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Top Stories of 2012: Lance Armstrong's Crash and Burn

Here’s one Austinite that’s probably ready for 2012 to end: Lance Armstrong.

Cyclist, cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong found himself enveloped by controversy this year that ultimately lead to the erasure of his wins.

In February, federal prosecutors announced they had dropped a two-year investigation into whether Armstrong participated in doping. But later that summer, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a non-governmental watchdog of doping in sports, announced it was bringing its own charges of doping against Armstrong.

Armstrong sued, claiming the USADA had no jurisdiction in the case. But in August 2012, Armstrong surprised many by announcing he would no longer fight the USADA’s charges.

Armstrong maintains he never participated in doping. But in October, USADA released a damning 202-page report saying that Armstrong was part of “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” The International Cycling Union agreed to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.

Later that month, Armstrong announced he was stepping down as chairman from the Livestrong Foundation, the cancer fighting charity he founded. He later left the organization completely.

In November, Armstrong fanned the flames surrounding his Tour de France wins he tweeting a photo of himself lounging beneath his winning tour jerseys, with the message “Back in Austin and just layin' around." 

And adding insult to injury, last week Texas Monthly named Armstrong its Bum Steer of the Year; editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein told KUT News the Armstrong saga represented “a spectacular fall from grace.”

For Armstrong, 2013 can only get better.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.