UCI doesn’t appeal USADA, Lance Armstrong stripped of seven Tour de France titles

With its decision Monday not to appeal, the International Cycling Union has agreed with the assessment of the United States Anti-Doping Agency that Lance Armstrong is banned for life from cycling for doping as well as his role in orchestrating what is arguably the largest doping ring in sports history.

With its decision to waive the right to take Armstrong’s case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest court in sports, Armstrong has also been stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles (1999-2005).

As a consequence, Amaury Sport Organization, the company that organizes the Tour de France, will erase Armstrong’s name from its record books.

“We’ve come too far in the fight against doping to go back to the past,” Pat McQuaid, the president of the cycling union, said in a news conference in Switzerland. “Something like this must never happen again.”

Armstrong, said McQuaid, “has no place in cycling.”

Christian Prudhomme, the Tour de France race director, said the years of what are now Armstrong’s former titles, would no official winner because runners-up and other top finishers in those years were also linked to doping.

Since he was charged in June with using banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions, and with encouraging their use among his teammates, much has happened quickly:

• Armstrong questioned the charges;
• Armstrong stopped his pursuit against the charges to “spare his family and his foundation any stress or damage.”
• Armstrong stepped down as chairman of his Livestrong foundation;
• Armstrong sponsors, with the exception of Oakley, ceased their endorsement contracts with the cyclist;
• Oakley dropped its contract with the cyclist with the UCI announcement.

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