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Lance Armstrong: 'I Don't Know' If Testicular Cancer Was Result of Doping

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2020

JACO, COSTA RICA - NOVEMBER 01:  Lance Armstrong of the United States competes in Day 1 of the La Ruta de Los Conquistadores on November 1, 2018 in Jaco, Costa Rica.  La Ruta de Los Conquistadores is Costa Rica's premier mountain bike race, and one of the most difficult races in the world. The race was started in 1993 by Roman Urbina. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong was noncommittal when asked whether his testicular cancer was tied to his history of doping.

"I don't know the answer to that," Armstrong said in the first part of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Lance. "And I don't want to say no because I don't think that's right either. I don't know if it's yes or no."

ESPN @espn

"I don't know the answer to that." โ€”Lance Armstrong when asked if he thought he got cancer because of doping https://t.co/Fo3YnIJtow

While Armstrong was a seven-time Tour de France winnerโ€”before being stripped of his titlesโ€”he transcended sports with the Livestrong Foundation, a cancer charity he founded in 1997 and originally named the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Yellow bracelets representing the foundation became ubiquitous in the mid-2000s.

Armstrong's reputation and career came crumbling down when the scope of his doping became public knowledge.

The idea that his drug use may have played a role in his cancer isn't a topic that has gained much traction, however.

Armstrong revealed his cancer diagnosis in October 1996. During Lance, he admitted he was probably around 21 when he first started doping, roughly four years before his diagnosis.

ABC News' Katie Moisse cited a cancer researcher at the Tor Vergata University of Rome, Dr. Lucio Tentori, who was unable to draw any conclusions about whether steroids could lead to an increased risk of cancer:

"Several cases of cancers associated to the use of anabolic steroids as doping practice have been reported. Unfortunately, to evaluate this cancer risk in controlled clinical studies is difficult since these substances are frequently used at very high doses and in combination with other licit or illicit drugs."

Armstrong isn't a doctor, so expecting him to have an answer is unrealistic. However, the topic adds yet another layer to his complicated legacy.