Lance Armstrong's fall from grace

Lance Armstrong fell from grace the way Hemingway described bankruptcy: gradually, and then suddenly. Accused for years of being involved in a wide-ranging doping scandal, Armstrong was stripped of most of his honors, including his seven Tour de France titles. In January 2013, he finally came clean about his doping usage in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
— Jay Busbee

FILE - In this July 23, 2000, file photo, winner Lance Armstrong rides down the Champs Elysees after the final stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Paris. Armstrong also won the Prince of Asturias Award in Sports in 2000. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling's governing body following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2010 file photo, Lance Armstrong, cyclist and Livestrong founder, attends the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity. The move by the sports company ends a nine-year relationship that helped the foundation raise more than $100 million and made the charity's signature yellow wristband an international symbol for cancer survivors. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, file photo provided by Harpo Studios Inc., talk show host Oprah Winfrey, right, interviews Lance Armstrong during taping for the show "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive" in Austin, Texas. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France cycling during the interview that aired Thursday, Jan. 17, reversing more than a decade of denial. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns, File)

FILE - This July 25, 2004 file photo shows Lance Armstrong kissing Sheryl Crow as he celebrates his sixth straight Tour de France cycling race victory in Paris. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling's governing body Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams. UCI President Pat McQuaid announced that the federation accepted the USADA's report on Armstrong and would not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (AP Photo/Franck Prevel)

FILE - This July 25, 2004 file photo shows Lance Armstrong kissing Sheryl Crow as he celebrates his sixth straight Tour de France cycling race victory in Paris. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling's governing body Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams. UCI President Pat McQuaid announced that the federation accepted the USADA's report on Armstrong and would not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (AP Photo/Franck Prevel)

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2012 file photo, Lance Armstrong talks to reporters after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo. Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity founded by Armstrong. The move by the sports company is the latest fallout in the doping scandal surrounding the former cyclist, who now admits he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, FIle)

FILE - In a Sept. 30, 2000 file photo, U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong waves after receiving the bronze medal in the men's individual time trials at the 2000 Summer Olympics cycling road course in Sydney, Australia. The IOC formally opened an investigation Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, that could result in Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Olympic bronze medal for doping. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)

FILE - In this July 1, 1999, file photo, cyclists Jonathan Vaughters, left, and Lance Armstrong, both of the United States, joke around during medical checks for the Tour de France cycling race at Le Puy du Fou, western France. Armstrong was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in 1996. The tumors had spread to his abdomen, lungs, and lymph nodes. Vaughters later testified that he saw Armstrong inject himself in the stomach in 1998. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

FILE - In this July 22, 2004, file photo, Lance Armstrong reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Bourd-d'Oisans and Le Grand Bornand, French Alps. In 2004, Armstrong was also named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and ESPN's ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

FILE - In this July 10, 2010, file photo, Lance Armstrong throws out his water bottle in the last kilometers of the climb toward Station les Rousses, France, during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race. The New York Times reported Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, that Armstrong, who has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, has told associates he is considering admitting to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong attorney Tim Herman denied that Armstrong has reached out to USADA chief executive Travis Tygart and David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski, File)

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, file photo provided by Harpo Studios Inc., Lance Armstrong listens as he is interviewed by talk show host Oprah Winfrey during taping for the show "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive" in Austin, Texas. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France cycling during the interview that aired Thursday, Jan. 17, reversing more than a decade of denial. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns, File)

FILE - In this July 24, 2002, file photo, Lance Armstrong walks out of the Tour de France's anti-doping control bus after the 16th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Les Deux Alpes and La Plagne, French Alps. Armstrong said of the 2002 race, that cycling has suffered a "black eye" from doping scandals and he's not sure how it will affect interest. Sports Illustrated magazine named Armstrong Sportsman of the Year in 2002. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept 30, 2000 file photo Russia's Viacheslav Ekimov, center, winner of the gold medal in the men's individual time trials, celebrates with Germany's silver medal winner Jan Ullrich, left, and U.S bronze medal winner Lance Armstrong at the cycling road course in Sydney, for the Summer Olympic Games. Officials familiar with the decision tell The Associated Press the IOC has stripped Lance Armstrong of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics because of his involvement in doping. Two officials say the IOC sent a letter to Armstrong on Wednesday night Jan. 16, 2013, asking him to return the medal. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

FILE - In this July 20, 2005, file photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, left, of Austin, Texas, talks with Tour de France vice director general Christian Prudhomme, of France, before Prudhomme gave the official start for the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Pau and Revel, southwestern France. Admitting he cheated was a start. Now, it's all about whether Armstrong is ready to give details, lots of them, to clean up his sport. “We're left wanting more. We have to know more about the system," Prudhomme told the AP. "He couldn't have done it alone. We have to know who in his entourage helped him to do this.”(AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

A video screen at a hotel restaurant in Grapevine, Texas, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, shows a replay telecast of a segment of Lance Armstrong being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Reversing more than a decade of denials, Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France cycling during the interview that aired night before. The second part of the interview will air tonight. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A video screen at a hotel restaurant in Grapevine, Texas, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, shows a replay telecast of a segment of Lance Armstrong being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Reversing more than a decade of denials, Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France cycling during the interview that aired night before. The second part of the interview will air tonight. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

FILE - In this July 5, 2004, file photo, US Postal Service team leader Lance Armstrong sits by the registration bus before the second stage of the 91st Tour de France cycling race between Charleroi and Namur, Belgium. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France during a taped interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, reversing more than a decade of denial. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - In this May 20, 2010 file photo, U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong is helped up after crashing during the fifth stage of the Tour of California cycling race on the outskirts of Visalia, Calif. Just days after Armstrong's doping admission, cycling is set for more damaging revelations as a long-delayed drug investigation finally goes to court in Spain. Seven years after Spanish investigators uncovered one of cycling's most sophisticated and widespread doping rings, some of its central figures will stand trial on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 in the Operation Puerto case. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - In this May 20, 2010 file photo, U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong is helped up after crashing during the fifth stage of the Tour of California cycling race on the outskirts of Visalia, Calif. Just days after Armstrong's doping admission, cycling is set for more damaging revelations as a long-delayed drug investigation finally goes to court in Spain. Seven years after Spanish investigators uncovered one of cycling's most sophisticated and widespread doping rings, some of its central figures will stand trial on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 in the Operation Puerto case. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2012 file photo, Lance Armstrong, right, jokes with his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, center, and their daughter, Olivia, after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo. Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity founded by Armstrong. The move by the sports company is the latest fallout in the doping scandal surrounding the former cyclist, who now admits he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

FILE - In this July 25, 2004 file photo, U.S. Postal Service cycling team leader and 2004 Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, and teammate George Hincapie, right, ride the victory lap on Champs Elysees boulevard in Paris, France. Lawyers for Armstrong say the Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against the cyclist. The lawsuit alleges the former Tour de France champion concealed his use of performance-enhancing drugs for over a decade and defrauded his long-time sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - In this July 25, 2004 file photo, U.S. Postal Service cycling team leader and 2004 Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, and teammate George Hincapie, right, ride the victory lap on Champs Elysees boulevard in Paris, France. Lawyers for Armstrong say the Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against the cyclist. The lawsuit alleges the former Tour de France champion concealed his use of performance-enhancing drugs for over a decade and defrauded his long-time sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2012, file photo, Lance Armstrong competes in the swimming portion of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon in Ellicott City, Md. U.S. Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher said Thursday, April 4, 2013, that Armstrong will not swim three distance events in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas this weekend after swimming's international federation body raised objections. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2012, file photo, Lance Armstrong competes in the swimming portion of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon in Ellicott City, Md. U.S. Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher said Thursday, April 4, 2013, that Armstrong will not swim three distance events in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas this weekend after swimming's international federation body raised objections. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, cyclist Lance Armstrong prepares to take part in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race in Snowmass Village, Colo. U.S. Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher said Thursday, April 4, 2013, that Armstrong will not swim three distance events in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas this weekend after swimming's international federation body raised objections. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, cyclist Lance Armstrong prepares to take part in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race in Snowmass Village, Colo. U.S. Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher said Thursday, April 4, 2013, that Armstrong will not swim three distance events in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas this weekend after swimming's international federation body raised objections. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

FILE - In this July 20, 2004 file photo, Lance Armstrong reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Valreas, southern France, and Villard-de-Lans, French Alps. Armstrong is facing the federal government in a legal fight with tens of millions of dollars at stake, and a loss could bankrupt the cyclist who until last year ranked among the wealthiest and most popular athletes in the world. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - In this July 20, 2004 file photo, Lance Armstrong reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Valreas, southern France, and Villard-de-Lans, French Alps. Armstrong is facing the federal government in a legal fight with tens of millions of dollars at stake, and a loss could bankrupt the cyclist who until last year ranked among the wealthiest and most popular athletes in the world. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - In this July 24, 2005 file photo, Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, carries the United States flag and wears a jersey with Nike logos during a victory parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, after winning his seventh straight Tour de France cycling race. Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity founded by Armstrong. The move by the sports company is the latest fallout in the doping scandal surrounding the former cyclist, who now admits he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - In this July 24, 2005 file photo, Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, carries the United States flag and wears a jersey with Nike logos during a victory parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, after winning his seventh straight Tour de France cycling race. Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity founded by Armstrong. The move by the sports company is the latest fallout in the doping scandal surrounding the former cyclist, who now admits he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)