Lance Armstrong's controversial career
A legend before the fall
Lance Armstrong battled back from life-threatening cancer to become a cycling legend, winning seven Tour de France titles. However, allegations of performance-enhancing drug use followed him throughout his career, and in 2012, he was stripped of all seven of his Tour titles after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released evidence of use and distribution the substances.
An early champion
Armstrong began his professional racing career in triathlon. At age 17, he competed in the Jeep Triathlon Grand Prix in May 1988. He was the national sprint-course champion in 1989 and 1990.
Shift in focus
In 1992, Armstrong turned his focus completely to cycling and joined the Motorola team.
Early Tour success
Armstrong raises his arms as crosses the finish line to win the 8th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Chalons-sur-Marne and Verdun, France on July 11, 1993. He won a several individual stages of the race what would define his career before being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996.
Armstrong lies in a bed during treatment for testicular cancer at Indiana University School of Medicine Hospital lying in Indianapolis in November 1996. He was diagnosed at age 25 at stage three, an advanced stage of the disease, and was given less than a 40 percent chance of survival. By the time he began treatment, the cancer had spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. After several surgeries and months of chemotherapy, he was declare cancer-free in February 1997.
Armstrong puts on the Maillot jaune -- the yellow jersey -- after winning the prologue of the 1999 Tour de France. He would go on to win three more stages before claiming the overall title. He beat the second-place finisher, Alex Zulle, by seven minutes and 37 seconds.
Armstrong exits the doping control area after being tested for performance-enhancing drugs on July 4, 1999. Speculation about possible substance use began to surface in 1999.
Armstrong carried the U.S. flag as he took his victory lap on the Champs Elysees in Paris after winning the Tour de France on July 25, 1999.
A presidential gift
President Clinton picks up a light-weight racing bicycle presented to him as a gift by Armstrong in the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday, August 10, 1999.
U.S. Postal team
The U.S. Postal team, with Armstrong at the lead, competes in the fourth stage of the 2000 Tour de France, a team time trial between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire. Armstrong joined the team in 1997 during this recovery from testicular cancer treatment.
Armstrong holds his son Luke as his then-wife Kristin looks after the cyclist won the Tour de France on July 23, 2000. He beat rival Jan Ullrich by six minutes and two seconds.
Ahead of the field
Between 1999 and 2005, Lance Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles.
Armstrong flew the Texas state flag as he rode up the Champs Elysees to win the 2001 Tour, beating Jan Ullrich by six minutes, 44 seconds.
Riding for a cause
Armstrong carries the Olympic flame while riding with a group of cancer survivors in Austin, Texas, on Dec. 11, 2001, during the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Torch Relay.
President Bush was joined by Armstrong as he spoke about cancer and increased research spending on Sept. 18, 2002, at the White House.
Armstrong holds up the winners tropy after winning the 2002 Tour De France on July 28 in Paris.
Armstrong takes his bike in the grass to continue the race after avoiding Spaniard Joseba Beloki, who fell down at the end of the ninth stage of the 2003 Tour de France between Bourg d'Oisans and Gap.
In May 2004, Nike and the Lance Armstrong Foundation joined forces and created the bracelet campaign. Each of the bright yellow wristbands cost $1 each, with all proceeds going to the foundation. Nike agreed to donate an additional $1 million to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Something to Crow about
Armstrong kisses girlfriend Sheryl Crow after he put on the yellow jersey as overall leader at the end of the 15th stage of the 2004 Tour de France. Armstrong won a five individual stages of the race, as well as the team time trial. He won the race, beating Andreas Kloden by six minutes, 19 seconds.
A record day
Armstrong, still riding for the U.S. Postal team, became the first six-time winner of the Tour de France on July 25, 2004.
Armstrong waves a paper reading "7" before the 21st stage of the Tour de France on July 24, 2005. At age 33, Armstrong won his seventh title, beating Ivan Basso by four minutes, 40 seconds. He had announced earlier that he was retiring from cycling.
Armstrong celebrates his seventh Tour victory with his three children -- Luke, Grace and Isabelle -- on the winners' podium on July 24, 2005.
Armstrong speaks as cancer survivors look on during a news conference on May 17, 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington. One hundred cancer survivors from all 50 states joined Armstrong to call on the Congress to invest in resources, treatment and services for cancer patients.
Armstrong competed in the 2006 New York City Marathon, finishing with a time of two hours, 59 minutes and 36 seconds and helped to raise more than $600,000 for his Livestrong charity.
Armstrong speaks with the late Tim Russert, right, during a taping of "Meet the Press" on Aug. 24, 2007 at the NBC studios in Washington. Armstrong spoke about continuing efforts to help battle cancer and encourage funding and development to combat the disease.
Return to cycling
Armstrong announced that he would return to competitive cycling at the Clinton Global Initiative on Sept. 24, 2008 in New York.
Armstrong rides in a breakaway during stage 16 of the Tour de France on July 20, 2010 in Pau, France. Armstrong joined Team RadioShack in 2010, and was named the team leader.
Return to triathlon
Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 triathlon with his 10-year-old twin daughters Grace, left, and Isabelle, right, on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event, which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) President Pat McQuaid leaves a press conference on Oct. 22, 2012, after announcing that the UCI would accept the U.S. Anti-Doping Association's recommended sanctions, which called for a lifetime ban and stripped him of his Tour de France titles. At the briefing, McQuaid said: "Armstrong has no place in cycling. He deserves to be forgotten."
Lance Armstrong makes an appearance at the Livestrong's 15th anniversary gala on Oct. 19, 2012. Two days earlier, he resigned as director of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.