Armstrong officially stripped of seven Tour de France wins
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Armstrong officially stripped of seven Tour de France wins

by Shane Stokes at 7:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Greg LeMond now the only American winner of cycling’s biggest event

Lance ArmstrongBringing an end to a saga which has polluted cycling, the sport’s governing body the UCI has confirmed that it will fully accept the sanction handed down to Lance Armstrong.

The news means that Armstrong has lost his seven Tour titles and the other results he clocked up since August 1st 1998, and also faces a lifetime ban from cycling and other WADA Code-affiliated sports including triathlon.

“The UCI will not appeal to the court of Arbitration for Sport, and it will recognise USADA’s sanction against Lance Armstrong,” said UCI President Pat McQuaid, who spoke forcefully about the fight against doping. “The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.”

McQuaid said that it will also recognised the USADA’s sanctions on the riders who testified, and thanked them to for that. He said that the UCI will set up a structure to examine the doping situation which had happened, and will take measures to safeguard the sport from experiencing the same sort of problems as before.

On August 23rd, Armstrong was handed a lifetime ban from sport by USADA plus had all of his results since August 1998 taken away. The sanction was handed down after he decided not to fight the doping charges made against him by the agency.

The reasoned decision included over one thousand pages of evidence, including sworn testimony from 26 individuals. Of that number, eleven were former team-mates of Armstrong, namely Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leiphimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

Other details contained included what USADA described as ‘direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong.’

Its CEO Travis Tygart said that the management of the US Postal Service team ‘ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.’

“The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices,” he elaborated. “A program organized by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.”

Last week, many of Armstrong’s sponsors including Trek, Giro and Nike have announced that they were ending their relationship with him. He also resigned as chairman of the Livestrong foundation.

Others involved in the case, namely Johan Bruyneel, Pedro Celaya and Pepe Marti, will face arbitration hearings later this year. They too could face lifetime bans from sport.

McQuaid said that he was fully committed to the fight against doping, and had no intention of resigning his position as president.

More on this to follow….


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