The 7x Tour de France champion could not rule out the possibility that GH contributed to his cancer.
Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France, recently discussed his use of performance-enhancing drugs and the role they may have played in the development of his testicular cancer. Armstrong comments were captured in an ESPN documentary directed by Marina Zenovich called “Lance”.
Armstrong was diagnosed with with advanced testicular cancer (stage 3) in October 1996 at the age of 25. Armstrong revealed that he had been using prohibited PEDs since the age of 22 or 23.
Armstrong’s drug cocktail including anabolic steroids (testosterone) and erythropoietin (EPO). He also started using recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) in the spring of 1996.
Lance Armstrong continued to use steroids and EPO but avoided growth hormone following his recovery from cancer.
When Armstrong was asked if PEDs caused his cancer, the former pro cyclist was unable to rule it out as a possibility. Specifically, Armstrong wondered if rhGH could have played a role in his disease.
“You know, I don’t know the answer to that,” Armstrong replied. “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, but I certainly wouldn’t say no.
“The only thing I will tell you is, the only time in my life that I ever did growth hormone was the 1996 season. And so just in my head, I’m like, growth… growing hormones and cells, like… if anything good needs to be grown, it does. But wouldn’t it also make sense that if anything bad is there, that it too would grow?”
Armstrong recovered from the testicular cancer diagnosis and went on to win seven Tour de France titles. But he never used growth hormone again due to his fear of its potential cancer-causing properties.
Armstrong may have feared growth hormone. However, he believed that the other PEDs he used were very safe drugs. These drugs included testosterone and EPO.
In particular, Armstrong felt the EPO gets a bad rap.
“In many ways – and this is not going to be a popular answer – EPO is a safe drug,”
The two-part “Lance” documentary airs on ESPN on May 24th and May 31st, 2020.
Griffee, W. (May 19, 2020). Lance Armstrong admits doping may have caused his testicular cancer as disgraced Tour de France winner confesses he was a drug cheat from the age of 21… NINETEEN YEARS before he was caught and banned. Retrieved from dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-8336035/Lance-Armstrong-admits-doping-caused-testicular-cancer.html