Lance Armstrong Ruling: Stripped of Tour de France Titles
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The International Cycling Union (UCI) today announced that it has completed its review of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) decision regarding Lance Armstrong’s alleged doping. The UCI has decided not to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and will recognize the USADA’s sanctions against Armstrong, which include stripping the athlete of his seven Tour de France titles. The titles, which Armstrong won in seven consecutive Tour de France’s starting in 1999, will be wiped from official record books.
In reviewing the USADA’s decistion, the UCI had considered the issues of jurisdiction, statutes of limitation, the evidence against Armstrong, and the sanctions imposed on Armstrong. From the UCI’s statement:
The USADA decision explains how riders on the USPS Team showed no inclination to share the full extent of what they knew until they were subpoenaed or called by federal investigators and that their only reason for telling the truth is because the law required them to do so.
These riders have confronted their past and told their stories. Their accounts of their past provide a shocking insight into the USPS Team where the expression to ‘win at all costs’ was redefined in terms of deceit, intimidation, coercion and evasion.
The USADA’s findings showed that the anti-doping tests and policies were inadequate during the time team USPS is accused of systematically doping. The UCI stated that it recognizes the problem of doping in cycling, and has taken “significant” steps to curb it. The organization stressed that today’s cycling culture has already changed and that young riders do not deserve to be tarnished or live under the stigma of what they are calling the “Armstrong Era.”