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The life and times of Lance Armstrong

08/24/2012 11:27 EDT | Updated 10/24/2012 05:12 EDT
Aug. 24, 2012: The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) bans Lance Armstrong for life and requests that he be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. (The decision ultimately lies with the Union Cycliste Internationale.) This comes after the cyclist dropped any further challenges to the USADA's allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005.

June 2012: The USADA charges Armstrong with doping and trafficking of drugs, based on blood samples from 2009 and 2010.

May 2011: On the CBS news program 60 Minutes, teammate Tyler Hamilton says Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs during the 1999 Tour de France as well as in preparation for the 2000 and 2001 races.

Feb. 16, 2011: Armstrong announces his retirement (“for good”) from competitive cycling.

May 2010: Teammate Floyd Landis sends a series of emails to sponsors and officials alleging that Armstrong was guilty of doping. Landis also says that team director John Bruyneel bribed former International Cycling Union president Hein Verbruggen to cover up a test in 2002 after Armstrong tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO. Landis also says he had witnessed Armstrong and other teammates undergoing blood transfusions, and that Armstrong had given him testosterone patches.

Sept. 9, 2008: Armstrong declares his return to pro cycling, with the specific aim of participating in the 2009 Tour de France.

June 2006: Texas company SCA Promotions refuses to pay Armstrong for his Tour de France victory in 2004 until allegations of doping are proven false. (The company had underwritten half of Armstrong's bonus for winning the race.) During the subsequent lawsuit, the court hears from Armstrong's teammate, Frankie Andreu, and Andreu’s wife, Betsy, who say they overheard Armstrong admitting to doctors in 1996, while he was undergoing cancer treatment, that he had used steroids, human growth hormones and EPOs while cycling. In the end, SCA agrees to pay the cyclist $7.5 million to cover his bonus plus legal costs.

July 24, 2005: Armstrong announces that he is retiring from competitive cycling.

March 2005: More allegations surface from Armstrong's former assistant, Mike Anderson, during a legal battle following his termination. In court documents, Anderson alleges he discovered a box of androstenone while cleaning a bathroom in Armstrong's apartment in Girona, Spain. Androstenone is not a banned drug, and Anderson later admitted he didn’t know whether Armstrong actually used it. The two eventually settled out of court.

2004: French journalists Pierre Ballester and David Walsh publish the book L.A. Confidentiel – Les secrets de Lance Armstrong, which alleges the cyclist used performance-enhancing drugs. In the book, Armstrong's former assistant alleges he asked her to dispose of used syringes and requested makeup to conceal needle marks on his arms.

1999-2005: Armstrong wins the Tour de France seven consecutive times.

1999: A urine sample taken from Armstrong shows corticosteroid in an amount not in the positive range. According to a medical certificate, he had used an approved cream for saddle sores that contained corticosteroid.

1999: Armstrong takes his first Tour de France, beating Swiss rival Alex Zülle by seven minutes 37 seconds. During the race, a number of articles appear in French newspapers suggesting Armstrong used the drug peloton. These include stories by Christophe Bassons, which leads to an altercation during that year's race between Armstrong and cyclist Paul Kimmage, who made allegations that appeared in the article.

1998: Armstrong’s makes his athletic comeback by finishing fourth in the Vuelta a España, also known as the Tour of Spain.

1997: Having survived cancer, the cyclist establishes the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support people affected by the disease. The foundation would go on to raise more than $325 million US, largely from the sale of the now-iconic Livestrong bracelets.

October 1996: Armstrong is diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer, which has spread to his abdomen, lungs and brain. Surgeons remove his diseased testicle, and a doctor estimates Armstrong has less than a 40 per cent chance of surviving the cancer. His last chemotherapy treatment takes place on Dec. 13.

1996: At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Armstrong finishes sixth in the time trial and 12th in the road race.

1993: He earns a first-stage win at the Tour de France, but finishes 97th overall after abandoning the race after the 12th stage.

1992: Having triumphed in the 1991 U.S. amateur cycling championship, Armstrong represents the U.S. at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, finishing 14th.

Sept. 18, 1971: Armstrong, whose birth name was Lance Edward Gunderson, is born in Plano, Tex., to Linda Gayle and Eddie Gunderson.

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