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By W. Gardner Selby May 15, 2017

Fake news: Bloggers say Lance Armstrong has died

A newsy-looking four-paragraph web post says Lance Armstrong has died.

Don’t buy it. The post is fake and Armstrong is alive, he’s already indicated.

"Ha, ha," Armstrong texted in response to an Austin American-Statesman reporter today. "Yeah, weird."

The fake story claims Armstrong has died of stage 4 colon cancer. The news allegedly was announced on Facebook by Armstrong’s daughter, Anna.

Armstrong, though, took to social media to debunk the post. As noted by news organizations including the American-Statesman, a May 12, 2017, video post on the one-time world-class bicyclist’s Instagram account shows Armstrong seated behind a car steering wheel and showing, on a phone, the announcement of his death by the website, and then smiling and shaking his head back and forth, meaning "naw."

Share the Facts
Politifact rating logo Politifact Rating:
Pants on Fire
Lance Armstrong is dead.
Friday, May 12, 2017

Before noon the same day, Armstrong tweeted out a web link to the video with this message: "The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated."







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SOURCE: InstaGram post, Lance Armstrong, May 12, 2017 (screenshot May 15, 2017)

As our colleagues at PolitiFact in Washington noted in April 2017, the site attempts to mimic Fox News, but has no connection to the cable news network.

The story's citation of Anna helps raise a red flag. Armstrong has no children who go by that name, at least according to a December 2016 Daily Mail news story about an Armstrong family Christmas card.

Just before we completed this fact check, an Armstrong representative, Mark Higgins, answered our inquiry by email: "I can confirm that he is indeed alive."

Our ruling

An Internet post claims Lance Armstrong has died.

The once world-class and still world-famous cyclist remains alive.

We find this claim (bike) Pants on Fire!

PANTS ON FIRE – The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim. Click here for more on the six PolitiFact ratings and how we select facts to check.

Our Sources

Text message, Lance Armstrong to Asher Price, reporter, Austin American-Statesman, May 15, 2017

Video post on Lance Armstrong’s InstaGram account, May 12, 2017

News story, "No, Lance Armstrong isn’t dead," Austin American-Statesman, May 12, 2017

News story, "VERIFY: Texas native Lance Armstrong is not dead," KVUE News, May 13, 2017

Truth-O-Meter article, PolitiFact, "Reports that Trump offered asylum to Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses use fake quotes," April 28, 2017

News story, "All grown up! Drugs cheat Lance Armstrong, 45, shares Christmas card photo with his five grown up children and girlfriend,", Dec. 16, 2017

Email, Mark Higgins, May 15, 2017

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by W. Gardner Selby

Fake news: Bloggers say Lance Armstrong has died

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