Lance Armstrong Officially Stripped of 7 Tour de France Victories

Lance Armstrong USADA Doping

A black day for cycling as the UCI ratifies the verdict of the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) and formally strips Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and bans him for life.

The president of the UCI, Pat McQuaid said “We will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and will recognise the sanction that USADA gave. The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and strip him of his 7 Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.”

While the USADA verdict showed “beyond reasonable doubt” that Lance Armstrong engaged in doping and coverups, Armstrong retained his titles awaiting the UCI response.

This bring closure to the ordeal but by no means an end to the mess as this has further tainted cycling and sponsors are dropping out. It does however send a powerful sign to would-be cheats that even the most untouchable cyclist can eventually be brought down.

Is this the dawn of a new era where competitive cyclists put their trust in in sportsmanship? Speculation is loud that the Pro Cycling is now cleaner than it has been for years. There is plenty of room for improvement, faster testing and convictions are necessary along with improved testing so that the next generation aren’t tempted. This goes along with more clarity in the jurisdiction of different sporting bodies and courts.

Photo © Eugene

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About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

4 responses to “Lance Armstrong Officially Stripped of 7 Tour de France Victories”

  1. Ian says:

    So, by making Lance a scapegoat for cheating, without hard evidence, the UCI has set a precedence for it’s treatment of ‘drug cheats’. If this is what they do for someone that has done so much good for the sport, shouldn’t every title of every race winner from 2009 back to 1945 be stripped of their title? There is strong circumstantial ‘evidence’ that suggest most of those winners were real ‘drug cheats’. Who would then be the official winner? The second, third and subsequent riders were most likely to be ‘dirty’ as well.

    I feel sorry for Lance and this whole witch hunt. In many people’s minds, Lance is now immortalised as a martyr.

    It’s a good thing that the UCI can’t take away that experience of winning the TDF, supposed drug cheat or not. Talk about cracking a walnut with a sledge hammer!

  2. Lance is by no means a scapegoat – plenty of pro-cyclists have been caught. I suggest reading up the USADA report and other testimony because that will uncover a lot of useful information – as well as some of the questions on jurisdiction. If you follow up on the history of this case and relationship of the UCI and USADA, this will reveal why they are making this announcement now, and also why the UCI would have not freely made this announcement. They are likely to have no official winners during these years.

    I don’t think it is fair to say “Every one else was doing it so it is ok”. Doping affects people differently so it didn’t create a level playing field.

    Even when someone does something postive such as Livestrong, is this justification that it is ok to cheat? The good news is that the charity is being seperated from the doping. But lets also consider an individual who had fantastic cycling and career changes but made an ethical decision not to dope and essentially were cut out – they lose, that’s not very fair either.

    Lance has been a charismatic and influencial character, and has used this well for the success of the charity but also in how he portrays himself and defends himself – the general consensus is that the accusations are true ‘beyound reasonable doubt’ and this is view is shared but most.

  3. trailgumby says:

    Ian, I’m not sure what part of 11 independent witnesses and a detailed and credible explanation of how doping tests are routinely avoided or beaten is anything less than “hard evidence”. Having been both a juror and witness in separate criminal trials, and studied introductory criminal law as part of my business degree, the material presented by USADA is well capable of carrying the case beyond reasonable doubt.

    Of course, now that Lance has declined to challenge it in arbitration and the UCI has declined to challenge it in court, we will never have he chance of seeing it pass the acid test of cross-examination, but that has been *their choice* not USADA’s. It is a clever strategy by Armstrong for allowing the true believers to justify in their minds the maintenance a degree of doubt.

    Scapegoat? Possibly. There are serious questions over the possibly collusive conduct of both Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid that need to be answered. It is interesting to see McQuaid taking cues from Armstrong’s playbook in selecting a jurisdiction that allows him to use the comparatively vast means of the UCI to sue journalist Paul Kimmage in his personal capacity, rather than going after the better-resourced publisher. This uses his limited ability to properly fund a defence to their advantage and maximises the financial damage they can inflict on him.

    If they were serious about eliminating the scourge of doping from cycling’s next generation, they would be engaging with him, not trying to silence him. Therefore my confidence that we will see institutional change from the UCI is zero.

    I’m looking forward to the results of the joint Swiss and Italian investigation into Dr Michele Ferrari’s money-laundering activities becoming public. Watch this space.

  4. sarina says:

    I agree with Trailgumby and Christopher. I’ve read the USADA report and Tyler Hamilton’s book. The solid evidence is overwhelming.I was a fan of Lance and he did have huge natural talent but the desire to win, coerce & manipulate others in his quest shows a very different and ruthless person.

    Yes, he has done great things starting up the foundation which ultimately benefited from his ill gotten fame -but he didn’t do what he did for the foundation. He did it for personal glory. He heat other athletes who chose not to dope, he smashed other talented athletes and made them despair so much they gave up competitive cycling. If you didn’t cheat -you couldn’t compete. So, what’s right?

    Myself…I would never take drugs that could potentially cause harm to my body or give me a false advantage. As Tyler says in his (bloody good read)book “the truth will set you free” and the lying and living with so much deceit gave him depression and an inability to enjoy any of the adulation, medals & fame. How does Lance live with himself? I read and see all those Nike adds he did and they’re so hypocritical in hindsight.

    There are clean elite athletes, I still believe in that, and that our sport will be better for the truth coming out and punishment for cheats being meted out. You’re only cheating yourself if you take PED’s.