Lance Armstrong has been an inspiration to people worldwide.

Andrew Miller, Staff Reporter

One of the most decorated athletes of the past few decades has decided to end his fight against alleged steroid use. The United States Anti-Doping Agency has long accused Lance Armstrong of using performance enhancing drugs, an accusation that would seemingly explain his otherworldly seven consecutive Tour de France wins.

Armstrong, however, claims that there is no recent concrete evidence, such as a positive drug test that would prove himself to be guilty. Contrarily, The USDA stated the sanctions were on the basis of blood samples from 2009 and 2010.

A urine sample from 1999 also shows traces of a corticosteroid in very small amounts, for which he says was used to treat saddle sores.

While it is hard to take a man’s word over apparent facts, the penalty doesn’t seem to warrant a lifetime ban from competition, or being stripped of your awards and money from August 1998 onward. The USDA obviously feels differently. Armstrong was officially charged with doping and trafficking of drugs based on the blood samples from 2009 and 2010.

A student, who chooses to remain anonymous, thinks Armstrong deserves punishment for his actions, but not to the extent of what was decided. “The evidence proves he cheated to me, but I think the punishment given to him was way too extreme.”

Even with a guilty verdict, it is hard to justify the harsh penalties levied on him by the USDA. In comparison, Alberto Contador tested positive for the steroid clenbuterol in 2010, similar to Armstrong, but received no lifetime ban from competition.

Senior Armin Mohammed disagrees with the USDA’s decision, claming, “It is wrong because he worked so hard through all of the things that happened to him, such as overcoming cancer and persevering to win seven titles, and all of them being stripped away is just not right.”

Being the outstanding role model that he is, it’s hard to see an iron man like Lance Armstrong be punished the way that he has been. Regardless of whether he used performance-enhancing drugs or not, he still persevered through cancer, and was one of the fittest human beings in the world.

Senior Eryn Farkas agrees, explaining that just because an athlete is successful doesn’t mean they cheated. “If someone is the best, they always try and question it. He could simply just be the best.”

Armstrong continues to deny ever using steroids, stating enough is enough, and feels that his time has come to put the accusations to rest.