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April 23, 2021

Lance Armstrong loses titles, banned for life

Lance Armstrong has been officially stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and given a life ban by world cycling’s governing body, according to Eurosport.UCI president Pat McQuaid announced the decision at a news conference in Geneva on Monday, which followed the US Anti-Doping Agency publishing damning evidence of systematic doping by the American.McQuaid said: “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling … We have come too far in the fight against doping to return to our past.” He also stated he had “no intention” of resigning despite question marks over the UCI’s conduct in the affair.Expressing his regret that the UCI had not been more successful in the detection and punishment of drugs cheats, McQuaid said: “I’m sorry that we couldn’t catch every damn one of them red-handed and throw them out of the sport at the time.”The USADA report, released last week, is a 1,000 page document which shows, the Agency says, that Armstrong took part in a doping scheme on his way to his unrivalled success on the Tour from 1999-2005.The report accused Armstrong, as head of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, of running “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” It included sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders, who described years of performance drug use.The UCI, however, is in an uncomfortable position because the USADA report said Armstrong told his then team mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton he made a positive drugs test at the Tour of Switzerland “go away” with a payment to the UCI in 2001.McQuaid has said Armstrong made a USD100,000 donation to the UCI in 2002 but “vehemently denied”, according to the report, that it was part of a covering up of a positive test.Armstrong said he was unfazed by the USADA report but some of his long-time partners have been, with Nike dropping the disgraced cyclist over the scandal.On the same day, Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the Livestrong foundation, although he remained on the board of the association he launched in 1997 to fight cancer.Testicular cancer survivor Armstrong was also dropped by beer maker Anheuser-Busch, and, according to reports by ESPN, by Trek Bicycles and the energy drink maker FRS.

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