that was believed to be protected at all costs.

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