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October 18th, 2012
12:47 PM ET

Only in America: Lance Armstrong's wheels fall off

On Wednesday, Piers Morgan used his "Only in America" segment to tell the tale of Lance Armstrong, a man once regarded as the premier cyclist in the world, arguably the greatest ever at his specific sporting craft. And then, the wheels fell off.

"A seven-time Tour de France-winning, cancer-surviving icon renowned for his unbelievable talent, determination, resilience and courage," said Morgan, describing Armstrong. "There was just one problem. The real reason it was all so unbelievable is that he cheated."

With Nike determining they could no longer "Just Do It" with the 41-year-old Texan, this week saw him lose his longtime and most-fruitful sponsor, as the creators of the famed Swoosh said:

"Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him."

In the eyes of the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host, the parting of ways was more than justified:

"Armstrong was a disgraceful fraud of epic proportions," he insisted.

As details of Armstrong's behavior continue to emerge, the picture presented is hardly the image he had so tirelessly worked to create:

"A man who juiced himself with illegal drugs, then bullied his teammates to do the same to ensure they could help him win big events," is what Morgan thinks of the man who won every Tour de France from 1999 through 2005.

The phrase "It's Not About the Bike" became Armstrong's personal credo, and ultimately, the title for one of his books.

The host found it to be ironically accurate:

"He was right – it was about the amount of doped blood he juiced into himself."

With the same conviction and determination that he used to climb the Tour's mountain stages, Armstrong steadfastly denied all allegations of his drug use, insisting it was the work of those jealous of his success, and looking to destroy his "extraordinarily lucrative global brand."

He attacked the press as they attempted to out him, and with a bank account large enough to back him, he sicked high-priced attorneys on his detractors.

Eventually, though, one of the most relentless workers in sports history eventually became too tired to keep fighting:

"Now, thanks to a damning report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, containing the withering evidence of more than two dozen witnesses prepared to testify against him, the truth about Lance Armstrong is finally out: He masterminded the greatest drug scandal in sports history."

The king of the yellow jersey has also stepped down from his throne atop Livestrong, the organization he created help fight cancer, a disease he himself successfully battled.

But even as the evidence pours in, and his supporters jump ship, Armstrong refuses to come down from his pedestal, refuses to dismount his bike:

"Still he stubbornly refused to admit his guilt, or say sorry," reported the host. "There's just one person left in the world who still thinks Lance Armstrong is innocent. And that's Lance Armstrong."

"Only in America," declared Morgan, could a man refuse to see the finish line, deny culpability, and appear so unwilling to accept that he'll never be able to ride off into the Texas sunset:

"The game's up Lance, the race is over. You cheated us all, shame on you."
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soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. sarah houseman

    lance, fess up. be half the man that you are only capable of being and admit what everyone already knows. are you thinking of starting a cult with the lie strong believers that religiously believe you are still innoncent? thats not a bad idea, as that's the only income you'll be getting after this washes out.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • LALL

      to be precise he still makes more money than you will in a lifetime or two.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • LALL

      And furthermore when you survive cancer either way tell me. If a man overshadows my whole career and continues to get the spotlight I would do anything too.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. princess1960

    hi Morgan ..every step we see scandals ..some is true some is not is really busineses and there have big concurances ..
    what you think POLITICE what is ?bank what is?education what is?SO ..(i don't know why you put this article )
    thank you

    October 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nothing better to do

      I think it's great that first graders are keeping up with current events. Hats off to you, princess1960.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Natalie

    Dear Piers Morgan,

    I think it's a shame that you sit there and belittle Lance Armstrong on TV. Even if Lance Armstrong is guilty of illegal doping, he is still one of the most gifted atheletes there has ever been. A regular man, like yourself, could dope up on as many performance enhancing drugs as you coul d possibly get your hands on and never be 1/4 the athlete Lance Armstrong is. In fact, you could never be 1/4 the athlete I am and I'm not a professional athlete. I invite you to try and finish ONE Tour de France. Some people are just born with the ability to be amazing at any physical activity. Not only that–you think that Lance just sits around (like you) and just watches tv? No, he's out busting his ass for something he loves to do. He's out there inspiring people. Have you forgotten all he's done with the Livestrong foundation? I assure you anyone who has lost anyone to cancer hasn't forgotten. He is more then just an athlete. You, you're just a news anchor. There's so many things going on in this world right now, find something else to report about–they've already taken everything from Lance. So get over yourself, you're more of a disgrace then he will ever be.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phil Butchers

      You are so right. The man had tumors in his lungs and brain. He lost a testicle. He only has one ball and still has more than Piers.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Philippe

      your arguments are fallacious.
      WHat about the other racers who did not cheat and could not compete fairly, they went through the same tough sufferings of the tour de France without the drugs and consequently, the glory and...of course the money.
      Piers, you are right and courageous because you are going to have a lot of ennemies who hate to hear and see the truth when it com to their idols.
      Everybody should read the extracts of the report. It speaks for itself.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Natalie

        I believe I said that he already had everything taken away, did I not? What more can you take from him? And why is it so bad to look up to him still? He's been through a lot. You want me to look up to a news anchor who does nothing but sit there and talk about a bunch of BS that is honestly pointless to society? No. I will continue to appreciate Lance Armstrong, as a person and as an athlete. I was lucky enough to compete in the same tri a few weeks ago as he did, and he is still–despite everything–positive and motivated, not to mention an incredible athlete. If you really think that Pier's Morgan is "courageous," then I feel sorry for you. Pier's is so far from what I would consider "courageous." But then again, you and I have very different morals, clearly.

        October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Paul

        I remember reading (I think sometime in the 1980's) a Tour de France racer who said that EVERYONE who races professionally takes performance enhancing drugs. That was probably an exaggeration but I suspect that drug use has been quite common among professional bike racers for a very long time. If most of the racers did, in fact, use drugs did Armstrong really have an advantage over everybody else? I'm not defending Armstrong for cheating but Piers Morgan is way over the top calling Armstrong a "disgraceful fraud of epic proportions."

        October 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mac

      Armstrong has brought disgrace to all American athletes, as people around the world will FOREVER question any medals awarded to American athletes.

      October 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • kliv2

        Okay, that is a ridiculous, unfounded assumption.

        October 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • chris

        So let me get y'alls logic straight: It is cheating if a cyclist uses drugs, but ok if MLB and NFL are doped to the gills? What is your response- they never tested positive? Wake up all of you morons- PEDs are everywhere and dominate the majority of professional athletics- pinning all this hate on Bonds, Armstrong, Arod... make Piers and the rest of you look like the illiterate boobs you are. "Lance made us dope" is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, especially considering the fact that none of them remotely considered stopping the doping. WAKE UP you morons

        October 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • 01 Oregon

      Well said Natalie!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. kylekp

    Shame on you, Piers! Only in America??!? This was an international sport with an athlete heralded by all kinds of peoples and nations across the globe in a sport most Americans don't even pay attention to or know it exists. I'm not defending Lance but to spin this as an American issue is unfair considering the perception it seems is the majority of racers have participated in doping (before and after lance) from a variety of countries. Move your show to the UK!!

    October 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bazoing

      I don't see it is somehow Piers' fault that bicycling is corrupt throughout Europe. Armstrong is nasty and that is that.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jeff Burdick

    Lance Armstrong... Well, whatever hasn't been said about Lance (the bicyclist and drug cyclist) can probably only be said using humor and satire. So enjoy:

    October 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. gorry james

    What a complete farce for the self-righteous Peers Morgan go on about disgraceful cheating. Peers built is own career and fortune with disgraceful (unethical if not illegal) behavior. Shame on you Peers, you are the height of hypocrisy.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Shaun

    I will always be a Lance Armstrong supporter-he has inspired many in many ways....I think the real shame belongs to the folks that have waited ten years to come forward-what was it that made them come forward now? Should there not be a time limit on these issues? I, like Natalie, do not really care if he is guilty of illegal doping-livestrong has supported many folks and made a difference in many lives-anyone that can overcome cancer as he did and achieve what he has is to be commended. Why do we, as a society, have to make everything about something it is not?

    October 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lukenwolf

      You can't possibly be serious! Well lets start with the little fact that Armstrong took growth hormones and EPO since the early 90s, both of which are substances that are known to increase tumor growth, On top of that he used masking agents to prevent these substances from being found in doping tests, which is why his elevated B-HcG levels, which come with cancer, were not found. So if anything, the extent of his cancer is his own fault, because his doping prevented it from being diagnosed earlier.
      He cheated, bullied team mates into joining his doping scheme, he assaulted Tyler Hamilton, blackmailed and terrorized Levi Leipheimers wife and set up a fraudulent charity organization. And you look up to that man? Why don't you just look up to Pol Pot or Idi Amin?
      Livestrong is as fraudulent as its founder. They dodn't give money to cancer research at all. 10% go directly into Armstrongs pockets.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • guyaboveme

        You sir are an idiot, you need to get the facts before shooting of about charity. I have personally benefited from that charity, and right, wrong, whatever the Livestrong Foundation has done an incredible amount of good, please do some research before you make some moronic comment with no basis.

        October 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel

    In all honest who cares, all the top cyclists of Armstrong's era where doping... why destroy the history of the sport... what are you going to do give the 50th place finisher of those TDF's the victory? Also I watched last years doping free version of the TDF... well 10 minutes of it because it was boring... No one was able to attack everyone just sat in the pack and waited for some catastrophic event to happen to their challengers.

    Remember where not talking performance enhancing drugs that have damaging effects on your body.. doping is merely giving blood before the TDF starts, saving it, then re-injecting it during the race in order to restore the oxygen levels in your blood giving you the energy to attack in the third week of the tour. In all honesty all this has done is make it so I won't watch the tour anymore.

    October 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Rose

    What keeps running around in my head is the thought of all the people suffering from cancer who looked up to Mr Armstrong as a role model, with hope and respect that if they persevered the way he did they also would have a chance at beating the disease. But he didn't persevere, he used illegal drugs which may have not only caused his cancer but may be playing havoc with his system that will eventually make him hit a brick wall medically. I hope he eventually tells the truth to his many admirers so they can look up to him for the right reasons. Everyone makes mistakes (some bigger than others) but the man who knows when to put pride and/or embarrassment aside to make things right for those who look up to him teaches the greatest lesson and gains true respect.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. James

    Morgan–Your obviously not from Texas so just shut the F*** Up. We don't care for your opinion–Thanks anyway–

    October 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lukenwolf

      Judging by your comment, you don't care much about intelligence either

      October 20, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JOHNYYYYyyyYyy

    The guy just does not have the balls to admit he is a fraud

    October 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. jay

    this is so crazy this dude has absolutely no balls or anything they even have prof that he did and he is still dining that .He keeps on saying 'you have no prof so cant blame any thing on me .'

    October 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. will

    I don't mind too much that Armstrong doped.
    He also harmed a lot of non-cheating cycling folks who tell the truth.
    When he used his good deeds (cancer awareness) to defend his guilt, he destroyed all values of his good deeds.
    Like LA times said, he should be cut off from livestrong (no director, no position at all).

    October 19, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. charms

    Why the hate on Piers? Lol some people are funny. Armstrong cheated... end of story

    October 19, 2012 at 5:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. John Bowie

    He is the product of a sick society. To reach the the top most athletes , politicians, businessman will use any possible way to attain their goal by cheating, stealing, and then denying or blaming someone else once they are caught. Honesty and fairness are things of the past. For every Lance, Tiger ,Madoff, there are still 1000'a and 1000's still waiting to be caught.

    October 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Rosie Deus-von Homeyer

    I listen shortly to Piers Morgan on CNN ,but did not like his language.

    If Armstrong is a cheat or NOT,is still NOT proven in a court of law and Morgan should not call him a "disrespectful cheat of great proportions"!
    "Shame on you!" Morgan said. Is he justified to say such words?

    Mr.Morgan,you want to impress your listeners,but please,NOT with such expressions.

    October 20, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  17. MannyHM

    I still don't understand this. None of the tests for doping was positive on Lance Armstrong. He is considered guilty and being punished for it purely based on the 'stories' of his former teammates and associates.
    I find this quite repulsive and scary. What if your neighbor across the street, your neighbor on both sides, and at the back tell the authorities that you're a murderer and then be punished for it even if you're truly innocent. Be very afraid, it can happen to you. Where's the due process and objective evidence that we based justice on ?

    October 20, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  18. liberal disease

    Piers Morgan works for a network that is so dishonest and never asks probing questions to democrats or try to seek out the truth, unless they are republican..go back to England you putz

    October 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  19. David Ogletree

    This is hyperbole and ignorance by a talking head who know nothing about cycling. Why should we expect anything more from him when he has no data or data about what he is talking about, as a cyclist this is evident by this segment. Maybe tubby should get on a bike and train for an iron man, read about the tour de france and actually watch it. Go Tubby.. Go Tubby

    October 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. thedog

    just curious, but have they proved that the tests were rigged and the labs bought off? if not the all these other witnesses have nothing, but here say. only a proved positive test can prove him guilty nothing else. and from what i have read his testing was never proven positive, am i wrong?

    October 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • will

      Actually,twenty-six witnesses is well enough.You have never watch a murder trial have you?

      October 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • thedog

        yes, but when there is no physical evidence as in this case he has never tested + . you can say murder, but without a body how do you prove the crime!

        October 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nothing better to do

      Hearsay is when you don't witness something yourself but hear about it from someone else. That is not the case here. These folks saw Lance do drugs and participated in it. This is direct evidence.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. cheaters never win and winners never cheat

    Im not a fan of Piers but im sorry to say he is right. Lance is a liar and fraud of epic proportions. How could he stand on the winners platform and not feel shame.

    October 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Damon

    There is no proof he doped!! There is only testimony from his so called teammates and other people who got deals from the USADA?! So we are going to take their word over the insurmountable amount of scientific evidence on Lance's side? UCI did a lengthy investigation, hell even our own US congress did an investigation and I bet they interviewed the same people the USADA did, so what gives? What is so different about this investigation compared to the dozens before? What new evidence do they have? They said it was massive systematic doping. Ok so where is the proof?!?!?!

    And now the USADA's investigation process is question by Congress and it looks as if USADA might get their wings clipped a little bit. Personally they should be disbanded if you ask me and let the individual sports organization manage their own doping policies. There was 0, zero, zilch, nada, no scientific evidence to back up the USADA's investigation just witness testimony. That would not stand up in a court of law and should not stand up here.

    October 21, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nothing better to do

      Yes we are going to believe those 12 and more and also simple common sense. By the way, the world isn't flat.

      October 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • nomaD

      Damon–Brother, do some reading. Proof? If a lab had an LA positive and he couldn't wriggle out of it with a back dated m.d.'s note, he would do what every other big name cyclist who's had a positive recently do. He would discredit the lab and say the samples were manipulated. And use public opinion to incite the righteous indignation of folks like you. You are a pawn in his game. Why don't you watch the 2006 deposition video of LA. Stay tuned brother. The scales are going fall from your eyes.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Peter

    Lance it's time to man up !

    October 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  24. utahgolfer

    So if he was juicing, how did he pass all those blood tests?? Secondly if he was a bully and made others juice, why then is it not possible for the accusers to be bullies and bully others into saying what they want them to say? Juicer or not I don't know but it seems there is reasonable doubt.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    hey, that is just like a huge brasilian tv show. I kind like Armstrong very much and I don't thing he deserve all this negative shoes
    after all he really did many good things for Cancer pation. He is a niece guy!!!!!!! find other negative news nstead focus on Armstrong. Srry I just do not like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bry

    Lance "bullied" grown men who are professional athletes? Oh please.

    October 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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