Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal Opens Pandora’s Box

If the 7-time Tour de France winner was doping, he most certainly wasn't the only one.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

If not already, 7-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong will soon be stripped of all of his titles due to allegations of PED use.

Full of passed and failed drug tests, jurisdiction issues and questions regarding civil cases, not to mention ethics, this entire story is as complex as the people involved. If you want to read more on the hurricane of a legal battle this has turned into there is plenty of info here on the interweb. In short, it's a total mess, and we haven't even begun to talk about the runner-ups that will now be retroactively awarded the Tour de France champion in Armstrong's place.

Thanks to Deadspin and their provided linkage, we now see that the new 'winners' were just as doped up as Armstrong — if he were in fact guilty of his PED use allegations. Turns out, every single one of these guys have doping scandals of their own.

New 'winners' of Tour de France if/when Armstrong gets stripped of his titles:

1999: Alex Zülle (confessed to EPO use)
2000: Jan Ullrich (suspended from 2006 Tour; banned this year and stripped of all results from 2005 on)
2001: Jan Ullrich
2002: Joseba Beloki (kept out of 2006 Tour while under doping investigation, later cleared)
2003: Jan Ullrich
2004: Andreas Klöden (accused of illegal blood transfusion in the 2006 Tour)
2005: Ivan Basso (confessed to attempted doping, suspended)

Info provided by Deadspin.com

Nice. Good to know they have this all under control.

Armstrong released a statement that read:

"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense."

Guilty or not, the entire process has taken a tole on the cancer survivor, who went on to say, "There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," He then went on to call the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt." Based on the aforementioned information I would say Armstrong doesn't sound far off base.

USADA stated that they officially issued a lifetime ban against Armstrong and cycling on Friday. It is likely he will lose his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics along with all Tour de France titles and earnings.
 

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

By: Bryn Lennon
Collection: Getty Images Sport