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Phil Matier: Lance Armstrong, The System & Public Perception

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Lance Armstrong (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Phil-Matier_BIO-HEAD Phil Matier
Whether it's politics, personalities or analysis Phil Matier is one ...
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AUSTIN, Texas (CBS SF) – The organization that runs the Tour de France wasn’t immediately commenting on the decision by the U.S. Anti Doping Agency to erase 14 years of Lance Armstrong’s career — including his record seven wins in cycling’s most prestigious race.

The USADA made that move — and banned Armstrong for life — after concluding he used prohibited substances. Armstrong said Thursday he would no longer challenge the agency, and wouldn’t exercise his last option by entering arbitration. But he still denies ever taking banned substances.

RELATED: KCBS Sports Fans – What Does Ban Mean For Armstrong Legacy?

“I think he’s just acknowledging what many of us will have to acknowledge at some point in our lives,” surmised former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who knows Armstrong, and offered his insight into the famed cyclist’s mindset during our chat on KCBS Friday morning.

“When the system goes after you, whether you are guilty or innocent, the system can literally destroy you,” Brown continued. “You can take all of your resources and in the end, whether you win or lose, you lost.”

KCBS, CBS 5 and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier with former SF Mayor Willie Brown:

Armstrong is arguably as well known for his endeavors off the bike as on the bike, most notably his involvement in cancer awareness causes including The Lance Armstrong Foundation and the high-profile Livestrong campaign.

Brown was quick to credit Armstrong for being an “incredible symbol” and suggested Armstrong would continue to keep the topic of cancer prevention alive, despite any and all sanctions in the cycling community.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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