Lance Armstrong — The Epic Downfall Of A Cycling Icon

Lance Armstrong --- The Epic Downfall Of A Cycling IconHis reputation is in tatters, the cycling victories that made him a legend are wiped away, and the sponsors that gave him enormous wealth have fled faster than a downhill race to a finish line. But that’s only the beginning. Lance Armstrong is also being asked to pay back millions of dollars. And the term “Armstrong era” is now apparently a moniker for widespread cheating.

‘Steadfastly maintained his innocence’

The epic downfall of cycling’s star, once an idolized icon of millions around the globe, stands out in the history of professional sports. His latest and biggest plunge came Monday when the International Cycling Union stripped the 41-year-old of his seven Tour de France titles. The decision followed this month’s finding by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that there is “overwhelming” evidence Armstrong was involved as a professional cyclist in “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program.” Armstrong has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Following the union’s announcement, the French Cycling Federation said it was reissuing its call for Armstrong to return 2.95 million euros — nearly $4 million — that he collected for winning the tours. And $4 million might be a trifle compared to what SCA Promotions wants back.


‘Wiped out 14 years’

Heavyweights such as Nike, RadioShack and Anheuser-Busch have already fled team Lance, though, like Oakley, they’ve vowed to continue supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which fights cancer through a program widely known as Livestrong. Armstrong does get to keep one prized possession from his Tour de France days. The Amaury Sport Organisation, which runs the 21-day tour, told CNN it will not ask him to return the yellow jerseys he won.

The agency announced it would ban Armstrong from the sport for life and strip him of his results dating from 1998. The decision wiped out 14 years of his career. The International Olympic Committee also is reviewing the evidence and could revoke Armstrong’s bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games.

Do you think the sports arena will ever be dope-free? Do you believe Lance Armstrong is truly guilty of all the doping allegations against him?

Source: CNN

Image: NY Daily News

‘Green Mile’ Star Michael Clarke Duncan Dies At 54

Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1999 film “The Green Mile,” died Monday morning at age 54, according to a representative for his family. Duncan “suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered,” a written statement from Joy Fehily said. Clarke died at a Los Angeles hospital where he had been since having the heart attack more than seven weeks ago.

According to TMZ, it was Duncan’s girlfriend Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, a reality star and former contestant on “The Apprentice,” who had acted quickly and provided lifesaving efforts when he had the heart attack.

A towering and hulking figure, the 6-foot-5-inch Duncan also was known for his deep voice. A Chicago native, Duncan went to college at Alcorn State University in Mississippi with plans to major in communications, but he dropped out and moved home.


In his 20s, he worked digging ditches for Peoples Gas during the day and as a bouncer at night. He told CNN in 1999 that his coworkers at the gas company called him “Hollywood” because he’d often talk about becoming a movie star. In 1990, he decided to measure up his nickname and he moved to Los Angeles. He worked as a bodyguard then got a part in a commercial as a drill sergeant.

“Armageddon” was the beginning of his friendship with Bruce Willis. They appeared in four films together. And it was Willis who called ‘The Green Mile’ director Frank Darabont to put in a good word for Duncan. He was nominated for an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, which was won that year by Michael Caine for “The Cider House Rules.”

Which of Michael Clarke Duncan’s movies was your favorite? Tell us how his story inspired you or others!

Source: CNN

Image: The Hollywood Reporter

Country Singer Randy Travis Arrested Naked!

Country music star Randy Travis, who pleaded no contest to public intoxication following the Super Bowl in February, was arrested again Tuesday after being found naked, smelling apparently of alcohol and lying on a remote stretch of roadway in northern Texas just before midnight, authorities said.

He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and felony retaliation, after allegedly threatening to fatally shoot highway patrol troopers who responded to a concerned caller who notified authorities of “a man lying in the roadway” Tuesday. The DWI offense is a misdemeanor, authorities said. Travis, 53, allegedly refused to take a blood and breath test, and was later forced to submit to a judge’s order for a blood specimen taken at a nearby hospital, Wheeler said.

“He was given a paper suit, which is a jail uniform made out of paper,” Sgt. Rickey Wheeler of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office told CNN.


Travis was released from Grayson County jail after an acquaintance posted his $21,500 bail in cash at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, Wheeler said. It’s not clear whether Travis was injured in the accident, though his mug shot revealed a bruised right eye and several abrasions on his face.

In February, Travis was arrested for public intoxication while sitting in his car in front of a church in Sanger, Texas. Public intoxication, a class C violation of the municipal code, is an offense typically disposed of by the Sanger courts with a fine and a 90-day probation.

Do you think Randy Travis’ intoxication problems is getting serious? Should he start getting professional help to curb this habit?

Source: CNN

Image: Hollywood Reporter

John Travolta Case: Gloria Allred Sued By Okorocha For ‘Stealing Clients’

The lawyer who filed a sexual battery lawsuit against John Travolta on behalf of two male massage therapists and then dismissed it is now suing another lawyer for allegedly stealing his clients.

The federal lawsuit was dismissed last week after one client dropped out after confusion over the date of the alleged incident and the second plaintiff fired attorney Okorie Okorocha and hired high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred. Allred, who now represents both men, said she is considering refiling the lawsuit against Travolta in another court. She denied that she solicited them, insisting they contacted her. Travolta sexual battery lawsuit withdrawn, but case may go on

Okorocha filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior court Monday contending that Allred illegally and unethically solicited the second client — identified as John Doe #2. An exhibit attached to his complaint is a screenshot of a cell phone text message exchange he said was with John Doe #2 two days before the client fired him and hired Allred.


“She ain’t been in a courtroom in 20 years. Just doing stupid ass press conference side shows,” Okorocha, a lawyer who specializes in drunk driving trials, wrote in reply.

Two days before he was fired by John Doe #2, Okorocha told CNN that he believed Allred was trying to steal his client. She denied the charge that day. Okorocha received a call two days later from that client telling him he was fired and that Allred was his new lawyer, Okorocha said.

Okorocha’s suit accuses Allred of intentional interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with prospective economic relations and unfair business practices. Allred called Okorocha’s allegations “false, outrageous and defamatory” and demanded a retraction. She told CNN Monday that she would file a defamation suit against Okorocha if he sued her.

Between the two lawyers, who do you think is telling the truth? Share your opinions with us!

Source: CNN

Image: TMZ

Donald Trump Reverses Ban on Transgender Miss Universe Contestant

A Canadian beauty pageant contestant who was disqualified when the Miss Universe Canada organizers discovered she was transgender said Tuesday she had been devastated by the decision and wanted a clear change in the rules.

After initially disqualifying Jenna Talackova, organizers of the Miss Universe beauty pageant reversed course late Monday, saying she can participate. Speaking to CNN Tuesday, Trump said that according to the laws of Canada and the United States, Talackova should be allowed to enter the pageant.

“As with any competition, the Miss Universe pageant has rules that apply to all of its franchises around the world. Such rules include, but are not limited to, citizenship, age, and marital status requirements. Additionally, the rules currently state that all contestants must be naturally born females,” the Miss Universe organization said. Those rules are not posted on the Miss Universe website. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, commended the pageant organizer’s decision Monday night.


Talackova was one of the 65 finalists selected to contend for the title of Miss Universe Canada and the honor of representing her country in the Miss Universe competition. But organizers told her last month she could not compete because she lied about having undergone sexual reassignment surgery and did not meet requirements for the pageant. At the time, the Miss Universe Organization said current rules state that all contestants must be a “naturally born female.”

In a 2010 interview in Thailand, where she was competing for Miss International Queen, a competition for transgender women, Talackova said she knew she was a girl at age 4. She said she started hormone therapy at age 14 and underwent sexual reassignment surgery at 19.

The 61st annual Miss Universe Canada Pageant will be held in Toronto on May 19.

Source: CNN

Image: Bitten and Bound

Ashton Kutcher to Portray Steve Jobs in Indie Biopic

Actor Ashton Kutcher, who got his break on “That ’70s Show,” will go back to the 1970s to play tech visionary Steve Jobs in an indie film about Jobs’ early life and the founding of Apple.

Production on the film, “Jobs,” is scheduled to begin in May while Kutcher is on hiatus from his hit CBS series “Two and a Half Men,” reports Variety, the film-industry trade publication. It will be directed by Joshua Michael Stern (“Swing Vote”) and “will chronicle Steve Jobs from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple,” according to Variety.

The timing of the story, which was published Sunday on Variety’s website, combined with Kutcher’s well-known love of pranks, led some to dismiss it as an April Fools’ joke. But CNN confirmed Monday through a representative for Kutcher that the actor has signed on for the role.


Jeff Sneider, the reporter who wrote the Variety article, said on Twitter on Sunday that the movie will follow Jobs from when he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple in 1976 to when Jobs returned to the company in the late 1990s after being forced out. It won’t cover Jobs’ later years, he said.

Kutcher’s movie will face competition from Sony Pictures, which is developing its own Jobs biopic based on the best-selling book by Walter Isaacson. A CNN.com report last fall speculated on which actor might play Jobs in that movie and threw out some names — James McAvoy, Crispin Glover, Stanley Tucci, Noah Wyle — but failed to mention Kutcher.

Source: CNN

Image: Technorati