"Fifteen years, hundreds of millions of dollars, breakthroughs in treatment and diagnosis wiped off the map," said Walter Burroughs, PhD, a cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins. "I will not allow someone who likely blood doped to compete in bicycle racing impact the lives of millions around the world. It wouldn't be right."
Burroughs' thoughts were unanimous across the research community. At Cornell's Weill Medical College in New York City, a team of researchers working on grants provided by Armstrong's foundation were thought to be within two years of curing leukemia. Today their lab is empty. Broken equipment litters the floor. Blood and tissue samples sit out rotting and covered with flies.
"Countless people are going to die because Lance Armstrong wanted to win the Tour de France," said Weill Medical College spokesman Charlotte Reiss. "The selfishness of that man is staggering."
Armstrong says that despite the decision the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to strip him of his Tour de France titles, and that of the worldwide medical research community to ignore and forget the gains made by his life's work, he will continue on.
"Maybe some good can come out of all of this," he said. "I was hoping a cure for cancer would have been a nice silver lining, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen now. Hopefully I can at least be remembered as the guy who designed those early 2000s fad bracelets."