In February, when U.S. federal prosecutors dropped their 20-month criminal investigation into Lance Armstrong’s alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, the seven-time Tour de France winner finally appeared to be in the clear. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), however, was just getting started. The quasi-government entity, charged with keeping sports clean, kept pressing, and eventually compelled 11 former teammates – including Armstrong’s most trusted aide, George Hincapie – to testify about Armstrong’s sophisticated doping scheme. After USADA’s devastating “Reasoned Decision” came out in October, Armstrong’s sponsors – including Nike, Trek, and Oakley – cut ties with him (Nike had once aired an anti-doping ad with Armstrong in which the cyclists said “Everybody wants to know what I am on. What am I on? I’m on my bike, busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?”) Cycling’s world governing body stripped Armstrong of his titles, and Armstrong resigned from the board of his Livestrong foundation, which raises cancer awareness. Armstrong continues to deny that he doped; he chose to stop fighting USADA before its decision was released because he said he couldn’t get a fair hearing. Now, it’s nearly impossible to believe him.
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