The cycling world was rocked on Thursday when Lance Armstrong came clean about his use of performance enhancing drugs during his time on the US Cycling Team.
Armstrong was known for his record-breaking seven consecutive Tour de France wins (from 199 to 2005) as well as his fight with testicular cancer that spread to his brain and lungs, which lead to his foundation of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer support. Armstrong retired from professional cycling in 2011 while facing a US federal investigation into doping allegations. In June 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charged Armstrong with use of banned performance-enhancing drugs, and followed that with a lifetime ban from all competition, as well as stripping him of all his titles won since August 1998.
Although Lance Armstrong stayed mum on the allegations from June 2012 to December 2012, he stepped down as the director of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and didn’t deny the allegations. In early January, Lance Armstrong gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey, which began airing on January 17, admitting to his use of banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career.
Performance-enhancing drugs helped Lance Armstrong become the biggest name in cycling, but at a price. Success is possible with hard work, dedication and drive. Here are some tips from the experts at the UF Health Fitness and Wellness Center to encourage athletes young and old, amateur and professional, that success is possible without the use of performance-enhancing drugs:
- Analyze your current fitness level (with testing/evaluations), set up goals and a training plan (coaching), then follow your plan (medical fitness or personal training) to achieve your goals
- Analyze how much you want to improve your performance based on your current level of fitness and what you want to achieve.
- Most goals that are realistic can be achieved without using performance-enhancing drugs. Set incremental goals and assess and improve them regularly.
- Make sure you eat a well-balanced diet and have adequate rest. Talk to a nutritionist to develop a diet plan that’s best for you and your sports performance.
UF Health Fitness and Wellness Center offers a variety of medial fitness, coaching and training services to all levels of athletes. Call 352-733-0834 or email Mike Wasik for more information about UF Health Fitness and Wellness Center Services.