Armstrong's Downfall Had Surprising Beginning

Blame the 'tattooed guy' who got busted and talked
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2012 1:08 PM CDT
This April 1, 2012, file photo shows seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong during a news conference.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen, File)

(Newser) – When professional cyclist and tattoo artist Kayle Leogrande was busted for doping, he never imagined it would lead to the downfall of one of the most celebrated bikers of all time. But that's pretty much what happened, explains the New York Times. The heavily tatted biker was an aspiring cyclist as a teen, but took a break—until he was inspired by Armstrong in the 2004 Tour de France. He signed on with a pro team and soon discovered that doping was ubiquitous in the sport. He joined in.

Leogrande got suspended (thanks to his own confession, not a failed test), in 2008. When he left behind drugs in the freezer of an old apartment, his landlord called the feds, who questioned Leogrande about the sport in general and Armstrong in particular. Asked if he thought Armstrong doped, he recalls responding, "If you were a rider at that level, what would you do?" It wasn't long before the FDA started interviewing Armstrong's teammates. Read the full story here. (Read more Lance Armstrong doping stories.)

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