How Lance Armstrong’s story of ‘survivor to victor’ came crashing down

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At 25, Lance Armstrong was a patient with Stage 3 testicular cancer, tumors in his lungs, and lesions on his brain.

Three years later, he went from survivor to victor, in what was called at the time one of the most unbelievable comebacks in sports history.

For seven straight years, he dominated the Tour de France, arguably the hardest sporting event in the world, while growing an empire that included a powerful foundation dedicated to fighting cancer.

After a lengthy investigation and sanctions, Armstrong was banned from cycling in 2012. His brand imploded while his legacy as a cancer survivor and activist was polluted, and the scandal became one of the most infamous in sports history.

“If I just doped and didn’t say a thing, none of that would have happened. None of it,” Armstrong tells Mike Tirico. “You’re asking me about what I think the 1999 Tour meant to cancer survivors and the cancer community. Five years ago my answer was ‘What the hell’s the problem? Just get over it. Look at all the good I did.’ But as I sit here today, you can’t just get over it. It’s a big story.”

You can watch the entire “Lance Armstrong: Next Stage” special here or the video embedded above.