Lance Armstrong once had a record seven Tour de France titles to his name, in addition to Olympics medals for the United States.

But the 41-year-old cancer survivor was mired in controversy last year, following a formal charge by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The American responded by declining to defend himself and was therefore found guilty and stripped of his achievements in professional cycling and banned from the sport.

Now, however, in an exclusive interview with American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, he has confessed to taking performance-enhancing drugs; click here for IBTimes UK's report on Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong was born in Plano, Texas, and fired a warning to the world of cycling in 1984, when he won the Iron Kids Triathlon. He became a professional three years later and qualified for the junior world championships in Moscow in 1989. Two years later, he was the US National Amateur Champion.

In 1999, Armstrong began a run of seven consecutive Tour de France titles that the world knew would come to define his life story and the sport. Tragically, the definition has been far more damaging to him, the sport and the idea of drugs in professional sports than anyone could have ever dreamt.

As the world of cycling and athletes everywhere come to terms with Armstrong's shocking admissions, check out these photographs of the Texan, through the years...